January 7th, the first full day at ARI. It was a day full of many presentations. We were introduced to the mission statement that was developed by staffs in order to build a peaceful community of which each person can live to their fullest potential while being at ARI.

Here are the mission statements:

Food life: Value of rural life, to live with harmony and nature, food sovereignty, dignity of labor
Servant leadership: spiritual growth, personal growth, awareness (mindfulness)
That we may live together: life of sharing and diversity
Community of living: equality, learning by doing, independent learning, community building

During the presentation that Yukiko gave, I was most excited about experiencing all of these mission statements and being a part of the community. Throughout this whole month, I learned about a very different aspect of what community is. Working in a community space at a farm is very different compared to a job that is community base work.

Food life: At ARI, we had the chance to experience every part of food life such as: livestock, crops and veggies, and kitchen. In each of these tasks, there is an important lesson that I gained from my experience. I learned that growing your own crops has much more value than buying your own. Tomatsu-San, the farmer at Kinoshi Juku said, “watching the process of your own growth on the farm and the success of the farm growth is very satisfying.” Tomatsu-San delivers the food he grows to many households. He said, “In return, the happiness we hear back from people is the greatest thing to receive.” All of the things he said are the most important lesson that I learned at ARI. Food life at ARI has given me the most satisfying feeling I’ve ever felt. All of the hard work that I had put into food life goes right back onto my plate, which is why I value the foundation of producing goods while watching it grow and being able to share that with your loved ones.

Servant Leadership: serve and lead
-I learned from Yukiko’s presentation that the opposite of a dominant type of leadership is a servant leadership.
-Servant leadership is an important part of the community here at ARI, a leader is someone who is willing to put forth all of the amount of energy he/she has to support everyone. No matter the amount of work each person has contributed, everyone shares equally those product with others (Yukiko’s presentation). This is something I learned while being at ARI. We all worked on farm life and received the equal amount of food.

Community of Living: Everyday at ARI there was something new that I learned. A moment that I will never forget was rebuilding a new carrot holder with Micah. I’ve never used a nail drill my whole life and had the opportunity to learn at ARI. No matter how many times I’ve slipped and missed the nail and almost drilling Micah’s hand, he trusted that I could do it. His trust motivated me to keep learning and never give up. The lesson that I learned is that trust builds a strong community. Overall, my reaction to the mission statement at ARI is that, it’s the best written statement and I guarantee that anyone who comes to ARI will experience a great time . ARI has the answers to what makes a great community.