It was with mixed emotions that we said goodbye to our Helpxers this morning; it’s been great having them here, but we (and they) are exhausted and looking forward to a few days respite.
As first experiences of Helpx go, I don’t think we could have been luckier; Gwen and Valentin were cheerful and hardworking. They first helped collect the wood from the forest, a task that would have taken Nick and I weeks on end. Then we set them on to clearing the banking of weeds; we planted plants there two years ago and it’s been sadly neglected since, so the weeds were shoulder high in places, there were brambles and nettles everywhere, most of what we’d planted had died of neglect and because of the lack of rain this year, the soil was like concrete. But they took it on as a personal challenge, determined to finish it before they left and finish it they did, just the night before. Nick let Valentin have a play with the chain saw, the strimmer and the compressed air driven roofing nailer; he was delighted to be let loose with such toys and the two of them finished off the pergola by putting in the lats on the top, which in turn allowed me to treat the wood with a sort of creosote-y stuff.
In their time off they borrowed bikes, walked, had a day in Auch and we took them to see an armagnac distillery, so I think they enjoyed their stay. We certainly enjoyed having them here.
Nos jeunes “Helpxers” sont partis ce matin; on etait triste les voir partir, mais nous sommes tous, les quatre, tellement crevés apres 18 jours de travail dur.
Ils nous ont aidé prendre 10 stères de bois de la foret, ils ont desherbé le grand but de terre au jardin et ils nous ont aidé finir le pergola. Ils etaient tellement gentils; toujours heureux et bons travailleurs. Quand ils ne travaillaient pas, ils ont emprunté des vélos, ils sont allés à Auch et nous les avons amené à un chai d’armagnac; donc ils ont vu un peu du Gers, qu’ils ont beaucoup apprecié.
Comme premier essaye de Helpx, c’etait une grande réussite.