Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A steady stream of lovely Volunteers

Over the last six months volunteers from all over the world have brought their skills and talents to Fynbos.  As usual they did many different things; finishing off the new venue, helping at functions, bottling wine, gardening, cooking, and during February, winemaking.  And as always they each brought their particular energy to Fynbos contributing to its ongoing vibrancy.

Volunteers pictured below include Carolin Hauser from Copenhagen who has a wonderful eye for design and photography, Lucille Broussolle who is doing a Masters in agricultural engineering in Montpelier France and Chloe Ewes, a physiotherapist from the UK, who has a special way with animals and was ace at selling wine. Lorin Bohm and Jacobus Wille from Cape Town brought their DIY skills to bear on finishing the new venue and Charlie Grosman a champagne maker from Champagne, led winemaking in the first harvest weeks. Charlie was helped by Raimund Peckover from Pretoria who plans to farm his family farm, Simon Wolf from Germany who was here building township schools and Theo Huttel also from Denmark who was on his first big trip away from home. Craig Du Preez from Durbs, is working to get small businesses sustainable and so after helping with winemaking, assisted us with marketing strategy. Alex Frow from Gauteng came straight from school, cooked up a storm and is passionate about scalelectrics. The one woman making wine was Suzanna Ruckert also from Germany.

Also volunteering were Marc Stanley who restored furniture in between his studies at Rhodes University, and Swedish Gosia Stechman, who works in TV along with travelling the world. Initially she volunteered for two weeks and then, to our delight returned for another month. Finally Charmaine Orie from Amsterdam, and the French wind engineer Gaelen Ruiz with his social worker partner Rebecca Gaillard, helped us with a wide variety of tasks.

(See comments and correspondence below photos).

Clockwise form top left: Alex, Theo and Raimond bottling, Charlie Grosman and Raimund Peckover, Carolin with Abraham and Brazi, Chloe on dog duty and Carolin Hauser.

Clockwise form top left: Volunteers around the table, Chloe Ewes doing her thing at the SIP tasting, Craig helps with wine marketing, Marc at the bar and Lucille painting the new venue.

Clockwise form top left: Gaelen and Jacob DIY, Gaelen and Rebecca prep for a wedding, Marc and Gosia with Johan and Sweetpi, Rebecca finishing her mosaic table and Raimond serenading.

Clockwise form top left: Gosia chilling, Lorin and Jacob painting, Simon bottling with refreshment, volunteers take time off and Suzannah Ruckert on pump duty.

Clockwise form top left: Gaelen Ruiz and Rebecca Gaillard awith Johan out for lunch, Staffing a wedding, Theo helping barman Stefan and volunteers toast with Gail. 
Correspondence and Comments 

I'm Carolin, 20 years old and my home residence is Copenhagen, Denmark. I am studying building engineering, but needed a break. I wanted to be more outside and work with my hands, instead of reading all the time. I wanted to experience a new country and its culture while meeting local people. 
WWOOFing was just what I was looking for. I was taking a half-year off from studying and visited and worked on four different farms in SA.
The description of Fynbos Estate on the SA WWOOFing list convinced me right from the beginning and the farm is not far from Cape Town City.  
Fynbos Estate was the first farm I visited. It is a lovely farm placed in a beautiful valley. There is always a lot going on at Fynbos Estate, which resulted in that I met a lot of interesting people. I did a lot of different work and learned many new things. I was never bored on the farm. There was also time to have a walk up the mountain or to visit CT during the weekend. 
One of my tasks at the farm was to feed the animals (three donkeys, two sheep, two goats, two gees and two ducks) every evening, which I enjoyed a lot. There are also three lovely dogs and two cats on the farm. One of the cats shared my bed with me during the night - lovely. 
I had to prepare my own breakfast and lunch, but supper was together. The food was very delicious!
Johan and Diana are one of the most lovely couple I have ever met. They made me feel a part of the farm, teached me a lot and I loved to talk with them.  
There are also some very kind permanently workers on the farm. I enjoyed their company and had fun, when we worked together.
I stayed 4 weeks at Fynbos Estate and had a great time, which I will never forget. Fynbos Estate became my home in SA. 

