Endika had never been WWOOFing before, he originally came from Spain to learn about permaculture and self-sufficiency but when he arrived in Australia the pandemic had just started and all the plans he had made came to a halt. After hearing about WWOOFing Endika joined online and embarked on a journey he will remember for life. I touched base with Endika and here is what he had to say about his experience.
I have learnt so much to date from hosts in Australia, here are some just to name a few:
- Cob building
- Milking a goat
- Taking care of animals (chooks, sheep, and cattle)
- How a compost toilet works
- The importance of water in different parts of Australia
- English, I have been able to develop my English by working with others.
WWOOFing has highlighted the things I used to take for granted, like everything we have in the city, most of all turning on a tap and having drinking water. Being out in the country away from the crowds and the pollution was amazing, working with animals and being part of strong communities was also a great experience. I did have the opportunity to meet another WWOOFer at one property her name was Leia and she was from France. We were WWOOFing at a property that was off grid, it was so nice to have another WWOOFer around to share experiences with and she passed on tips from what she had already learnt to date. I have really good memories of those cold nights after diner where we watched movies or spoke about our countries while drinking wine or a hot tea.
The first host I spent time with was Kim and Terry O’ Donnell’s in North Western Victoria, they have a mixed enterprise including a herb nursery, market garden, a berry and mixed fruit orchard as well as a coffee shop which they use their products to cook with and sell. They were so welcoming and I learnt so much about permaculture, each break we would have a coffee and speak about the different aspects and their points of view about permaculture.
Then I went to visit Linda and Phil Ryan who live on a 41 ha (103 acre) farm overlooking the glorious, green rolling hills of South Gippsland in Victoria, they live only 2 hours from Melbourne. The farm has steers, lambs, honey and native bees, wombats, kangaroos and hares. They walk with their relaxed cattle (without dogs) to move onto new pastures. It’s also a birds paradise, this amazing cattle farm is near Wilsons Prom and the views from there are awesome. Each night we would taste some different wines and talk about our cultures, experiences travelling, politics, and farming, most enjoyable way to end the evening. They have been an English language home host for many years and hosted many adult international students and visitors have stayed with them.
I asked Endika if he had any funny/scary/surprising stories to tell us of his travels so far?
“I guess when you are WWOOFing around Australia many of these stories are about spiders, snakes or any other marvelous wildlife this country has, but I think my best experience to date was when I had to help with the birth of a lamb, amazing”
WWOOFing has taught me so many things, I have met so many interesting people and lived so many good moments I could even write a book. I cant wait to WWOOF when I’m back in Spain,
So if you want to spend time WWOOFing with our hosts mentioned reach out to them through the messaging system.
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