When new Volunteers arrive we are reminded of how special this place is and how lucky we are to live here all the time. Kjell, Marco and Graham arrived on Monday evening. They are from the USA, have just finished college and thought they would take a different type of vacation.
It isn't an easy thing to decide to travel half way around the world to a remote area in a country you are not familiar with and only speak a little of the language, to work for people you have never met and not knowing exactly where you will sleep or what you will be eating.
It takes a sense of adventure to turn browsing the internet into negotiating the bus ride from Madrid airport to the train station, purchasing of tickets to a city you can't even pronounce and then four hours of watching the countryside pass by... hoping that the people you emailed will be there to meet you when you arrive. Thank goodness for those with a sense of adventure, or we would never get any Volunteers at all.
They were keen to get started and being young and fit we decided that a quick lesson in the art of scything followed by a grueling try out on the water meadow would be just the thing.
Apart from some issues with hayfever which a dose of antihistamines will sort out tonight for tomorrow's work they seem to have made a very good start. And they also seem to be enjoying it.
Once the work is over they sort out some lunch and then the day is their own until later in the evening when there is a little watering to be done. We all eat together around 8pm so that we can discuss how the day went as well as get to know our 'guests' a little bit better.
We talk about why we are here, our plans for the finca, why they wanted to come here, what they have been studying and their hopes for the future. We talk about food and the growing of food, about lifestyle choices and how to stay healthy. And it's curious, or perhaps not at all curious, that no matter where our Volunteers are from they are all concerned by the same things. Perhaps only those folk who think like us or have similar goals and ambitions will naturally gravitate towards our little finca or perhaps everyone, everywhere is talking about the same things. I don't know the answer to that one but it is nice to be around young people who already recognise what is important about life.
The more you put in... the more you get out of it! Get stuck in people... it doesn't matter what it is... just give it all your enthusiasm and energy and throw yourself into it wholeheartedly and you will have the best of times!