Published: January 19th 2011January 19th 2011
So the last week has seen a change of scenery for us as we've been residing in the bush! We stayed with our first Wwoof hosts, lived on their 400 acres of land and worked on thier projects with them. Our hosts have three mahussive plant nurseries and sell their plants at the Farmers Market in Newcastle; they are also herbalists who specialise in treating incurable diseases through herbal medicine and have created their own cosmetic range too.
They are both very anti orthodox medicine and believe it is the drugs that pharmaceutical companies make that create illness and disease. To begin we found their views quite hard to digest and their way of talking about those who do take orthodox medicine a little condescending. We questioned the things they said that we couldn't quite comprehend and readily began to appreciate their views. As herbalists they have a 100% success rate; curing incurable diseases. Our eyes were definitely opened to a completely alternative way of living.
Our hosts lead a very healthy lifestyle, no breakfast (apparently fasting for the body is good), fruit/nuts/banana ice cream for lunch and veggies/salad for dinner. They do not buy anything from the supermarket
in a box, bag, jar, tin etc. The first two days Mat and I couldn't resist breakfast so we had poppy seed toast with olive oil and proper salt (as they don't have butter or spreads) and it was incredible! By day three we had weened ourselves off the breakfast, Mat was pretty headstrong but I must admit I sneaked some fruit in a few times (at the time this felt a bit naughty! Sounds silly though saying that now!) All the food we ate was organic and 75% of it raw. I think they were right when they said the longer you leave eating the better the food tastes, on that first day of having no breakfast lunch never tasted so good! We did eat some incredible food, lunch was normally fresh fruit, homemade banana ice cream (which we loved) and a particular nut and seed concoction mixed with honey that Mat and I just couldn't get enough of! Dinner was normally some kind of bean recipe, amazing salads and veggies picked from the garden, their beetroot was incredible. This detox is what we needed and we learnt a great deal.
The work wasn't too strenuous, 7am-12 noon,
we spent some days in the plant nursery prepping plants for market and Mat spent quite a bit of time in the workshop doing man things with a hammer and nails. He did have a really arduous day where he had to "Dust the Dam". This consisted of throwing dust on the outer rim of a dam. The dust was dry clay, which meant that when the water level rose, the dust would expand to create a sealant to stop water from escaping. He returned to the house covered in clay vowing to cut our trip short! He was over it in a few hours. When he returned to the house to find that I had been drinking herbal tea and gossiping with the neighbour he was less than pleased! However, I was asked to do the ironing one day (an activity I haven't engaged in for years and refuse to engage in again) and to me this was the most strenuous task I could have been given! There were a few rainy days which I spent indoors vacuuming, cleaning, sorting, prepping food, making natural creams and colouring in. I could only look smug when mat would return to the
house at midday and I had spent the last hour colouring in My Little Ponies with their two year old! I laugh but at times it was intense, our hosts also have a thirteen year old who has high functioning autism and she took a liking to me. Helping her with her schoolwork was as rewarding as it was challenging, plus listening to the terrible two tantrums plus the thought of ironing. The mind boggles. Saying this, Mat and I really enjoyed entertaining the girls and they too provided us with much entertainment.
My birthday this year couldn't have been further removed from how it was spent last year, but my 21st will make up for all of my birthdays until the next big one! We were up at 3am and on our way to the Farmers Market by half past. It took a few hours to get there and after we had helped set up the nursery display we headed for a nearby local street that has free public wifi. I don't think I've been as excited making calls to my family! After this, we made our way back to the farmers market and had a mooch around.
The evening was spent having a water fight with the girls, eating our favourite foods out in the sunshine and chatting with our hosts. A pretty chilled out birthday this year but I will be sure to make up for it with a bit of a do when I return. Huge thank you to Mum and Auntie Sue & co for my birthday cards, it was so lovely to have them to open on the day. I asked Mat if he wanted to come and check if any cards had arrived with me to which our host responded that the post box was two miles away, so we picked them up on the way to the market. Can you imagine having that much land that your post box is two miles away!! Thank you to those who have sent me cards but didn't make it in time before we moved on, they will be forwarded to me in Perth. Thanks to Sal & co, Grandma & David and Adrian for the texts, and for all my Facebook messages from everyone they where a pleasure to read. Imo Otoro thank you for writing me a birthday card in September and sending
me on my way with it, Big Up Nigeria!!
We are now on our way to Port Macquarie to stay with our second host family and can't wait. It was an absolute pleasure staying with our first hosts, they welcomed us with open arms into their home (which was a large open plan - as in we didn't have a door to our bedroom - recycled tin house!) They were engaging, inspiring and provided lots of meaningful and deep conversation. We were taught and learnt a great deal of new knowledge but also, through engaging with people who lead such a different lifestyle to our own, learnt and realised what is important to us and what we believe in.
Lots of love
Amber and Mat
There are more photos below