For years now we have been a homestay family for overseas students who have come to Melbourne to learn about Australia and learn English. We have had visitors from, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Denmark. Italy and many other countries around the world. While I was at school it was a very helpful source of income and also adds a bit extra to our small family of 3.
During 2009 I discovered the wonderful world of WWOOF or willing workers on organic farms, through another blog writer and permaculture enthusiast, Cecilia MacCauley who writes wonderful blogs and creates gorgeous drawings.I have attached a link to her one of her blogs here.
Now thanks to our wonderful wwoofers and students we have made many new friends around the globe. The students are nice to have come and visit and we have made good friends amongst them, our wwoofer friends become part of the family and will always remain so. Thanks to Delphine, Ludo, Cecile and Matthieu we have a freshly painted house ; Marla worked patiently in the garden and walked our dog Bruce..... he adored her, Svenja worked hard in the garden to help get rid of the weeds, Jonas helped me clean up the backyard for the Christmas party, Claire spent time preparing Christmas dinner with me and. During this last week Epiphanie has been with us over new year. There are many others too and I want to thank them all for their help and their friendship. Its a wonderful way to show people our way of life and get to know more about the world. It is also great for kids to learn about parts of the world they may only of heard about. I highly recommend it!
On the other hand. If you or maybe your kids are planning on travelling it is a great way for them to see the world and get to know the locals, while ensuring somewhere safe and warm to stay. The idea is that wwoofers work for about 4 hours a day in exchange for board. Obviously the work is negotiated . But we generally agree to 4 hours work and then the rest of the day is theirs. In exchange we provide a room and laundry and shower facilities and meals.
To find out more contact Wwoof Australia at : http://www.wwoof.com.au/