A new September in Baraka has kicked off, some faces new, some old, and despite the uncertainty of a Corona filled world, life and community have sprung up inside the rooms and halls of Haanova 28. Like the years before, we gathered together in September to meet and begin our year-long commitment to attempt to become a blessing (the literal meaning of “Baraka”) to each other, the school, and Bratislava. We all knew that this fall holds many questions about what life will be like together. Will we still be in school in the coming weeks? What would it mean for us if we went into lockdown again? How will it influence volunteering for the school? Will we have good cooks among us?

Fifteen brave souls are still waiting to find out what it means to hold each other up in times such as these. Of the fifteen, five are returning from last year – veterans of life under quarantine – and the additional ten, fresh faces. David and Zuzka lead the way as workers – the live-in orchestrators of the Baraka project, Marek and Randi (me) function as helpers – extra sets of hands for coordination and coaches for several participants, and then the eleven other participants, two fourth-years, eight fifth-years, and one external individual – a recent high school graduate working in Bratislava.

Though we don’t know how this year will look, we are in it together. We are beginning an intensive regime of keeping extra precautions for the next few weeks as the situation with COVID-19 develops. Now, our group is committed to social distancing with more extreme measures to take care of the group. This means, lots of time together – living, studying, and serving our community together. Who knows how we will grow!

Text: Miranda Cramer
Foto: Nika Krajčíková