Gordonvale Travel Blog› entry 37 of 39 › view all entries
So, after Airlie Beach we headed to our last helpx in Australia.
We had emailed a lady that said she was 20 mins South of Cairns. The place didnt sound all that exciting, she was in normal house and just needed a bit of house work etc doing but we though it would be a good way to save a bit of money and as it was close to Cairns we could pop into town when our work was done. BIG MISTAKE!!!
Things started off ok, she picked us up from the bus stop and was chatty enough in the car. We got to her place and put our stuff away. She explained she was an art teacher at a high school and it was the last week of term so she was quite stressed at the moment. We also found out that she was trying to organise a flight to the States for the week after as she had some sort of family problem (we didnt ask and she didnt volunteer any info) she needed to sort out. It was quite late after dinner so we retired to our room (which was boiling!) The next morning we got up at the same time as Seva (yep, thats her name) so that we could find out what she wanted doing that day. It was nothing difficult, some sanding and putty filling of wood, then painting it once it had dried. Some general house work etc. Seva had said that she saw it more as an 'energy exchange' and that we should use our own judgement as to what to do and when to work which was fair enough. The only problem with the 'energy exchange' was she never put any energy in. Each night she would come home stressed, sit in virtual silence throughout dinner and ignore us while writing reports. The only time she did speak to us was to critisize the work we had done that day. No matter how hard we had worked, she ALWAYS managed to find some fault with it.
It got to the point where we were completely demoralised and after dinner retired to our hot & stuffy room because we felt like an imposition to her the entire time. The helpx was nothing like our previous two, Seva acted like we had barged into her house and demanded to stay, she admitted that our stay was 'the worst she'd ever treated helpx'ers'. She also lied on her listing, her house was acually over an hour away from Cairns, not the '20 mins' she had said which meant we couldnt get into Cairns and do the things we wanted to so had to book accomodation in Cairns itself. In the end we decided to leave a day early, we wanted to leave and it would give her room to sort out her flight etc without us being there. We explained all this to her in the morning, she said ok. She had offered to give us a lift to a nice town as she was going there anyway. We had said yes but after deciding to leave early we said that we wouldnt go, that we had to pack and would do a few hours work before we left. She agreed and went to get ready. Barely 20 mins later she asked if we were ready to go, I again explained that we had decided not to go with her as we needed to pack etc. She looked like it was the first time I had said this to her and her face clearly read 'suit yourselves' and left. We were glad to leave, we got a bus into Cairns and went to the hostel we had booked at and asked to stay an extra night. A few days later we checked our email and discovered a lovely little poison email from Seva. She said she didnt understand why we left early, why we refused her offer of taking us into town and that she was disappointed that there was no 'energy exchange' from us. She then kindly acused us of cutting down a small tree in her garden and saying we were liars! This from a woman who has the bones, yes BONES!! of her dead son in a box on her book shelf!