December 12, 2019

I like it when life brings (good) surprises. I planned to go to Israel initially, but I just came back from Croatia instead ! My first Hovos experience was just perfect: as I sit at a desk all day long in my "normal" job I wanted to work physically and outdoors - I got it and enjoyed the woodcutting with Robert ! I needed quiet time for myself, I did have the chance to wander in the nearby hills, explore the sea shore and discover many secret creeks, gaze at the starry sky... I had the chance to drive Robert's little fishing boat and this was great, not because the sunrise and sunset are just amazing from there, but because it felt like a privilege to share Robert's passion, learn from him and share this special moment with him. It is very thrilling to see the fish we caught as Robert was taking the nets out of the water and I did even caught my first squid ever (OK, nothing hard in achieving that, but it was so exciting) !

I am very grateful to Robert because even though he's working super hard and really needs good help, he does care about the people and wants to make sure we'll have a wonderful experience. Living alone at home, I enjoyed all the more the happy times shared around the meals, and the "mom-cooked" food was just fabulous (and this is important). I did feel at home with Robert's family, which is a great gift. We would sometimes end the day by the fire we lit in the cellar's chimney, chilling and chatting. Feeling the heat and the light of the flames on my face makes it so easy to really "savour the present moment", which is what Iife is about, I guess, but I'm only learning this basic recipe for happiness. Oh, we did play soccer with some guys from the village, and I had not done that in 10 years! That was one of these simple moments of sheer joy that just happen, and I grab them as they come !

All this to say that I did feel very alive and sooooo healthy during this unforgettable holiday. Because of the work and the location, yes. But most of all because of the connection with the special people met along the way and all the wonderful moments shared together.

If you are interested...

We are thrilled Juliane had such a great experience in Croatia. It seems she indeed found the recipe for happiness! A huge thanks to her for sharing her story with the Hovos community! If you have an interesting volunteer experience that you would like to share then get in touch! Also if you are interested in checking out Robert's project in Croatia - we would love to hear from you.  

Happy volunteering all!