Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Really special

I got a really great surprise when I checked our inbox this morning
Jeremy Riddle, one of our past volunteers, wrote something really
special for our blog.

My time at Fynbos was incredible, and I learnt and did more than I ever could have imagined was possible in just a couple of weeks.

As soon as we got into the bakkie in Malmesbury, I was assigned my first task: heating three small pools for a re-birthing ceremony, to be held at the end of a breathing workshop and conducted by a very intense Dutch man. After a day of experimenting with sheets of black plastic, attaching pipes to shower heads and hot taps, an urn, and a couple of kettles, Lucy and I managed to heat the pools to approximately one degree less than womb temperature. As a result, it was decided that the ceremony couldn’t possibly proceed, but we were okay with that, as I’m sure we’ll never be asked to do something quite so bizarre ever again!

This, of course, was one of the stranger things we did during our stay at Fynbos. The rest of our time we spent walking in the beautiful mountains, helping Johan in the kitchen, doing odd-jobs around the place, and learning about the wine produced on the farm. Siphoning wine samples from the barrels was a great time, and we ended up covered in red stains and slightly (very) tipsy by barrel 20 or so…

I swear that I will never meet such an intriguing, interesting, welcoming, and hilarious couple as Johan and Diana. I felt like I was living in a movie the entire time – sitting around the table or in the lounge every night, hearing the most amazing, unbelievable stories, or just having a bit of a laugh about the wailing and howling coming from the ‘breathers’ in the pavilion. Lucy and I weren’t given the chance to feel shy or awkward, and often talk about how we felt like family members from the moment we arrived – like we were home for the holidays, rather than away from home for a holiday. 

Again, my time at Fynbos is something I will never forget, for the most part because of how amazing Diana and Johan are! I feel as if I will always be welcome there, and can’t even fathom another trip to South Africa without a visit to Fynbos.

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