When I decided to embark on an adventure that would take me from the East Coast to the Midwest, I knew I would encounter a lot of new things- a new city, a new job, new friends, new skills. The last of these, I hadn’t thought too much about prior to beginning my LVC year. Now that we’re finally settled into to our placements and our new home- and we’ve gotten used to the dark, creaky corners of this old convent- we’ve been able to get to know each other on a deeper level beyond where we went to college, how big or small our families are, or what our favorite movies are. Not to say those aspects aren’t important, but we’ve also been able to learn about each other’s passions and unique skills.
All five of the Hillstrom House members love to cook and bake. We entered our community at various levels of experience, but all with an interest to experiment and learn more. Our intentional community has often focused on meals, having us cook and eat together many times a week. Since Joey is a vegan, when we have our community dinners, we all strive to cook a meal we can all enjoy. It’s been fun not only to try new recipes, but also to discover vegan substitutes for some of our favorite dishes and ingredients. Some of my favorites dishes we’ve made are a pasta with veggies and a homemade avocado garlic sauce and kale chips with black beans and sweet potatoes.
Living in community has also allowed us to share and teach other skills to one another. Before this year, a few of us knew how to juggle. We were introduced to the Omaha Juggling Club and were able to expand our knowledge and share our skills with each other. After tedious practice, Joey and I have learned how to juggle clubs. In addition to juggling, most of us have a deep interest in music. Tyler brought a guitar, a ukulele, and a mandolin. With those instruments and the piano that was already here, we’ve “converted” the chapel in the house into a music room, where we’ll often hold jam sessions or teach each other new songs.
I’m excited to continue learning about myself and my housemates as the year goes on.