Settling In to a New French Helpx

Monday, September 26, 2011  at 6:58 AM
As Chris and I start to settle in to our third Help Exchange in as many months, we have been reflecting on the wide variety of experiences we've received through these volunteer opportunities.  In the past three months, we've worked at two different farms in France and a hotel in Germany.  We've had the chance to watch baby chickens hatch, go hiking in the Black Forest and peruse a wide variety of antiques at Vide Greniers (French antique markets) and Troddlemarkts (German antique markets).   We've learned how to care for chickens, the proper way to thoroughly clean a room, and many, many new recipes.

French Cows Countryside by Danalynn C
Cow pastures surround the tiny French village where we are currently volunteering

We've also had the chance to see three different approaches to Helpx, each of them unique and offering different experiences.  Sometimes we've had a set daily routine, at others our days and weeks were completely unique.  At some we were given plenty of time to work on our personal pursuits, at others we have been integrated in the family life.

There's always a period of getting used to a new routine but it's worth it to see how so many different people live on a day-to-day basis.  Before traveling, the only daily routines that I could see were those of family or close friends.  More often than not, these people lived in similar ways to Chris and I.  Through Helpx, I've gained a window into a variety of lives completely different than what I am used to.  It's been enlightening, gaining these snippets into different ways of living.

Old French Door Pears by Danalynn C
An abandoned house with a pear tree growing over the front door

Chris and I are currently volunteering at a small farm in the north of France.  The village that we are in is truly a tiny, deserted town in the French countryside.  We have been having fun going for walks in the woods, watching the cows and wandering through the empty town taking photos!

white cow france by Danalynn C
The cows all watch us as we walk past--the area is so quiet, we're probably the most exciting thing they've seen all day!

Nomadic Vignette is a blog about a traveling girl nomad and her travel sketchbook as she and her husband explore the world.
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