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Europe meets Africa

Arriving at Kufunda!

Arriving at Kufunda from Europe is like jumping into another world. Personally the feeling of really arriving in the village only happened after a couple of months. Despite the warm welcome that the kufundees gave me, I only started to feel part of the rhythm and the every day life, after a deep process of resetting many beliefs and habits that in my homecountry never came into questioning.

I experienced the change from very practical things like the availability of electricity: it comes and goes depending on the weather; the working on the fields with the cattles that, thanks to the quiet absence of the tractor, the community has time and oportunity to talk and laught together.

But more important I felt a deep change in abstract aspects of life, like this strong sense of community-family, the sharing aspect and time conception. After around a month of arriving the christmas holiday started. The village got quiet and many people left Kufunda to go to their rural area to spend time with their families. At that time something unusual happened for me...I suddenly had a lot of time!

This having a lot of time brought me through the holiday in a deep changing, not easy process but that

made me really start to understand some of the value of this community and I believe of the country. I started to realise that it is beautiful and precious what we, in the westernized world call: "wasting time". I feel that this "wasting" of time is what still makes the Zimbabwean, and I suppose the african population, alive and with this genuine and strong sense of being together compared to Europe. I understood that one of the main important values is this community sense: sharing, supporting each other living together...It took me a while to shift from the idea that I disturb if I go to visit someone without invitation, to the fact that is a pleasure to just go sit together share, laugh and not be stressed by time or bad feelings.

That was the moment when I arrived.

Here I really started to forget to look at the time and just take what it comes at the moment...and following this flow I began to be surprised by the events that happened. Even now that the life got really alive and "busy" again I enjoy what I do and I´m a bit more capable to not fall into a vortex of work where it is hard to come out. Rather I do what I can and I take breaks, breaks for my self and time to dedicate to the people around me.

Another big lesson is that in the village you are not forced to do things you don´t like. It means that what you do is done with passion. It doesn´t mean every thing should be easy and smooth and that everybody lazy around. On the contrary the people are "busy" realizing what they want. It means that whatever you decide to do is because you like it, believe in it and because you are ready to go through it. These are some of my bigger learning process here at Kufunda and is not over yet :)

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