Otto Grevink is pionierbegeleider van een kleine tien plekken. Geregeld is hij in gesprek met pioniers. Ook nu tijdens de corona crisis. Hieronder een impressie van een gesprek met Petra Körmendy, pionier in Maastricht. Een interview over de impact van de maatregelen en voorzichtig vooruitkijken naar de komende zomer.
Hoe gaat het met jullie team?
We are grateful, proud and extremely tired. The team really worked magic since March 12th, when we went into lockdown and now with opening back up again and planning the next academic year, we can’t wait to have summer break.
Hoe wordt de omgeving waarin jullie pionieren getroffen door het coronavirus?
We had so many students stuck in Maastricht. They couldn’t go back home. Many-many Italian and Spanish students lost a relative not being to be there. Also the lockdown worked as a magnifying glass for all their problems, anxieties and fears. The challenge of motivating themselves was also hard on many, while the University went completely online.
We experienced a huge increase in the number of counselings and also the leadership of the University reached out to us multiple times, when they wanted to know more about how the students and the staff members are.
Wat gaat er nu anders? Wat kan er? Wat kan er niet?
Slowly slowly things get a bit better.
On the 12th of March we went online, for the first 2 weeks we could only have 12 out our 15 weekly events, as Refugee Project had to completely reorganise themselves, but by Mid-April we managed to go up to 18 events a week and a growing community.
We kept everything super simple, but spent money on cyber security mostly and not equipment. We offer a safe space, in these weird times that mostly meant cyber security.
So now the meditations are on-, and offline, Taize prayers are in person in our garden, counselling are in person and in the next two weeks our regular events will slowly stop.
Since 3-4 weeks we can have counsellings in person again, which is amazing. It was so hard on the screen!
Wat voor invloed heeft de coronacrisis op jullie plannen?
Well, not much, i think. Only that we could start planning later, as we didn’t knew how the University will open, plus we were running crazy busy. But in general we will open as much as we can in real life and do some activities online. The University will start with both on-, and offline, our focus will be on real life events.
Hoe anders is de zomer in jullie omgeving en voor jullie zelf, en wat kunnen jullie met de ruimte die er ontstaat daarin betekenen als pioniers (voor thuisblijvers, rustzoekers, mensen die minder te doen hebben)?
I think for us the whole time was the opposite of tranquillity, so we will spend July and the first two weeks of August resting and not having events – but this is something we always do like this.
Wat zijn momenten die energie geven?
It is so great to pray together in person again and that we can go to The InnBetween and have the team meetings! Just so good to be together. And also I think that during the lock-down the camaraderie in the team, the success of our events and the ever growing community was really energising.
Wat zijn momenten die energie kosten?
Now that we are opening again, every single official thing, planning, paperwork and report needs to be done and we already had a very demanding semester.
Workwise I think being 12 hours in front of a screen was hard, for those with families the chaos was hard, for those with no families the solitude.
Hoe kijken jullie tegen de nabije toekomst aan?
Well, we go on holiday and recuperate, but we plan to come back with a renewed community in August.
Wat geeft je hoop?
I don’t thing we lost hope, so we didn’t had to find it again
Is er specifiek voor jullie pioniersplek iets waar we voor kunnen bidden?
Yes. Please pray for the renewal of the energy after a demanding semester. We are quite at the end of our strength now.