Probably our final taste of volunteering this year…
Okay so we are volunteering loads but it’s all for good reason, and we enjoy it too. After this one we’ll probably see out the rest of the year though, so why not make the most of it?
Day 176 – Tuesday 15th November 2016
We didn’t have to be out of bed until 09:00 this morning because waking up any earlier would have distracted the five children (aged two, three, five, eight and fourteen) from their morning routine, and that’s the last thing we wanted to do before a day of work!
Before getting started our hosts took us to Wirrimbirra Wildlife Protection Area to check out the Swamp Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Emus, Wombats, Rainbow Lorikeets, Tawney Frogmouths and King Parrots:
Back at Tahmoor House, which was once a hotel but is now nothing more than a very busy family home, it was pretty clear to see why help is needed. As well as the five kids there’s mum and dad, grandma, a pony, a goat, three dogs, a cat, eight chickens, four ducks, Victor (the other volunteer), and now us two! It’s a beautiful place though, there’s no denying that, especially when there’s not a cloud to be seen:
Our task for day one was to help out with clearing the garage. I really wish I’d have taken a ‘before’ photograph just to emphasise how much we actually got done, but this one from ‘after’ will have to do:
I’d say it’s at least 3m across x 15m deep, which is a complete guess to be honest, but anyway it was absolutely packed. Everything had to be sorted into one of three piles – to be kept, to be thrown away, or to be moved to the shed. Obviously we couldn’t make many decisions for ourselves so had to ask a lot of questions, but got there in the end.
It was only at the end of the day that we realised our hosts hadn’t supplied us with old clothes or any kind of uniform to wear, so took a drive to the charity shop and brought our own. We only spent $10 which I guess we could have asked our hosts to reimburse us with, but what’s $10 when we have free food and accommodation for the duration of our stay?
After dinner we retreated to our room to get another early night, this time fully aware that the kids would probably wake us up again come 07:00.
Day 177 – Wednesday 16th November 2016
Today was very similar to yesterday, but instead of a garage we had a whole workshop to clear out instead. Unfazed by the chances of getting filthy in our new second hand clothes we had the job finished in time to fit in a trip to the charity shop to donate loads of old but unwanted bits, then a trip to the local recycling center to get rid of the rest too. We also had to walk the goat (yes, you heard that right) which was quite fun but slightly embarrassing.
Instead of going to bed straight after eating we had a few beers this evening and watched TV with our hosts, which was nice and gave everybody the chance to get to know each other a bit more. There’s a definite sense of ‘I can do everything better than you can’ with this lot, but we’re yet to work out if that’s them or if it’s just an Australian thing. We’re happy though, always learning new skills, adapting to different classes and cultures, and definitely experiencing things that are completely new to us. Maybe we’ll have some more exciting work to do in coming days though!