WWOOFing in Southern Chile

A WWOOFing Family Adventure

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2673.jpgHere in Panitao, Chile, sunrise in the vicinity of 8 am takes an eternity. Located approximately thirty minutes by bus south of the Lake District’s hub of Puerto Montt, the sun seems to begrudgingly peek its nose over the snowcapped mountain lined horizon before thinking better of things and putting everything on a thirty minute, snooze-like hold.

But then, nothing moves fast in these parts. The area’s one general store is small http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/FullSizeRender-6.jpgenough to give your local 7-11 the aire of a virtual Walmart and there is one tiny restaurant the size of a small Man Cave that serves seafood empanadas and the regional speciality of Pastel de Choclo (corn pie/casserole) and little else. The restaurant’s name, El Fin del Mundo (The End of the World) pretty much sums things up. Barring the cramped bus ride into Puerto Montt for a big shop, via a bus schedule we’ve yet to master in our nearly three weeks here,  and you’re pretty much on your own in these parts.

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2637.jpgAnd we’re happy to report, that’s just fine with Kaia.

Maybe it’s the crisp morning air or the wide open spaces, but from the moment we first arrived, our little kiddie television addicted daughter has never looked back. It’s as if she’d been here before in a previous life and had been anxiously awaiting to finally get back. How else to explain how a little girl who was absolutely petrified of any and all of the neighbourhood dogs back home, was holding forth with the three local canines (by name, no less) in less than three days after our arrival?http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2577.jpg

Her little legs are still far from setting any speed records each morning during our 400 meter commute to meet up with, Steve, our WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) work host at his perfectly situated home overlooking the mountain fringed bay. Yet what she lacks in speed is more than made up for in enthusiasm with a steady stream of babbling to see us along on our way. We are going to work—as a family—and Kaia couldn’t be happier.

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/image-1.jpegFrom 9 am to 1pm there are buildings to paint, various berries to pick, pesty invasive shrubbery to eradicate, nuts to forage for, floors to sand and varnish, chickens and turkeys to feed, firewood to chop, meals to make, trails and fields to clear and 30 minute, 11 am break time gatherings to be had.

And Kaia is right there in the mix of it all. Helping where she can but mostly just doing her best at thrashing all her outfits and putting a new daily twist on the wonders of http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2589.jpgferal fashion.

Back at our simple but cozy homestead by 130, the fun continues with Kaia having been taken under the wing of our motley, international community. It sounds like the beginning of a joke you’ve probably heard somewhere before: An Englishman, Latvian, German, Spaniard and an Australian/Yank couple with a kid walk into a bar….

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2677.jpgThe best part is, though, it’s no joke.

But, that said, there’s plenty of laughter each night as Kaia has been welcomed wholeheartedly into the world of vegetarian cooking and baking. With ubiquitous wine bottles serving as rollers, Kaia has done more than her fair share of rolling out savory pastries, cakes and pizzas. And, of course, eating as well.

The good news is, at slightly more than $2.00 a liter, if one ‘empty roller’ were to break, there’s always one or two others waiting in the wings to be emptied http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2677.jpgbefore filling the void. It’s the sort of good news that assures once darkness finally envelops our Chilean shack in the vicinity of 9pm, the good times continue. At least until all tired, fledgling WWOOFing farmers must turn in.

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/IMG_2626.jpgAnd wait till the first rays of another brand new day finally sees fit to lighten the eastern horizon and announce to all concerned parties, a new day will be upon us again…





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