In this post I want to tell you about an experience I had while living in New Zealand that I find very interesting, and I think those who travel the world in search of new experiences may find interesting too. Being in Uruguay, before going on a trip, a friend told me about what Wwoofing is. The word stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. The concept basically is work for accommodation. Which means that when you go to do wwoofing, you go to a farm stay there and do all kinds of work, and in return you get a place to sleep and all the meals. It is not financially remunerated, but indirectly the fact that they give you a room and three meals a day it means that you are saving money.
The number of hours to be worked is agreed in each case, it may vary. The quality of the accommodation you receive may vary as well, you can have a private room with private bathroom, or you can share a room ... everything is relative, but that is discussed and agreed upon before starting to work. The good thing about this concept is that when you travel without rush ... when you like a place and want to stay there longer but the money is tightening, wwoofing can be a very good option. Normally you work 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. And with that you earn the accommodation and all the meals of the whole week. Which leaves you two days off to do what you want, tour the area, go out for a walk or do whatever you want.
When I was in New Zealand, I did wwoofing in more than one occasion. It is a great way to meet local people, learn new things, live with people from the area and at the same time ... save a little money. The interesting thing is that in each place that you go you do different things, therefore you always learn something new. You can work the land, in crops, with animals, construction, gardening ... the variables are infinite. And this is very good ... the fact of learning new things, like working the land and so on. One of the best experiences I had was in Wakefield, near Nelson on the South Island of New Zealand. By chance I met a family that had a field and needed help with some work, so I agreed that they gave me a private room with private bathroom, all meals, beer and homemade cider, and in return I worked for them 4 hours per day.
With them I did a lot of gardening, cut wood for the fireplace, fed the pigs, and even cooked for them a couple of times. The truth was that it was a very nice experience. At the end of the day I would take a hot shower and go to the main house for dinner (because I was staying in a separate house in another part of the farm). Sharing dinners with them was super fun, an older couple (about 70 years old) with a good vibe who always welcomed me with a craft beer made by themselves, and some meat with vegetables. And always laughing we told each other things about our cultures. I Uruguayan, with Spanish background, them New Zealanders with English ancestry. We talked about politics, traditions, economy among other things. I was always struck by how curious they were, always asking questions about my country, my family, my culture.
Many times you decide to do wwoofing more than anything for an economic issue, to be able to stay in a place that you liked but at the same time without spending your savings. But with these people what I took was the affection with which they treated me. Opening the doors of their house, treating me like a son,fully trusting in me ... that was very cute, very human. The truth is that it is an experience that I recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to do so. At least a week to learn something new and meet new people, it is very good and rewarding.
Here are some photos of my three weeks with the Scott family. You will see what kind of work I did and how nice the farm and its surroundings were. Thank you so much for reading and for your support. I hope you like the photos!
Moving 300 sheep around
The pond, my favorite place for a coffee break
It is SO obvious this was in autumn... such beautiful colors!
A classic dinner with the Scotts... Beef and veggies, yum!
Starting the dough to make heaps of breads (buns)
With sesame seeds...
Starting to treat the roses with some homemade organic fertilizer
And... done! 😊
An afternoon chopping wood... loved the view!
It´s never too late to learn how to use a chainsaw 😊
Tree planting at a neighbor´s place