If you think about it (which I have been doing), WWOOFing is pretty incredible. You are presented with this list of hundreds (maybe even 1-2 thousand) of descriptions of farms, most of which are just households. And based on these, you choose one or several, and eventually end up in someone's home, a part of their daily life from morning to evening. But the crazy thing is that each description represents a totally different experience from another, yet they are all just lined up on the website, one after the other, in the same font and format.
I don't really know what my point is here. But I came to this line of thought as I left La Lombarde Ouest today. I am very happy that I ended up there, and it's been an experience that will certainly affect how I look at the world as well as my future. And yet I know that if I had clicked on a different region of France to search for farms, and chosen a different one, I would have had new and different experiences there as well.
In any case, Ingrid was happy to have me there; yesterday she invited me to come back next summer, telling me I was the first WWOOFer that she trusted to help her with clearing out an area in terms of recognizing which types of trees to cut down (and which to spare) as well as appearing to truly enjoy that work. And (to indeed toot my own horn- people should embrace doing so instead of denying it) she told me today that I was one of the best WWOOFers they had had, because, basically, I was relatively responsible and she didn't need to make sure I had closed doors, cleaned up after myself, etc. You'd think others my age would learn to do these things too... I guess it's a bit of a rarety.
At the moment, I'm on a train to Paris, where I'll spend the night, and then tomorrow I fly to Berlin to see Mwanzaa for a week! I am excited both to see Mwanzaa (as I haven't done so since mid-February(!)) and to spend time in Berlin, which I hear is a pretty awesome place.
I emailed the farm I want to WWOOF at next a couple of days ago, and got a great response from them, so I'll be in the Haute-Loire (haven't looked up exactly where this is yet) from April 27-May 13. To choose farms, I basically go through the descriptions, and the ones that seem truly excited about having a WWOOFer there, or use warm/ inviting language are the ones I choose. (I avoid vineyards, because the work there, I think, is pretty repetitive and tedious). This farm is a family, parents plus 2 young kids (not sure of their ages), apparently on the edge of a conservation area (that I should also probably look up). Looking forward to that, certainly, but more focused on Mwanzaa and Berlin at the moment.