Part of the Routine
Having spent a week at Holden Village, we are finally settling into life in the village. Us J-termers, as the Villagers call us, have grown used to the full slate of events which comprise each day. We start our mornings around 8 with breakfast and announcements. We then head to class, to learn about the economics of environmental issues ranging from snowmobiles in Yellowstone to the history of Holden Village. Coffee break provides an intermission in the middle of class, highlighted by yummy treats and good conversation, and then we hit the books again. After class, we head to lunch to refuel for the rest of the day. Our afternoons are full of outdoor adventures, runs, cribbage games and crafts, and some naps every now and then. Many in our group have also taken up knitting to pass the time. Work, ranging from snow removal to information technology to Garbology (compost/garbage duty in a community that processes all its own waste), are also part of our routine and help to keep the village running smoothly.
Evenings are also jam-packed, with dinner, daily Vespers, and homework. There are also lots of different activities going on throughout the village - some highlights for our group included Bible and Brew (a bible study with either tea or beer) and a 3-on-3 Ultimate Frisbee tournament. We were also privileged to attend some Villagers' first communion this past Sunday and welcomed the Village's new directors Chuck and Peg today in a Dr. Seuss fashion.
This past weekend, we spent most of our time in avalanche training. As Holden is located in a snowy mountain valley, avalanche preparedness and general winter safety is very important. Mr. Em, a guest from the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center, taught us about the dangers posed by these powerful forces of nature, as well as how to test the snow for avalanche potential and how to identify avalanche conditions. We also went out in the snow to put these skills into action. Far from trying to keep us inside, this training focuses on allowing us to enjoy the extraordinary recreational opportunities available without taking any unnecessary risks.
Here at Holden, people talk about community a lot. In an isolated village, people working in concert is not just a nice concept but rather a necessity if the village is to continue to function. In the community that is Holden, people give in many different ways for the sake of the community. As students, conversationalists, workers, musicians, writers, artists, outdoor enthusiasts, and even yoga instructors, we have all contributed to the Holden community in various ways. Living in such a secluded community has both challenged and enriched us, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the month continues to change our perspective.