The Other Side of Wwoofing

As I did when leaving most places I made a pledge to lighten the load… “After I finish my farmwork” I said to myself… No point throwing away good clothes at the moment… I arrived onto my new farm, containing an orchard and vineyard. Something new already, I found myself an avocado tree! Awaiting dinner I was asked if I would like a glass of wine… I could get used to this…!

I am staying in a bunk house all to myself. It is most nice to have space to myself. My first wwoofing experience was a curtain-less double room in my host’s house, the second a bed in literally a 5 bed tin room built outside the house, the third a luxurious double bed with en suite bathroom in my host's house. Here, I have to go outside in the cold to get to the bathroom but I actually kind of like this the most. It is a good sized room with a most comfy bed. With an electric blanket on it! It is being used as we speak! It is just a little bit cold here at night. Surrounded by wood, I feel very safe here. Though the shapes in the wood, shaped like cockroaches, especially with low light, do scare me a little! I take a closer look then I realise they are not real :-).

This week my farm host took me out for dinner. With six of their friends. They are the first host to do so. They paid for my $23 meal. I was introduced to their friends. All of a similar age of perhaps 55-65, they are friends because they live in the same town. With the usual polite questions (how long have you been here and where have you been) I then sat back and listened with a glass of wine from one of their own vineyards in my hand. One of these men uncannily reminded me of Jim Broadbent, for one of the women it was their birthday. They talked about fishing, and day tripping and holidaying. They talked about politics and local elections and good places to eat. They talked about places not to eat…! This is the first host to show me something about their life as well as the stories of their land. I loved being a fly on the wall for this small town meet up :-).

Whilst here, with limited service, I have taken to switching my phone off for most of the day. Conscious that I spent too much time on my phone at my last host, I have sat and chatted with my host family a lot. We have talked about wwoofing, about the area, about their family and their friends, about Scotland and Europe, about Billy Connolly and about art. We sat and watched Dancing with the Stars. This is the longest I have sat in front of a television in four and a half months. I only knew who Tina Arena was. I hate Strictly Come Dancing. I know, don't judge me but I actually can't stand Bruce Forsyth or Tess Daly. There were many adverts. I usually hate adverts. I don't have the patience for them. I usually fast forward them. We sat and watched all of these. We laughed at the stupidity of many of them. I was yawning and tired but by that point I had invested. I wanted to see the other twin; I wanted to know Cosentino’s story. We watched the entire show. It felt like a Saturday night at home with my mum and dad. I was relaxed and happy :-). My phone being off helped me to do this. I can't quite believe I've only been here a couple of days. The ease with which my host family have welcomed me in and that I seem to have fitted in, maybe it's just practice and experience on their part or just their nature, it is nice to appreciate this other side to wwoofing and feel part of a family :-).

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