30/08/2020

Sally Mwangi and Yaran Kim both travelled thousands of miles from Cambodia and Kenya to Inverness, where they were bound for L’Arche Highland. A huge step into the unknown, both discuss how the experience of amazing friendships and community, against the backdrop of the magnificent Scottish Highlands, made their year with L’Arche the best of their lives.

 

Sally Mwangi: “I loved running and walking around the Ness Islands, it’s so refreshing and beautiful”

When I first arrived at L’Arche Highland I had a mix of emotions. I didn’t know what to expect, but being there this past year has been the best time of my life – it’s felt like a prolonged happy vacation! Everybody is accepting, and I was accepted into the community just the way I am; nobody judged me… it was the best place to be. 

The Community members are brilliant, loving, sweet and unique in their own way.  The house is always filled with laughter and jokes - we all became one big happy family who care for each other.  Even when you’re not feeling well, someone will be there for you, whether that be another assistant or someone with a learning disability. 

If I could stay another year, I wouldn’t even think about it.  I would jump on the next plane to Inverness.

If I could stay another year, I wouldn’t even think about it.  I would jump on the next plane to Inverness. I love it so much. The city has so much to offer - it has beautiful scenery, and there is always something for everyone to do. I loved running and walking around the Ness Islands, it’s so refreshing and beautiful. The beauty of the surrounding Highlands, the fresh air, seagulls singing, ducks crossing Ness Rivers, and sometimes you can even see hares jumping around. What’s more, the highlanders are really friendly and welcoming. 

I was able to grow as person both spiritually, emotionally and professionally. I achieved many new skills, and had access to some amazing training. I learnt a lot and for that I will always be grateful, and I hope I will be able to visit someday in the near future. I have never lived in community before, and I loved every moment. It was the best time of my life being at L’Arche Highland; the experience was just Magical and one of kind. 

 

 Sally Mwangi and Yaran Kim with community members

Yaran Kim: “We come from different parts of the world, but we have the same spiritual feeling and heart.”

 My name is Yaran Kim, and I’m from Cambodia. I used to work as an associate nurse in a small-town back home, and I had never travelled outside of Cambodia before until my sister recommended that I apply to L'Arche. I began to step out of my comfort zone and travelled to the UK. When I came to L'Arche Inverness, I learned a lot and had many new experiences that I never had before! 

I share my experience of life with everyone and I enjoy listening to everyone else’s stories as well.

It was such a great opportunity to work for one year at L’Arche Highland.  After one year of working as a live-in assistant, I think I improved myself a lot. I live at Mactalla House with 5 people with learning disabilities and 3 other live-in assistants. We come from different parts of the world, but we have the same spiritual feeling and heart. We laugh, smile, and talk all together throughout our special supper time and tea time.  I share my experience of life with everyone and I enjoy listening to everyone else’s stories as well.

I’ve been involved with many community events such as Christmas’s Day for friends, Easter, birthday parties and anniversaries. We had a lovely time on a boat trip, exploring the wonderful landscape of the Highlands. I am a very shy person, and never have any complaints, however, I have such supportive best friends who are live-in assistants in the same house as me, like Doreen, Sally, and Visitation.  They are really kind to me, especially Doreen; she always supports me with both spiritual advice and taking care of me like a sister. 

 

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