On the weekend I became part of a new community. This year I’ve enrolled in Te Ara Rēo Māori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa and on the weekend 70 students from three different classes came together at Raroera campus.
I didn't know the majority of the people, and barely knew anyone on Friday evening when we arrived, and I felt a bit outside of my comfort zone. We came together to eat, learn, sing, sleep, help one another and developed great connections and relationships - whakawhanaunga.
The learning was a by product. The real purpose of the weekend was to come together as a community so that we can support each other on this journey, and hopefully beyond. I felt so much aroha and acceptance from the group. This is one of the many beauties of the way Māori live.
On reflection, this is similar to what I'm doing with Kamala. For me it's always been about creating a community we feel like we belong to, can be ourselves with and support each other. I just happen to do this through workshops, at this time.
I hope that you feel like you belong to a few authentic communities, including this one.