It started off as a slow start to the year. Having lots to prepare ready for the next few months meant I was focused on other things and therefore I didn’t realise we were progressing quickly.
The Chinese New Year brought an end to the month and a new threat in the form of Coronavirus which crippled China in the blink of an eye made me focus more clearly. Things like this is more apparent when, as a Westerner in Asia, you are closer to what is happening and therefore you see how quickly things develop.
Every Volunteer brings something different
During this month I have found myself comparing life to what it was like the year before. I guess it is why you should never stay too long in the same place. Last year was an awesome experience made more so by the volunteers that arrived.
And whilst this year’s volunteers are just as important and dedicated to helping on the farm my mind brings up memories.
I guess that first shared experience with the likes of Paul and Natalia back in December and early January. As well as the unforgettable Olie and Caroline who we shared our first Cambodian Wedding together are always going to bring back good memories.
Then came the turn of our first French volunteer and arguably one of the best ever in Lucie( certainly in the top 5 volunteers ever)
She really epitomised the role of volunteering and workaway cultural immersion like no other.
Along with the comical Teddy from New Mexico.
Who left an action-packed two weeks etched in my memory of the fun we had. We shared many nights playing cards and discussing the world in general. Not to mention the many beers and rice wine parties we had with the family and workers.
A 20 something French girl, a 30 plus guy from New Mexico and Brit in his 40s living on a farm in the middle of South East Asia is a definite recipe for a sketch show in my opinion.
A younger group followed then in the form of Chloe from France. David from Switzerland who I have kept in touch with since he left and although he is back in his country studying hard, I am sure we will meet again on our travels.
This year’s journey will be a different chapter in my life and that of the farm. A lot as changed this year and when I do leave the farm, it will be hard to let go but I am sure that I will always leave a part of me here.