Two weeks ago we drove down the long driveway of a property we phoned the week before via http://www.helpx.org. We were excited, nervous and unsure of what was to come. It was our first help exchange farm for the trip. Help exchange is where you stay on someones property, help out where needed and in return the hosts provide accommodation and food. Of course every place differs and we aren’t the norm travelling with four children so the arrangements are flexible.
We were firstly greeted by an adorable dog and then the Inglis family. Quickly we felt welcomed and at ease that all was going to be ok. We had a small house to utilise, space to put up our trailer, power etc etc. Stephen was quickly put to work the following morning vacuuming grain for a delivery and then helping out in the shearing shed. I helped with the main meal most nights and assisted with preparing lunches for the shearers. Less than a week was our first arrangement, that changed and we then accompanied the Inglis’ to their family beach shack for Easter at Arno Bay and then another week of mechanical work for Stephen :-). Someone told us once – “your problem won’t be finding work, your problem will be leaving a town”. That is so true. It is hard to move on when you love where you are staying and also know people could do with the extra hand.
What an AMAZING two weeks. We are so glad we stayed on – the experiences have been MANY, good times LOADS and new friendships to cherish. This would have to be a highlight for all of us so far in our travelling adventures. I could say so much but will let the pictures tell some of the stories. I recommend this type of experience for travellers. We all drive past these large properties, see their livestock and crops but never really know how it all operates. We’ve had a glimpse and we know they work very hard, doing it tough at times but also the family life, the good years, a love for the land and growing an ongoing family business for the next generation keeps them going. I wish the Inglis family all the very best and thank them for their generosity, hospitality and friendship that they bestowed upon us all. I’m sure we’ll keep in touch.