There is so much I can say about the people here, so be prepared for some rambling and some tangents and some thoughts that just never get completed because I go off and off and off and forget what my point was (aka, be prepared for me to be me…).
Karie and Rob are the most fantastic people, and we could not be more grateful for their hospitality. They welcomed us with arms wide open on the first day, and our normally introverted selves opened up immediately. By the end of the first night we felt at home in the trailer with our coWWOOFer Gerry. Jackie and I have the double bunk room and Gerry has the “master suite”, which in a trailer, is a room where the bed takes over, and there is barely any floorspace, but hey, he gets to lounge out, while we are all cramped and in danger of knocking our noggins (which has happened on occasion).
Rob is a retired architect, so he and Karie designed all the buildings on the farm, and they were all built by a local contractor. Rob also built all the animal shelters (with the exception of the barn) – the pig shelter, the chicken tractor, the chicken coops, and outdoor shelter in the pasture, literally everything! He’s a good dude. Karie has also retired, but she held so many different jobs I don’t think I could pin down what exactly she technically retired from (literally she had 47 positions throughout her lifetime, she named like 20 of them, it was insane)… but she is also a fantastic lady. She is such a mother, she welcomed us with arms wide open and immediately got us settled, fed us, and made sure that we were happy and healthy! Aka, she gave us so much food (both home/farm made and store-bought) and made sure that we had proper attire for working – she let us borrow jackets when it was cold, boots for mucking the stalls, and rain coats for when it’s raining – because we clearly did not plan well for that… and she introduced us to the animals and gave us a rundown of what our days will normally look like. They are both so kind-hearted, they invite strangers into their homes, and they turn them into family. They really have created a little WWOOF family for us here, and it’s amazing. We are so much a family that we have our inside jokes, and we have our laughs at each others expenses – but always in good taste. Jackie and I don’t excel at the english language, and we get made fun of mercilessly! But we love it, because it makes us feel welcome, feel at home, because these people are so comfortable with us, and we so comfortable with them that there is such an open flow of conversation and fun.
The first WWOOFer we met was Gerry (totally thought it was Jerry before… whoops). He is 50! (I exclaim this because he refused to tell us for the longest time until we were able to deduce it through internet stalking – which was totally ok’d beforehand). He’s a pretty badass bass player here in Canada, and he recently worked as a server. He decided to WWOOF because he wanted a change of pace, he packed all his stuff into storage, packed what he needed into his car, Sassy, and embarked on a WWOOFing adventure. He is definitely the first to crack a joke (well, second to Jackie and I, but the first of everyone else). For the first few days Gerry shared the trailer with us, but now he has moved on to bigger and better things. There is a cottage on the property (with no amenities but a single extension cord) that wasn’t cleaned and ready when he first arrived, but now that June has hit and the weather permits the use of the cottage, Gerry has moved himself out there to what will henceforth be known as the Gerry cottage – seriously, Karie is thinking of changing the name. Gerry spent a few weeks up in Cape Breton before arriving here at Manic Organic, and ironically enough, one of the locations he was at is where we will be enjoying our second WWOOF stint. So Gerry was well versed in the farming life when we arrived, and has been a huge help to Jackie and I to get ourselves acclimated to the farm. Gerry also loves talking back at the animals, a trait Jackie and I have picked up. He’s an all around fun dude!
Next on the farm, we met some of Karie and Rob’s neighbors – Wendy and Rick. It’s super weird that we travel to the middle of bumfuck nowhere New Brunswick, Canada, and we meet the father of a famous dude! And Rick is so chill! Wendy comes over about every other day to go for a walk with Karie and their dogs – Furgus (who needs a bio himself!) and Hudson. Thursday night of our first week, Wendy and Rick came over for a campfire jam sesh! (Which we assume was in the works before we even got here because Gerry plays bass and Rick plays acoustic guitar, and Gerry wanted an excuse to play). We enjoyed some time around the fire (which I made btw), and it was so cool, everyone was so chill. And just like our first night here, with Wendy and Rick, the conversation and the jokes kept flowing. The minute they arrived it just felt like adding more family to the mix. And maybe it’s just the Canadian atmosphere, but we have been meeting so many awesome and genuine people here, and it enhances the experience exponentially when surrounded by people who make you feel comfortable in your own skin. Who accept your flaws, and sometimes rag on them, and just let you exist as you are, so long as you accept them back. It is so freeing to be able to just be myself while I’m here, no acting or pretenses, just me. But yeah, Rick’s son is in a few shows and movies I’ve seen, and it was weirdly cool talking about his various roles, because Rick has a whole different perspective than I, a 3rd party viewer, do. Plus he was all nonchalant about it, it was the same as anyone would talk about their children’s career, and that was cool to me that no matter what your children’s profession, or where you are in the world, parents will be parents and talk about the cool stuff their kids have done, but also shit on them all lovingly like :p
So back to Furgus! Furgus is the family puppy, and he is adorable. I think they said he is about 1-year-old, but he is a big boy! So hilarious. He loves to pick up he bed and bring it around with him, and to you, when a new person enters the room. His go to way of interacting with the humans around him is to accept their pets while walking through your legs as many times as his little heart desires. He is also very well-behaved (when he wants to be), so I enjoy hanging out in the house with him there because he makes himself known, but never in a demanding way.
And last but not least on the meeting list is our new Swedish WWOOFer Alexandra! Yeah, it’s only like really confusing sometimes, but it’s alright, she’s good people. She showed up and instantly fit right in. And again, I don’t know if it’s the people specifically, or the atmosphere that this whole network protrudes, but she is amazingly chill. We all get along so well, and she makes the trailer more whole now that Gerry has left the building. She brings another element of fun to the group, and as with everyone, hearing her life story, and what brought her to WWOOF is so cool, and really gives a thought provoking perspective on life and the world around us. Even just hearing the differences between US, Canadian, and Swedish culture fascinates me, and we discuss it over dinner, while gardening, while hanging with the animals. The conversations are always flowing, and I know it’s because we have been surrounded by some amazing and genuine people.