Taizé is a unique place to discover yourself and being able to become more independent however you do come across daily challenges which we have found new compared to normal English life. The food here is the complete opposite, you are given what you need instead of what you want, it might not look edible but it’s enough to keep you alive. Another challenge which we have found is common in Taizé are the ants in and around the campsite; this is as they manage to get into everywhere from small compartments in your bag to running around in your sleeping bag. Each tent group has handled this differently some just leave the ants to it, where as it has made our tent group become more organised to avoid attracting any ants.
The heat here is completely different compared to England, which is great. The lowest temperature has been 17 degrees and the highest has been 34, however this can sometimes affect your focus towards worship and group activity’s. We have experienced extreme thunder storms which has made us tighten our tents more so they don’t blow away. We all sung and danced in the rain while the teachers ran for cover and started laughing at us.
As an English group the biggest challenge that we have faced have been wasps. Every meal time we all sit as a group together surrounded by different nationalities from all over the world, collectively we are the loudest and are known to scream and run when we see a wasp, we’re very slowly learning to become one with nature and managing to control ourselves around the wasps. When we first arrived here, we had the challenge of putting tents up on our own and preparing ourselves independently for the days ahead. The people here are so friendly that if they see an undone tent they will voluntarily fix it, which no one in England would do.
You are able to speak to anyone and everyone here openly but the thing that stops this is the language barrier as there are many nationalities; normally everyone speaks English. This is a bit embarrassing as we only speak one language.
Despite all of these challenges, they’re worth it as the church services are beautiful and the Taizé atmosphere is something special and unique, that no one here will forget.