Meet the Maislin’s, (Gami, Seth, Siena & Oren) who are an adventerous family that decided to WWOOF in Australia, so we asked them to share their WWOOFing experience with us and asked the following questions.
What country are you from?
What do you do in your country?
Gami (Mum) is an engineer and Seth (Dad) is a consultant on information management and data science. Our daughter Siena is a rising 9th grader and our son Oren is a rising 8th grader. They are both strong students and interested in reading, math and science. Oren plays soccer and Ultimate frisbee, Siena plays cello and also Ultimate frisbee. They both love playing Magic the Gathering (card game), reading (especially sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian) and hanging out with friends.
Why have you decided to go WWOOFing in Australia?
Our family loves travel, adventures, and also doing service – so WWOOFing was truly a perfect way for us to explore Australia. WWOOFing allowed us to do more and see more than we would have otherwise, with the money we saved by doing the work-share, and to enjoy a farm experience that is so very different than our day to day lives. We also thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in another culture both with our hands and with our hearts and spirits. We loved having interesting conversations with Australian families (who still feel like family), and as we went along we recorded all the differences and similarities we discovered between their lives and ours, something we wouldn’t have gotten if we were just tourists.
What have you all learnt as a family whilst WWOOFING?
WWOOFing is an amazing way to learn about other customs, learning to be adaptable and flexible to new and different environments. For example, in the Galapagos who knew we could learn to sleep comfortably under mosquito netting with big spiders in the cabin and with roosters crowing at 5am? But we did! In the Hervey Bay farm, who knew we could become SO exceedingly frugal and careful with our water consumption, taking 3 minute-max showers and washing a sink full of dishes with just 2 cups of water? But we did! Who knew that asparagus can grow a few inches in a day and that it was even possible to re-use every single organic molecule on the farm so that nothing organic ever left the farm? Now we know! We have integrated many of these lessons and experiences into our daily lives to various extents.
Also – we learned that bringing a puzzle to our hosts is a great gift! It is a fun thing to do together at the end of the day that also promotes conversation and getting to know each other.
Have the kids enjoyed it and what has been their favourite experience to date?
They absolutely enjoyed these experiences!
They say their favorite experiences include:
The satisfaction of doing a hard (1/2) day of work, showering and then spending the rest of the day relaxing with our host family, eating delicious food and doing puzzles or playing games together.
Having the experience of organic living integrated into the day to day – it permeated how we ate, slept, took care of ourselves, not just how we worked. When Heidi brought dinner out every night she would say, for example, “everything here was made from the farm except for these one or two things”
Both in Australia and in the Galapagos, we were taught by our hosts not only the WHAT but also the WHY, it was a continuous learning experience
The conversations with our host families about really everything (including making jokes and telling stories)
Experiencing the wild and different animals that were naturally in the environment living on the farm (kangaroos!! Wallabies!) –our kids liked this experience even more than visiting the tame kangaroos in the zoo.
What states are you going to travel to and where have you been?
In addition to the WWOOF experience on the farm at Hervey Bay, we spent 2.5 days in Brisbane and 2.5 days in Sydney and 1 week in Cairns.
Would you recommend others to WWOOF as a family and why?
We would highly recommend WWOOFing to other families!! It is wonderful for all the reasons stated above. Additionally, it gives kids an appreciation for what can be done with extra money saved by working (and a wonderful method of travel for them when they get older), Last but not least, in all three of our similar experiences there were always lots of laughs, hugs and closeness (together and with our host families).