We have a few wwoofers each year. The experience is usually positive, it shakes us up and makes us focus on the land. Knowledge and experiences are exchanged, work is done, and lasting friendships are sometimes made.
This year we had a request from a Korean family of four. Mother, father and two girls of 24 and 18.
Way back in the dark days of winter it seemed like a great idea, and as it turned out it was. But it took a while for us all to understand each other. Food was an issue at first. The youngest girl made it clear that our food was not acceptable to her, which sent me into panic mode, because we cook well here, and having wwoofers is usually a time when I make that little bit of extra effort for the sake of hospitality and entertainment.
The only thing to do was to ask her to cook, She didn't really like working on the land and it freed me up to do more. And the food was delicious.
In the end our food was combined. Adjustments were made when she could not find equivalent Korean ingredients, and I began to discover that there were things they liked of ours - with experimentation. Our new 'fusion food' became a source of connection and fun, and we all relaxed. Song, the mother commented " Every meal a happy time", and it was . Good food, conversation and laughter.
There was a lot of work done. Not a weed left in the garden, leeks planted, fence lines cleared. And that was the first day! Later, Judae the father, took an interest in a section of wall I had plans for. Various different people had had a go at parts of it, but it needed a final push to bring it together. Judae took it on, and for the last few days he magic-ed an unruly heap of stones into perfect harmony. He made that part of the garden beautiful in a style that if you didn't know that a Korean person had done it, you would guess that they had. I will always think of their family when I look at it.
When we took them to the bus I felt tearful at leaving them. One day we will go to Korea and wwoof for them.