The weather was perfect: sunny days in the 60s. The countryside was gorgeous and quiet. Although wifi was available, I left my laptop at home and didn't use any of the other helpers' computers. During the two weeks I read three books, spent every afternoon soaking up the sun, journaled every day, and was able to hear myself think. It was very relaxing to strip down to the basics. A simple, fulfilling stress-free life.
|Where I sat and read many afternoons|
I wasn't sure if there would be other helpxers while I was there or not. Luckily, there were. When I arrived on Thursday night, I sat down at a full dinner table of eight. Five of those were helpxers; I was the sixth. During my two weeks the number of helpxers got as low as three, and when I left it was at five. The other helpxers throughout the two weeks included: A girl from Denmark, a guy from Sweden, a young couple from Wales, a girl from Ireland, and a man from England. Needless to say I was never lonely, and I learned lots of UK English expressions (and occasionally found myself talking in a British accent...)
|Taking a walk on Christmas Day with other helpxers|
Our hosts have two properties side by side, so the helpers were sleeping in one house, and the two hosts slept in the other. On a normal work day (M - F), we get a wake-up knock on the door at 7:30am, followed by "Buenos días, son las siete y media!" Us helpers get up out of bed, brush teeth, then head next door to the hosts' house for breakfast. In the hosts' two-room house there is a kitchen table, the food, and two hot plates for cooking; so all meals are made and eaten in the house where the hosts sleep.
|Where the hosts sleep and everyone eats|
During breakfast, our hosts would tell each person what they'd be working on that day. At 8:00 we begin working, then there are two half-hour breaks at 10:00 and 12:00, during which we'd drink coffee/tea and perhaps eat some toast or digestives. At 2:00 the work day is done and lunch is eaten. Then helpers had the rest of the day to do as they please, with dinner eaten around 8:00pm. Some of the work I did during my two weeks includes: painting, picking olives, kitchen duty (the washing up and cooking lunch & dinner), shoveling rocks to move them by the pool, and insulating a roof.
|Scraping the roof to lay the insulation|
I'll be writing more detailed posts about my time in Válor soon, but for now know that I'm back safe and sound; it was a wonderful way to spend my winter break. I know that this will be the first of many helpx experiences.