As you've seen in the previous post, it's important to be alert to the conditions that are imposed for you to volunteer. The idea and experience of workawaying is to learn, to share and to help, which is a very interesting way of traveling on a budget. My first experience wasn't good, but that didn't stop me from trying again. Lucky me, because it will be very hard to top my second workaway.
|the sunset from their property|
This time we were going to the countryside of France, around 4 hours away from Paris, to volunteer for an English couple. They posted a picture of them in their profile and they mentioned they would provide meals. We were having a hard time to know how we would get to their house. Once we found out the best way, we kindly asked them if they could pick us up. We exchanged some e-mails and we felt that maybe this time it would be different since the tone of the messages was already friendly.
Remember I told you about first impressions? After a long bus ride, there they were waiting for us with a big smile on their faces! The conversation in the car? Though we were getting to know each other, we were already bonding and telling jokes and talking about dinner. What a great sense of relief!
Volunteering France - when things go well
The property was so cute. When I grow up I want to have a house like theirs! Our accomodation was really special: a caravan in their backyard. My husband would help Rod and I would help Margaret. They are full of energy and friendly, he has a great sense of humor and she is a real MasterChef. I would never guess in my entire life that I would learn how to cook Chinese food with a Scotish woman in the countryside of France! And that I would drink white tea (it means tea with milk) prepared by a true British gentleman!
|the view from the kitchen window|
We spent two amazing weeks with them, really feeling as if we were part of the family. We'll never forget them and they will live forever in our hearts. For sure, next time we are in France, we'll visit them. Rod doesn't like this word, but it will be AWESOME! Of course, I won't forget to bring some Porto wine for Margaret.
In the end, this was what we expected from the beginning. Visiting a new place, meeting new people, sharing our experiences, and feeling grateful that we were able to volunteer not for the "job" itself but to grow as people.
So in case you're browsing the website workaway.info, what I recommend is for you to focus more on the host rather than in what they need you to do. The hosts make all the difference, and you are also there to experience the day by day with people who have a different background from you, different culture and beliefs.
Are you ready to volunteer? Go ahead, don't wait too long. We shared, we learned, we "workawayed", we made friends for life!