The home I lived and worked in was really the right place for me; I learned a lot about children with disabilities, about fellowship and this kind of communal living. I had a boy, 12 years old and autistic, whom I had to take care of. At the beginning it was very difficult for me – partly because of my German – to communicate with him, but after only two months he had accepted me and gave me a chance to be his friend. Throughout the course of the year I learned more and more from him and about him, how to understand him better, and eventually a special bond formed between us. It was very hard for me to understand what he wanted, to get insight into his world. But sometimes I was just too tired, or he hadn’t really listened to me – you always had to keep an eye on him, because he is very strong. At the end I just had to call his name or he just had to hear my voice and he knew immediately who was speaking to him and what I wanted from him. But I also think that during the year we shared he also learned a lot from me, for instance not to break things that belong to other people or to try to remember what someone says to him. Here at the end of my year at Brachenreuthe a lot of people have given me good feedback and told me I was really the right person for him, because I was the first person who was able to work with him without speaking the same language, and we were still able to “walk our road” together. But it is exactly in this kind of work that the point is not so much about language, but just as much about having the right feeling and most of all that your heart is in it.
The work at “Camphill” is something very special, and every day brings new chances to learn something from the people we care for.
– Volunteer from Thailand