Stopping to Smell the Sunflowers

Hello!
It’s been awhile! my name is Rana and I was a helper at waya for the month of July.
I left waya and now I’m actually spending sometime at home with my parents =]
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to write for this post, but I finally decided that I wanted to share some of my favorite moments throughout a day at waya, so I hope you enjoy!

 

Cleaning

The day starts off with Rin and I stretching to wake up. I often woke up to the voices of everyone talking in the other room or rummaging about. It was a nice sound to wake up to. Shift starts at 11 AM, and we get right to our duties of cleaning the guest house. While for some reading, just the thought of cleaning might drain their energy for the rest of the day, it was actually one of my favorite activities. On top of doing something for the guests that we get so close to, cleaning is so fun because everyone does it together. Talking and listening to music or joking about as we cleaned was always something I looked forward to.

 

Lunch

Everyday was busy with new experiences, new people, new conversations and just the hustle and bustle of waya. At about 1 PM everyone working at waya would pause whatever work they had and gather to eat. Lunch with everyone is another one of my favorite moments in waya. It was this moment when time and space seemed to just standstill as we enjoyed the comfort of great home cooked meals and warm company of everyone.

 

Making new friends

Guests at waya come from literally all around the world at different ages and different stages in their lives. I made friends with people from Thailand, Brazil, Hong Kong, Germany and more. I made friends with mothers and teachers and couples and travelers and artists and all types of people. Hearing about everyone’s different backgrounds and perspectives was really interesting. Everyday I could experience a new take on life and that really broadened my view of the world.

 

waya night sky

I would often talk and have fun with guests late into the night. After that sometimes we would go out to the river or hangout at someone’s house or even go to sento (Japanese public bath). But when things settled down and the day was done, my favorite place to be was on the bench on the balcony. It was the perfect place to enjoy the cool sapporo summer breeze while reflecting on the day, and night sky gazing. Sometimes Shun or someone else would be still around and we could just relax in the comfort and silence of the night breeze.

 

One of the reasons that I actually came to waya was to try to figure out what I want to do in life. It’s a pretty heavy question that we all ask ourselves at some point. Everyone has different answers and different ways of looking at the question. While I really don’t know what my ultimate goal is, I think remembering the small moments of happiness in everyday is important. For me, appreciating these moments to their fullest, I hope at least, will be what guides us.

 

There’s a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of Le Petit Prince,

 

“To live is to slowly be born”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 

Say “hello” to everyone at waya for me when you visit!

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