Page 12

12 The Brockwood Observer

Issue 35, Spring/Summer 2010

ALUMNI NEWS LIVING LIFE ABROAD Isabelle Baigent, alumna, (1999-2002)

From the very begining I knew I wanted to travel.

There was no doubt about it, and there was little anyone could have done to persuade me otherwise. I can remember sitting in the entrance-way to Brockwood, looking out through that big window in the front door, looking down the road gently dissappearing amongst tall trees and fields and I was thinking of making a run for it. My feet seemed to burn, my whole body ached with the need to travel. So I bought a one way ticket to India. Straight into the deep end, I plunged like a child into the depths of that strange and enchanting country, rich with frustration and hypocrisy, beauty and bliss. I was struck by the complications and challenge of being a girl in India travelling alone, it was hard but rewarding. I travelled to Morocco, and loved the desert cities, the castles built out of the sand below them. The rush of mint tea, the chill that swings from the Atlas mountains at night. Indonesia was the most interesting place I have been so far. You could spend a lifetime getting lost in the warrens of islands. To survive there I had to learn Indonesian. I set off through Sulawesi with no guide books just friendly people willing to help me through their much loved country. I lived in Ireland for over five years with a group of ex-brockwoodians, I studied tailoring and had a market stall at festivals. I love its people, its calm lake waters, its madness, its loudness, its wizardly trickery, its weaving story-telling. I now live in a small community in the South Island of New Zealand. The farm was set up about thirty years ago by a small group of enthusiastic people. There are eight houses on the farm, a few of them inhabited by large groups of people and a few by young families. I have lived for most of the time with one of the founding women. Her house was built entirely by hand, no electricity was used in the building process, the wood is reclaimed native timber. The house seems to breathe, it is a living creation. There are gardens with all the properties, an abundance of fruit orchards scattered

about the farm, and plenty of veggies to go around. There are many different responsibilities on the farm, much as at Brockwood, and, are shared amongst us all. Cheese is made from the goats milk, honey is harvested from the hill, hay is harvested by everyone chasing the tractor up and down the fields. I have met a lot of really interesting people here from all walks of life with different attitudes and backgrounds. There is a general feeling of an encouraged atmosphere in which to grow, learn and play. There are many communities in New Zealand and they range from smaller places like this to fully established almost town-like communities. Some have large community spaces and meals together and some are more like people just sharing a piece of land. Communities come in different shapes and sizes, some with more regimented doctrines and philosophies. Brockwood is one of the best to learn in but if anyone has any interest regarding communities in this part of the world I would be happy to help with contacts and information. I am enjoying being part of this community, meeting its people and feeling part of a tribe. Community living is something that I learnt a while ago in Brockwood and Ireland, it is the one thing that lasts, the thing that you can never be denied wherever you are from. I have learnt from travelling the understanding of being an individual in tandem with the whole. The need for family, the importance to relate to each other. We have a common ground,a shared need in this world, a place to call home. Email: isabellebaigent@yahoo.com

Issue 35 - Brockwood Observer - Spring / Summer 2010  

p4 REFLECTIONS p6 BEYOND THE CLASSROOM p8 PAVILION PROJECT UPDATE p10 STUDENT WORK p12 ALUMNI NEWS p14 EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS p16 A GLIMPSE...

Issue 35 - Brockwood Observer - Spring / Summer 2010  

p4 REFLECTIONS p6 BEYOND THE CLASSROOM p8 PAVILION PROJECT UPDATE p10 STUDENT WORK p12 ALUMNI NEWS p14 EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS p16 A GLIMPSE...

Advertisement