Meet the Team – Louna Kornobis FHT Long Term Volunteer

Share a little background about yourself.  I am nineteen years old and grew up in a small town in the Swiss mountains near Lake Geneva.  My family has travelled to many places with a nature connection and after leaving school I decided I would travel by myself to discover more about the world and see if I could write a book about my experiences.  High school was quite tough for me, and I felt that I needed to go away and spend some time on my own to discover more about myself.  Being in nature has always been a way for me to deal with my own sensitivity and deep feelings.  It helps me find myself away from the human beings that I know in Switzerland and feeds my fascination with trees, animals and how the natural world works.   

You are taking on the position of long-term volunteer for the FHT.  What is that like and what does it involve?  I had not intended to come to Findhorn but having done so I am glad I did.  I don’t know what my specific goals with the FHT are, but I want to learn and it is good to be surrounded with people who have practical knowledge particularly Kajedo, George and yourself. I get taught useful things to know that I cannot learn in books.  That’s great for me as I want to learn about the real world.  I like to do different things and here the work is varied from day to day, so it is an opportunity for me to learn many new things.  I hope that once I finish my time here at the end of March 2024, I will have learned a different way of working where I am more mindful and present in what I do. When I work here I am learning to connect what I do with how I am as a person so it is not just the activity that is important.  I also am learning to simply do nothing as I only work for the FHT half the weekdays which is good as in Switzerland I am always doing things and do not have this time to really get to know myself.  Some of the FHT activities I have been involved with have included staking and tubing small trees, cutting gorse, using the brush cutter, weeding and doing things in the Woodland Garden and helping George and Jonathan construct things.  With the latter activity it is sometimes hard as I think I am not useful enough but I appreciate learning by observing what they do which includes measuring, cutting and joining things.  They make it seem so easy and it is very interesting. 

You have the privilege of being our first volunteer to stay in our Shepherd’s Hut. How are you finding that experience?  It is a dream, and it is incredible!  I have everything I need. I am used to living in a tent whilst travelling.  Simple tasks like doing laundry or taking a shower become really important and I do not take them for granted any more.  I find simple things like being clean are really precious.  I live in a small space and it does not take me long to clean it.  Being surrounded by squirrels and trees means that when I have nothing to do, I can look out the window and see life going on.  I feel really blessed by that as I feel I belong in the woods and that my work and life are meaningful.  During the night it can be cold and getting out of warm blankets can be difficult in the morning.  I use candles instead of electricity for lighting which is more complicated and more fun but I like it.  I am learning to live with the wood stove which is working really well.  It needs me to be constantly aware of it so it does not get too hot or goes out and gets too cold!

You are helping the FHT with its work which is connected to the larger community here.  How is that experience?  It gives me hope – people of my age are being brought up with the idea that the world is being destroyed, that it is dying and nothing is going to work for us in the future.  So when I arrived here it was just a message of hope to see people willing to do things in a different way and being willing to listen to one another to discover other people’s universes.  I thought before that people were only in their own little worlds and maybe they were often afraid of meeting other people.  Here that is different as people seem to be open to learning from one another.  Young people are willing to learn from old people and old people learn from young people.  I think that this is really precious and rare, which is one of the things that attracts me to this place and gives me hope for my future and the future of this Earth.

Are there any final comments you would like to make?  I would like to say thank you for making this place and being open to other cultures, religions, and people.  I am involved in writing a book and I aspire to be able to send hope to other people through this.  I feel blessed and want to send love to others, to realise that maybe everything is not going to die and that there is a solution as to how we might  live together and not just ignoring one another and the incredible natural world that surrounds us.

Interviewed by Jonathan Caddy

28th October 2023


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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB