Laura Canada; Kim Germany; Celine France; Tom UK; Matt, supervisor Poland; Elaine USA; Tanya South Africa; Andrea Germany; Kevin USA

Kevin, from the US, but with Chinese parents, and Laura from Canada arrived on the first day, and stayed to the end, ten weeks later. In between they were joined by 15 females and 6 males, from four continents and ranging in age from seventeen to sixty. These were the Workaway volunteers who exchanged 5 hours of hard work a day for free food and lodging. When we stuck the advert in, in the summer, we had no idea what to expect, but what we got was easy-going, hard-working, cheerful and friendly travellers, none of whom left early and several of whom stayed longer than they expected to. At one time we had eleven in a house which can comfortably sleep seven, but the word was, 'the more the merrier'. And what they achieved was remarkable. An overgrown jungle was cleared and made ready for planting. Acres of bamboo were removed. Under the leadership of Matt, who came from England to take charge, the garden is now ready for the second phase, which will be planting and construction, under a new leader, Chris.

Laura Canada; Kim Germany; Celine France; Tom UK; Elaine USA; Tanya South Africa; Andrea Germany; Kevin USAIzzie USA; Sasha USA; Whitney USA; Aswin Holland; Matt Supervisor, Poland; Julie USA; Nora USA; Joana UK; Chris UK; Kevin USA; Laura Canada.

The truly heroic transformation achieved by our volunteers can be seen in these 'before' and 'after' photos. It's a little ironic that the 'after' photos will be the 'before' photos for the next stage.

A before and after photo of the pathway

A before and after of the house

A before and after of the garden

The Japanese have a national holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day, where many stores have sales, sometimes as much as half off; however, they don’t have Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Most countries don’t, it being a strictly American and Canadian affair, and in fact, Labor Thanksgiving Day wasn’t named such until when Americans occupied Japan after World War II.  For foreigners in Japan, you’ll hear that the Japanese don’t even like turkey, or the more honest truth: that most Japanese have never tried turkey and never plan to.  But even without a turkey and coming from so many different cultures and backgrounds, we all managed to come together last Thursday for a special dinner.

Slow Life blog from the Lake District

Slow Life UK

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Yewbarrow House Gardens

Yewbarrow House Gardens

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