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Is That Dung I Smell?

Getting our hands dirty with our new adoptive family (Candace)

It’s official friends!  We are living on the farm!  We got all settled in on Friday, and then had a nice family barbecue with our hosts, Melanie, Tomas, Boris, Thibault and Aemilie.  Aemilie, our 6-year old host, greeted us with lavender wrapped in paper and twine as Tomas and Melanie shared their love story.  It was a simple, blissful night.

This little family has amazed me.  They have managed to open and maintain a horse boarding operation, a bed and breakfast, and now a vineyard that will eventually have capacity to generate 8,000 bottles of wine per year.  And on top of that, Tomas has a day job and Melanie is raising their three children, sitting on town council and volunteering for the local exchange (she does the layout for their newsletter) and library, all while speaking French, German and English fluently.  And this has all been revealed in just 24 hours.  I’m so inspired by this family, but more importantly, by this woman. 

And the fact that they have opened their home to us is equally awesome.  For a little bit of weeding and gardening through the WWOOF program, they have not only offered us room and board, but have included us in their family activities for the day, whether that be lunch at the local exchange or dinner at the Verac feast, complete with marching band.  And Melanie’s parents even invited us to join them for live music on a local vineyard last night.  Their generosity is just overwhelming.

Our work so far has included shoveling dung onto the potatoes and raking the grass and then using it to cover the other vegetables.  And over the coming two weeks, I believe we will have work to do on the horse farm and the vineyard, and helping to turn the rooms for the B&B (I’m also hoping to help them build an ecommerce site for the vineyard by the time we are finished).  It still seems like such small work in return for the hospitality we are being shown, so I sincerely hope that they walk away as happy with the exchange as we have been.

Getting my hands a little dirty seems pale in comparison to what this amazing little family is able to accomplish.