i have been itching to do work exchange in other countries since college.
i was particularly interested in organic farming, so i signed up for wwoofing a couple years ago. but i didn't like that each country had its own difficult-to-navigate site, and that they each required a different fee in order to contact hosts. so i found a site called workaway.info, which is much better in that the work needed is diverse--there are hosts needing help with child care, language practice, computer work, help in hostels, etc.--but most hosts practice organic farming, and at least have a garden. also! there's one small sign up fee ($25) to have access to hosts from all over the world.
so when scotty contacted me to meet him in barcelona, i figured i could hang out with him and his friends for a little while, and then volunteer somewhere in spain right afterward. and after a week of incessant partying in the city, i was definitely ready to escape to the solitude of the countryside--to let my body recover for a bit and to help a family in need of some extra hands.
i found a place needing last-minute help in the mountains of girona. the home is absolutely gorgeous! my first thought was that it's all i could ever hope for an old spanish home to be, down to every little detail--there's a clothes line, wooden doors, roses framing the windows, and chickens pecking about!
the family isn't quite as spanish as i imagined they'd be though. the father is from catalonia, but the mom is from france, so she and all four of her little girls (yes, four!) speak mostly french. here i thought i'd be able to practice my spanish, but it feels like i'm in the middle of france! but i'm not complaining, because little girls speaking french is the cutest thing in the world.
it's quite the contrast from barcelona, and so far, a total dream come true.