Natalie Dykmann is an alumna of Benedictine College in Atchison Kansas, and Bianca Trujillo is a graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Both are members of the “Tinton 1” community, and work at one of our South Bronx elementary schools, Brilla Veritas. In this post, Natalie and Bianca reflect on the lessons they learned about life in community during their 2 week quarantine together when they arrived in New York.
Quarantine, a word that is all too familiar at this time of our lives. It can result in different feelings across the spectrum; joy, fear, relaxation, or anxiousness. For the girls at Tinton 1, it was a combination. While we had all met virtually, moving into a completely new place and entering straight into quarantine, was maybe one of the best things for us. Through quarantine, we were able to create a bond that set the tone for the rest of our year of mission. We found ourselves being able to create deeper relationships by being vulnerable with each other at a faster rate. Instead of being able to go off and deal with emotions, frustrations, or joys by ourselves or with other people; we instead were pushed to lean on each other. We were able to celebrate with each other and learn how the other receives love.
Throughout our time of quarantine, we were able to do activities almost every day that drew us closer to one another. We figured out some of our shared interests and were able to cook, work out, have dance parties, and pray alongside each other. Through finding these commonalities in such a short amount of time, our friendships have grown vastly deeper. One thing that especially helped us in our growth as a community is having nightly dinners. Creating a space where technology is put away and our full selves are present has allowed us to partake in intentional conversations. Intentionality in a community is key. In having two continuous weeks to develop routines that worked for us all, we are able to continue these practices even though we are out of quarantine.
The communal life isn’t always easy, especially when there are so many uncertainties right now. But because there are so many uncertainties, community is what has kept us grounded. Throughout our first month of on-site mission, we have each gone through so many changes within our lives. Moving across the country, starting school virtually, and also taking on extra responsibilities that have come our way, are a few of the adjustments that have been made since our year of mission began. With all of these adjustments, our community has remained steady, if not grown stronger, through them. We have learned to rely on each other through the struggles this year will bring us. We are so grateful for our community and all the different things we have been able to learn from each other in such a short time of living together.