September 23rd, 2008 – by: Rubbertoe
Yet another lovely Australian sunset
I know I shouldnâ€™t say it but I was so glad to drop Carola off at her wwoofing farm, and Iâ€™m sure she was equally happy to see the big back end of Bella drive off. My farm was only 10 km further down the road, and I started to feel excited and nervous at the anticipation of meeting my new hosts for the week. I love those first few minutes, when you drive through the front gates and you see everything, the house, a workshop, a veggie garden or an orchid and maybe a big dog running up towards you wagging his tail. Eventually someone comes to greet you, a young couple or an old and wise pair... I always make an effort to give a firm hand shake, keep eye contact and smile, as you do in an interview. After all, you donâ€™t get a second chance to make a first impression, but how much does it count? I have been wrong on many occasions, sometimes I think it would be a lot simpler to sniff each otherâ€™s butts like dogs do! Hum, you smell nice todayâ€¦ I like you :-)
My hosts for this week were a very wise pair, Saul and Tamar, and their very clever teenage son, Leron.
Saul was a scientist; he knew everything about solar technology and provided support to new companies around the world starting up in this business. Tamar was a retired architect, who spent many years building homes in Israel. Leron, only just turned 18 but was in his second year at University, following his dadâ€™s foot steps in scientific subject. I couldnâ€™t compete with these guys; every conversation at the dinner table was rich with facts and information about everything, how can people retain so much knowledge? Mind you, Saulâ€™s head was about the size of a basket ball! What I didnâ€™t like though, was the fact that Leron seemed to enjoy correcting his parents and always wanted to be right, to the point of arguing with them like smart people doâ€¦ you know, using sentences like â€˜well actually you will find thatâ€¦â€™ or â€˜technically that is incorrectâ€™ or even â€˜may I rectify your comment?â€™ Sure you canâ€¦ shove it up your rectum! Sorry, I just couldnâ€™t resist the joke, I canâ€™t take these things seriously when I think that at his age I was running around on my skateboard chasing girls!
Saul and Tamar
Unsurprisingly, my contribution to the knowledge of this family was minute, but I did make my self useful.
I cut grass! Oh I cut a lot of grass, I mean probably the equivalent of a football pitch, with just an industrial hand held petrol strimmer I named Attila. It was bloody hard work, covered head to toes in my overhauls I felt like a warrior, and the grass was my enemy. I cut grass 5 hours straight for 3 days under the baking sun. It was hot, and I wasnâ€™t drinking much because it would take me 20 minutes to get my kit off for a piss, so inevitably I dehydrated. Everyday, after the first few hours of sanity, the heat would get to me and I swear I started to hallucinate as my mind entered a remote dimension where Attila and I were fighting an epic battle to exterminate all the grass on this planet! I would swing my weapon with pleasure and watch the grass drop to the ground; we killed everything in our path. Accidentally, along my death trail, I managed to slice the water pipe feeding the orchidâ€¦ whoopsy daisyâ€¦ not once, but three times :-) I fixed it with good old Duck tape, as my welsh friend would say: if it canâ€™t be Ducked, it must be Fâ€¦
me and Attila in battlefield!
I was glad to hear that on the forth day, I was relieved from my duties to cut the grass and was reassigned to splitting wood, again under the baking heat! I traded Attila for Igor, a 2 kilogramme steel splitter, and chopped my way through a mountain of red gum.
The worse thing about splitting wood is that you never know if the stump will spring back and hit you right in the chops, or your shins. It hurts like hell I tell you! My last job at Quambi was to drag a load of dead branches from one spot 200m to a bomb fire, but that was made easy when I convinced Saul to tie the wood to the tractor.
Igor the great wood splitter
WWoofing is a risky business. Some places are great and others areâ€¦ well, not so great. At Quambi I felt that I wasnâ€™t learning much and they took me on purely as muscle power. On the other hand, Tamarâ€™s cooking was great, all meals were delicious and we always had fresh salad from their garden or home made goat cheese. Maybe if I stayed a little longer I would have become more like one of the family and not just a labourer.
I will never know.
I split that in half :-)
Time to hit the road again. As I drove towards Adelaide I though to my self that this was going to be the last long trip for my old Bella, how sad.