We were woken up at 5am this morning. Or at least Allison was, and she elbowed me in the ribs saying “There’s somebody in the house.”
Cara the dog was sleeping on our floor, and she gave half a yap to confirm this, before going back to sleep. I tell everybody that she would rip the throat out of an intruder, but I guess you can only expect so much from a labrador.
So I staggered out of bed and down the hallway, in my undies. I’d like to say that I was alert and ready to launch a flying side kick at a thief, but I don’t think that was strictly true.
It turned out that our wwoofer Ryo had come into the house and knocked in our hallway. Cara apparently doesn’t consider Ryo a threat.
Ryo is from Japan, and fits the stereotype of being quiet and unnecessarily well-mannered. I have since explained that thumping and shouting might have been a more reliable strategy.
Anyway, Ryo had himself been woken up by a young New Zealander knocking on the wwoof house door, I guess at about 4.30. He had got lost and had run out of fuel on the highway. He was heading for work (fruit picking?) at Orange, three and a half hours away.
There are no houses near the road in that area (Breadalbane) so our lane was the first habitation he’d come to, after walking for about an hour — and the two other houses on our lane were empty or didn’t answer the door.
I offered the guy a jerrycan of petrol to get him to the Goulburn Service Centre (5 minutes away). Ryo agreed to drive the guy back to his car, which at least meant we were sure to get the container back. He was apparently out of money for fuel and out of phone credit, so I let him use our phone to ring a mate to put some money in his account.
I think we were being reasonable samaritans. Allison said we could have offered him breakfast, and I guess we might have if I had been fully awake.
I wonder if I should have given him $50 to get him to Orange, but I’m not sure how far my obligations go to random New Zealanders rocking up at 5am. People have been kind to me in somewhat similar circumstances, but his prior planning does seems a little poor. Hopefully some other people will help him to extract himself from this situation.
Ryo has been with us for about three months now. He’s past the date we normally ask wwoofers to move on, but he’s still our hardest worker so we’re in no rush.
Along with Sarah and Vey, we got Ryo to bake some bread in a dragon shape for a little medieval event. He made bread a couple more times after that, just to eat, and some biscuits for the wwoofers. He says that kitchens in Japan have very small ovens, and he’s enjoying the opportunity to learn some cooking.
Allison lent him a cookbook, and Ryo has been working his way through it. Quiches, tarts, pastries, something every day. And yesterday he made chocolate eclairs, with homemade choux pastry. Who knows where this will lead?
We still have JB from France; he and Ryo have cleared untold numbers of serrated tussocks. We’ve just said goodbye to Henrik from Finland, with us for two weeks, who built us some equestrian mounted games equipment such as stands to hold rings which you catch on a lance. And recently we have Sarah (our fifth for the year) who is from Germany, and works with our horses.
We won’t get any more wwoofers now till the new year. We’re getting daily requests from wwoofers who strangely enough want to come on the 19th and stay for about a week, just in time for New Year’s Eve in Sydney….
Some of them explicitly say that they really want to have an Australian christmas, and have chosen us for the experience. We must seem like soft touches!