The plains stretched out in front of us as far as our eyes could see. The clouds above it painting an equally spectacular landscape in the sky.
We started working in the most beautiful classroom in the world. Only a few cows, goats and colorful children making a sound in the quiet valley. Their curious eyes prickling the back of our necks.
We learned more in one day than we could have ever imagined. We learned until our heads were filled to the brim and our hearts were overflowing. We learned we all have a story. A story worth telling.
We learned we've all been surrounded with words cutting us like knives and hands punching our souls.
We learned we all look different on the outside but we all know the empty space we feel sometimes, eating away in our chest.
We all know what it is like for our bones to ache from all that hurts us. For our throats to be tied up in a knot.
If we would be turned inside out, we would all look the same.
Our eyes have seen so much, and when we look in the mirror, a jackal is staring back at us. His eyes dark. His teeth sharp. He knows where to hit us where it hurts the most.
But in the mountains, we washed out our eyes and looked at the world again as it was the very first time.
We put our hearts open on the table and by sharing, we discovered that carrying a heavy load together can make us feel light as a feather again.
Share joy, it will be doubled. Share sorrow, and only half will remain.
We walked. We talked. And we could breathe again.
At night, the stars were no longer looking down on us but they traveled alongside of us, guiding us on our path to connection. When we listened closely we could hear them singing the song of the universe. When we tune in we can sense that love is everywhere. It is in the signature of all things. It resonates within us in a peaceful hum. It is answered by the joyful flutter of our hearts.
In our little tents we dreamed a deep, dreamless sleep. Our restless souls had stopped stirring and curled up, wrapped in a warm blanket.
In the morning we had to seek shelter from the rain and there, close together, we let our hearts speak to each other. Never, in the history of the world, was there so much love to be found within one van.
We came out, radiating like a thousand splendid suns, lighting up the valley.
We came out all grown a little taller, our necks slowly extending inch by inch to the skies. No one, in the history of Musas, had ever seen such a herd of giraffes before.
Above our heads, birds of a feather flocked together. They set course to the horizon and we watched them until they disappeared amid all the hues of blue. We let go and let them fly away, taking with them our sorrows and our pain.
We left, silence returned, and no one would ever know the magic that had happened there, in that space between the mountains. No one, except the blades of grass, the leaves of the trees and the petals of a rare flower.
They knew. And they would always remember.
Storyteller: Hannelore Akkermans