Kevin, from the US, but with Chinese parents, and Laura from Canada arrived on the first day, and stayed to the end, ten weeks later. In between they were joined by 15 females and 6 males, from four continents and ranging in age from seventeen to sixty. These were the Workaway volunteers who exchanged 5 hours of hard work a day for free food and lodging. When we stuck the advert in, in the summer, we had no idea what to expect, but what we got was easy-going, hard-working, cheerful and friendly travellers, none of whom left early and several of whom stayed longer than they expected to. At one time we had eleven in a house which can comfortably sleep seven, but the word was, ‘the more the merrier’. And what they achieved was remarkable. An overgrown jungle was cleared and made ready for planting. Acres of bamboo were removed. Under the leadership of Matt, who came from England to take charge, the garden is now ready for the second phase, which will be planting and construction, under a new leader, Chris.
The truly heroic transformation achieved by our volunteers can be seen in these ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. It’s a little ironic that the ‘after’ photos will be the ‘before’ photos for the next stage.