A WWOOFer in Belgium

A WWOOFer in Belgium

After I left Sweden, I flew to Brussels via a ten hour overnight layover in the Barcelona airport. Now I am in a little village outside of the city Namur. From the moment I arrived, my hosts have treated me like family. Daniel, the father, met me at the train station and brought me to the home he shares with his daughter, Lisa.
I was greeted with a welcome dinner with Daniel, Lisa and four of their friends. We had homemade quiche and shared wine and conversation. I went to sleep with a full stomach and a warm heart.
There are two goats here, chickens and a cat named Loki. There is a good sized vegetable garden and everyday there is work to be done.
I am learning how to feed the animals and there is an injured chicken we are trying to mend. I think she is getting better.
Daniel took me to an 17th century Abbey and to two very old castles; one with a moat. He showed me the spot where the previous king fell tragically to his death while rock climbing near the river.
We have shared so many wonderful meals in my week here. It is so wonderful to eat food that is so fresh and delicious. The potatoes, carrots, cabbages and other delicacies come straight out of the ground. I have to agree that these vegetables taste significantly better than any I’ve bought at Waldbaums or Kroger.
Yesterday we went to the Fresh Market and came home and feasted on three types of olives, peppers, sundried tomatoes, cheese and many delightful sausages. This was our appetizer before enjoying roasted chicken and mashed potatoes.
Then last night Daniel, Lisa and her boyfriend took me into town. We went to the top of the Citadelle de Namur where we enjoyed wonderful views of the city and rivers below. It is a fort with a castle inside and the views are spectacular. There is an amphitheatre and a large slope that the children were sledding on. We saw an amazing sunset and then headed down into town. They led me through the streets of Namur, through the “old city” and then we enjoyed a refreshing beer at La Havanna in an old square near a beautiful church.
I am their first WWOOFer and they are my first hosts. I have quite a few more days here, but I know this is an experience I will take with me forever. I have been welcomed, once again in this journey, as family. Lisa and I became fast friends and I know I’ll probably be friends with her for life. I will definitely WWOOF again. It is such a wonderful way to see and truly experience a place and to meet wonderful people.

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My week in Link√∂ping, Sweden

My week in Sweden is quickly drawing to a close. When I planned to come to Sweden after Norway, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I asked two friends, whom to be honest I had only met twice, if I could stay with them and they said yes. Sweden has been a very different experience from Norway. It has not been better or worse, simply different. In Norway I was welcomed by nature and beauty. In Sweden I have been welcomed by family. From the second I arrived here, my friends have been nothing but the best hosts. We have bonded and talked, laughed, eaten, danced our faces off, laughed and eaten more. They have taken me to see castles, museums, the old city, the ABBA Museum in Stockholm, fed me and welcomed me into their home as if I already belonged there.
I have eaten some of the most delicious food, most of which was home cooked. We have had Swedish meatballs, something amazing that sounds like Peter pan, moose tips and moose stew, Raggmunk, tacos, pizza, porkchops, red beet salad and so many other wonderful things. I have been welcomed not only into their home, but also into three of their family and friends. We have had coffee while chatting and truly getting to know each other, forever sealing the bonds of friendship.
They have been my tour guides, my chefs, my shopping buddies and have granted me a much different Sweden than I could have experienced otherwise. In Norway, I found inspiration in my solitude. In Sweden I have found joy in my friendships and the welcoming nature of two people I barely knew and now I consider to be true friends.
Tomorrow I head to Belgium for yet another entirely different experience. I will be working on the farm of a family I have only met through email for two weeks. They will house and feed me in exchange for me working for the farm a few hours every day. Here’s to my Swedish friends, to tomorrow, and to many more new experiences.

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