Thank you so much for having me! I’ve had a wonderful time and wish I could have stayed longer. Thanks to Johann for his patience with my (lack of) cooking skills. I hope to see you all soon again
Love Gosia

Dear Johan and Diana,
I send you a little message to give you some news.
 I really enjoy my weeks on the farm and my week of travelling to go to Johannesburg. I could see more landscapes of South Africa, it was wonderful. After that it was really hard to go back to France!
But now I went back to school and it quite strange after a year of working and travelling. I hope I will be able to find my last internship in an african country, I really want to come back on this continent!
Jacobus learnt me that Sweet Pea came back some days after my left, it's amasing!! I hope you had nice holidays in Angola.
Kind regards
Lucile Broussolle from France

Gaelen and Rebecca 
Hello the Fynbos team!
Happy new year from Swaziland! Our stay in Cape town was great and the place in Campsbay was amazing. Now we are in Swaziland back on trip.
Thank you again for the stay it was super great.
See you in France if you come. Take care
Gaelen and Rebecca 

Jacquelyn and Jacob
Hi you all
We are from the United States of America! Jacob attends school in North Carolina and Jacquelyn attends school in Kansas. There were two major reasons why we wanted to wwoof; the first was the opportunity to live as the "locals" do and the second was to grow/improve in a variety of skill sets. The wwoofing organization is very reliable and a fun way to travel and see the beautiful world we live in! We chose Fynbos Wine Estate because they provide a variety of jobs that can be done and there is always a place for any type of volunteer. Anything from cooking to laying tile pathways was available. As well as the unique opportunity to work with olives and grapes that we helped form into oil and wine. Not to mention, Fynbos is located in an extremely beautiful area. The mountains that surround the property are something we miss waking up to everyday. Our experience at Fynbos was incredible. The diverse group of people that we were able to meet was our favorite part of our time there.  We were able to work two conferences, a wedding and paint cabinets for the kitchen. In addition, Diana and Johan are very fair when it comes to work schedule and giving volunteers time off because there are days when you must work hard and stay on top of everything that needs to be done. They also are good about allowing you to work on tasks that are most interesting and fun for you, for example we expressed an interest in painting/gardening and Diana began to give us more tasks in that line of work. We learned so much from Johan through our conversations in the kitchen and loved chatting with Diana most evenings at dinner time. Both individuals are extremely hard workers and very inspiring people and we miss our time at Fynbos very much. The experience went by so quickly but was very wonderful and provided a great learning experience. Please update us on the estate, conferences, yourselves and the pups! We miss you both! 
Love, Jacquelyn and Jacob from the US

Suzanne Rückert  
I chose to stay at Fynbos Estate for a few weeks in January and February as I am interested in wine making and farm work in general. Furthermore I think it's so much better when you experience a country not “only” by travelling, but also by living with and learning from the local people.
During my stay I felt a little like at home and I enjoyed that there were some other volunteers around. When it comes to work we helped in the winery: bottling of last year's wine and pressing of the new grapes – really hard work to do it the traditional way. We also helped during preparation for the weddings that were hosted at the farm. All in all there were always lots of things to do and never a shortage of work. But it was always fun, only the heat was sometimes a pain in the a...
In our free time we could “chill” in the garden, hang out at the pool or explore the beautiful surroundings. The area is just perfect for hiking. There was also time to spend a long weekend in Cape Town.
In the end I have to say that I had a great time and I'll probably come back to South Africa soon.

Hello dear Diana and Johan!
The reason to why i chose the farm, was because of the wine. I have always been interested in how the process of wine went, and to try working in this sort of environment. I found the farm, amongst others but Fynbos seemed to have a lot more to offer, than other farms, which they also did. Because what i learned, was more than just the wine making process, but also how the infra-structure of South Africa works, and i got to get closer to the “real-deal” of Africa, than if I just had travelled as a regular tourist.
(anything more you want me to add? Its hard to narrow such a nice experience down to just a few words, hehe)
I chose to go home a little earlier, than what i expected, in order to go to Morocco and Thailand, so that i can take a cheap diving course, so that i can be a qualified diver, and then head back to South Africa and start from Durban this time, so that I can get some more surfing going on! But the rest of my trip in South Africa, was by far one of the best travels i have journeyed, and thanks for everything, i had a GREAT time on your farm, and the memories from Fynbos shall never be forgotten!

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