Simple living at Taizé

Woke up to a tremendous downpour and half expected my entire tent to cave in. Breakfast today was French bread, chocolate pieces and tea, coffee and hot chocolate, all serviced in a big tent. The food seems quite basic, and tea is powdered! I’ll have to remember to bring tea bags next time.

We had a talk this morning by Brother Emile, one of the French brothers living here at Taizé, on a passage in the book of John. He had a lovely, gently way of talking, and was really insightful. There are so many European nationalities here – Croats, Russians, Poles, Germans etc. Each group had a translator so this helped things.

We were asked to break down into discussion groups by nationality, which we would remain in for the rest of the week. Initially I went in the direction of the English group, but then switched and went for the ‘under 40′ English speaking group, a slightly younger more international looking crowd.

I met a couple of Franciscan Sisters from Italy, a theology student from Naples also training to be a Priest, a Swedish Protestant Priest (a woman in her early 30s), a couple of German girls who had come by themselves, and two Italians from southern Italy who had come with their church.

Our group drew the short straw with the chores – we have to do the washing up for the rest of the week, which this evening took almost an hour! (It’s our first evening, so I expect we’ll get quicker).

It seems that in the ‘30 and over’ section of Taizé, it’s lights out by 11ish, while the rest of the camp – where the young people are staying – appear to be partying till all hours at the café area called Oyak.

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