A family. That is what we are at TCFT; individuals of different ages, backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities, who together are one big family.
The girls that I was staying with became my sisters, which was nice because I was really missing my sister back home. I was able to turn to them when I was deflated or down, laugh and share jokes with them, and of course, split the time spent in the bathroom. Sharing a room with Ellie and Naomi, our beds side by side like a dormitory, was fun, especially when we had our late night chats like sisters do.
Speaking of sisters, it was sweet when Rory and Filip decided that they wanted to interact with my sister when I was voice-noting her on WhatsApp. My sister means more to me than anyone else in this world and having them bring her into the fold, in a sense, meant a whole lot to me. I think it was on that night that I truly felt that I was part of the group; that I actually fitted in.
When I became anaemic and felt completely drained of energy, I felt cocooned by my TCFT family, as they showed genuine care for my well being. Alex coming over to check if I was okay made me feel that I wasn’t suffering alone and having Ljubiša sweetly ask, “Are you feeling fine” put the biggest smile I could manage on my face. And I cannot say enough about the love and concern shown by Tina, Nevena, Milena and Robert, who made sure that I was properly taken care of, getting Bato to prepare me a huge plate of spinach and broccoli to boost my iron levels.
All of us supported each other, rooting for those who did something special and boosting those who may have been struggling. We laughed like a family and cried like a family, particularly when Zoe showed the beautiful short film that was a tribute to her late father.
Although it took longer for some of us to settle in than others, by the end we were all comfortable and that was because of the family atmosphere we had created. I personally don’t remember the last time I ever felt so comfortable in such a short space of time, with a new set of people, which says something about those who are a part of TCFT. I made genuine connections and by the end, felt like I could truly be myself, which does not happen very often for me.
We may not all be related by blood, but we are all bound together by TCFT and that is something that no one can ever take away from us. We’ll forever be a family.