Sunday, February 27, 2011

On finding community

For me, possibly the hardest thing in Indonesia has been to find community. I have friends here, don't get me wrong. Amazing friends, some of whom I've known since Taipei. They're my family here, and I treasure them deeply. And I have some new friends from work, too. These are people with whom I've shared meals, gone to the movies, and even traveled. These are all people without whom I would've made it through my first seven months in Indonesia, and people that I will continue to treasure. They're people who cause me to think deeply about why I believe what I believe. Some of these, undoubtedly, will remain friends, even after I move on from my season as a preschool teacher.

But last weekend, something healing happened. I went to a retreat for women from all over West Java. I made new friends from all over the country. I had deeply challenging conversations about topics that I am passionate about. I listened and processed. I talked and was understood. I sang from the deepest place of my heart, but also karaoked and let my hair down. I did a high ropes course and flew down a zip line. I laughed more than I have laughed in months.

In short: I found community.

So this weekend, I was invited to go hang out with some of my new friends in a different suburb of our city. As I crawled into bed last night, it was with a smile on my heart. I felt more alive than I have in months. I am profoundly grateful for friends, new and old.

I am infinitely thankful for finding community.