Master Lam was right when he said that I am more suited for mental work rather than manual labour. I couldn’t help but to recall his words while I was washing endless dishes, scrubbing the kitchen cabinets and doing weeding. Those were my main chores during the past week’s WWOOFing. I have unwittingly responded to a WWOOFing advertisement that’s titled “Spring Cleaning” and (indeed!) cleaning was what I did.
Intrigued. Empty can found in the late Blind Man’s house that was bought by my host.
CAUTION! TRAVEL RAMBLES ahead.
My WWOOF experience in Opotiki started off awkwardly on a mundane Wednesday evening. I have no idea what to expect. Well, certainly not the mountain of dishes that awaited my untimely arrival.
The BFF sent me off with a 30 year-old hand and got me back with the hands of a 60-year old. Was it the dishes or the cold?
Being well-pampered, I am ashamed to admit that I often escape cleaning duties at home. While scrubbing the kitchen cabinets and clearing endless jars in the pantry, I vowed to myself that I would definitely help mum out during the next spring cleaning. Cleaning a house is not that easy after all.
Cleaning tip# Mix water and vinegar to get a potent solution for squeaky clean windows!
This was just the beginning… I proceeded to fill up a wheelbarrow (full) of weeds and felt immense satisfaction. Be gone, weeds!
Weeding was fun! … … for like five minutes. After that, all I can say is, “grasses and worms are the bane of my life!” My arm and thigh muscles were still aching after three days. Being a farmer is not that easy after all.
It was a sunny day, great for outdoor farm work, but boy! my freckles were on fire!
Farming tip# Worms are supposedly good for compost, which is a key ingredient in organic farming. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that worms can be drowned with excessive water. 😉
My rustic sleepout overlooking
the pig Daisy Rose’s farmland.
Staying in the countryside can be exciting for the city bumpkin. On my first night, I was greeted with a (approximately!) 6cm gecko with colourful spots. I was the intruder, yet it kindly allowed me to share accommodation and only make its appearances at the “common area”. Others were not as polite. New unwanted exotic guests (i.e. moths, unidentified insects etc.) waited for me in my room nightly. Once, I got into a staring competition with a longhorn beetle. I lose. It was still staring at me after two days. Being an intruder is not that easy after all.
“Locking” gaze with a Longhorn. I’ve heard they are quite harmless but still… I dont want it to stare at me while I sleep less than 4 feet away.
Technology provides easy convenience for fresh dairy produce. Moooo~
Farming tip# Cream from the dairy can easily be made into cheese by boiling it with vinegar. Alternatively, feed it to the chickens and lettuce for great produce.
Did I mention that I am afraid of darkness? My accommodation is a separate building from my host’s house, which provides great privacy. Yet, walking in the dark towards it was not appealing at all. Travelling has forced me to face my fears more frequently than I’d care to. One night, I stopped midway in my tracks and looked up. A million stars winked at me, encouraging me to walk on.
On my last night, i finally plucked up my courage to take some pictures in the dark. I think i’ve caught a falling star. Does that mean my wish will come true?
Farming tip# Macadamia nuts are fun to pick but tough to crack. Perhaps that explains their high costs.
A plant that has sweet, crunchy stem. Learning lots from my 9-year old mentor, Earina (center) with 6-year old Entela.
Featuring the perpetually hungry ducks from the sleepout’s window.
I cannot help but to wonder if small annoyances such as the lack of heater amid freezing temperature, tiny insect companions, sudden cut-off of water supply, fused toilet bulb etc. would freak out the next average person from the city where I come from. Big sis said, “it’s only for a week!” She’s right… but still, I am proud of myself for taking small annoyances in stride and completing this WWOOF assignment.
Farming tip# Of course there’s no WIFI in the countryside. Books, photography and music are the best antidotes to ease withdrawal effects from the Internet.
If you have read thus far, I thank you for your patience and kindness. Despite my gripes and rambles, I have learnt much in a short span of time and the experience is priceless. So… is it a YAY or NAY for my Opotiki WWOOF adventure?
My answer is YAY! WHOOOOPPPPEEEEE! I survived.
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference.
Find out more about small town Opotiki here! Read about WWOOFing here.
What an experience! I’m not sure if I would survive the same. Haha…
What an experience! I’m not sure if I would survive this… the creepy crawlies… yikes!
haha! I exercised much mindpower to communicate with that lornhorn beetle before i sleep. Lucky it didnt cross the line!