13 Oct A PLACE FOR EVERYONE
On the 2nd October 2018 around noon I was in my office which is located adjacent to the Collegium Cafe. Since it was noon there was a steady flow of guests walking into the Collegium to have lunch. A little later I noticed three ladies who came in and took a few apples that are freely available at the entrance of the Café. They then started to use the apples to decorate the table that they occupied. They put on some party hats and were full of energy as they continued to have animated conversations whilst they decorated the table. Shortly after a fourth member joined the group and they all embraced each other before settling into their seats.
My curiosity levels were urging me to go and speak to them. I headed towards them and introduced myself and told them a little about myself and the work that I do at the Center for Sharing. I politely asked them if they were celebrating an occasion. They answered in the positive and said that it was Donna’s Birthday. The other three introduced themselves as Bonnie, Jacqueline and Mary. I asked them why they chose the Collegium Café to celebrate Donna’s birthday. Bonnie told me that she has been here before on a few occasions and fell in love with the place. She said the place was welcoming and it felt very safe here. Jacqueline said that she realized that the Center for Sharing was a faith-based organization since she saw several references made to the biblical scriptures in the website as well. All four of them unanimously stated that they felt extremely peaceful at the Collegium, while the music continued to play at the right volume making it soothing to the ears.
Bonnie, Jacqueline, Mary and Donna spent a couple of hours at Collegium celebrating Donna’s birthday. They later told me that they had a wonderful time and were looking forward to coming back. I was delighted to meet these lovely ladies and had a sense of fulfillment as they so gracefully described the Collegium.
The Collegium offer’s a place that is safe and hospitable. Our purpose is to make sure that everyone who walks through our doors feels welcomed and at home. It was therefore wonderful to see four friends who are not residents in the Tierra Vida community come together to celebrate their friend’s birthday at the Collegium. It re-emphasizes our faith in building flourishing communities as we continue to practice our core values of love, compassion, and helping each other as one big family.