One day a man in his forties knocked the door and asked for help: no house, no job, no money. He knew we had a gypsy wagon in the garden and asked if he could stay there. I had my doubts….I knew he had never had a regular job and was a regular user of marijuana. He had once explained one of our sons how to grow it indoors (in his wardrobe).
Here was a man in need, and we had housed so many students, patients and foster children in the past. We discussed it in the family and decided to help him as he seems to have a kind character. We had lunch together and then discussed the conditions: find a regular job within 3 days, join us for one meal a day, drugs are not allowed and pay us 300 euros a month for all costs. As with all in house students we shared some jobs and he started to learn to cook.
He did find a job, and though it took 3 years to get a job on a daily basis, he was very happy. His condition changed within weeks, also due to the fact that he had always been a sober eater and had no trouble in changing from junk food to macrobiotics. He enjoyed the warmth and support of living together.
After 2 years he had a very hard time to find work, so we agreed that instead of paying me 300 euros a month he would be an assistant cook in our weekend courses. By this time he had learnt enough to be able to cook for a group. He was able to follow a government course that eventually brought him to a ‘permanent’ job in our village. He has been working there now for 4 years, got a girlfriend and has moved to an apartment in the village.
He still wants to come and cook for the weekends…as we are his family.