A pottery studio in St Civran, France

Welcome to this blog about the quiet rural life in the Berry Province of France where I have tried to open a pottery studio to hobby potters.
Your comments will be appreciated.

13 December 2010

49. Host and Helper in 2006

The HelpExchange website is a place where someone owning a farm or a house to renovate, called the 'Host', will offer free accommodation and food to someone, called the 'Helper', willing to help with some hours of work per day and per week. The arrangement between the two parties is loose. It is on a kind of volunteering basis on both sides. It stems from the organisation widely used in New Zealand and Australia called 'vwoof', i.e.Volunteer Work On Organic Farms. It is common and popular in those countries for young and less young people to hit the road and travel from one farm to another within this organisation. The system is so popular that it has extended to other types of activities. You now find Hosts having Helpers to do all sorts of small jobs on their properties.

In 2006 as I was already planning to revive my pottery workshop, I received Jessica from the USA as a Helper. I drove to Paris to pick her up at the airport and took her with her large bicycle back to my remote lonesome rural village in the centre of France. She was jet-lagged, culture shocked and heart broken as she had just split from her boyfriend and for my part I had heavy family problems. But anyway she soon adapted to my way of life and we had some good time together. She was very helpful, friendly and well behaved. The only regret I have is that we never became friends. The age difference perhaps. We exchanged travel stories and I raved so much about New Zealand that she went on her travels ending up in New Zealand.

Here are some photos of her stay with me.

Stacking logs in St Civran

At the potter's wheel

Walking to Chazelet

Mowing in Chazelet

Driving back from La Borne
Baby sitting my grand-daughter


Sreisaat said...

Frankie! I like the concept behind WWOOF but I think with my small size I am not capable of doing back-breaking farm works. My husband tried WWOOFing for a while during his cycling trip and stayed on a small holding near Ceret for a month or so. I think I could be in the HelpExchange instead :) Would you accept me if ever I apply in the future?

Frankie said...

You will be most welcome! Say when!

Anonymous said...

that sounds fun!!! I was looking at woofing opportunites in France- I'm hoping to come teach English in Normandy next year and will hopefully extend my contract for a second year if it works out.... I'll need something to do that summer if I stay!!!

Frankie said...

I think you're planning too far ahead! Come and see this summer first and let your life run on its own for a while. That's the advice of an old adventurous hen!!!