This post is dedicated to our workaway experience.
During the whole month of November Anna was traveling and I had to get myself some help at the pousada. This time we decided to invite a volunteer from the workaway project (http://www.workaway.info). We posted and announcement on our profile but still haven’t got any acceptable candidates, so I started browsing and sending out invitations. I am quite lazy, especially when it comes to making research and choosing. Mostly, I rely on my intuition and luck and go for one of the first options I have. And, was I lucky this time!
One of the profiles that I checked attracted my attention by a strange smudged photo. I thought: “Bad profile picture? This girl doesn’t care too much about looking pretty, she must be a serious (nerdy?) girl. That’s exactly what I need!”
It was a French girl from Paris named Cécile. First I had some doubts. How will she adapt to our simple village lifestyle? I couldn’t get rid of the stereotypes. It was difficult for me to picture a “French Mademoiselle” watering our palm trees with a bucket in C+35 heat, washing dishes and sleeping in our “escape room” equipped with nothing more than a fan, a bed and a cold shower. However, Cécile was eager to take the job, and miraculously even ready to arrive with a short notice on the 1st of November.
When Cécile just got off the truck in front of our gate I thought: “OMG she’s so pretty!” Later on I discovered also that she is extremely shy and IMHO beauty + shyness = double charm.
Eating little and working lots, to my impression always much more than needed, Cécile turned out to be a dream volunteer! Sometimes I even had a guilty feeling looking at her going around our garden with a water hose many times a day (after many months of drought our 5 meter water well got dry and we had to water our garden in patches), collecting dry leaves from the ground, learning how to make cake or getting stressed in the kitchen while trying to cook something for lunch that our cranky maid Dadi might approve. Dadi, by the way, gave some hard time to Cécile and her French cuisine. Statistically only one of 3 dishes cooked by Cécile received a dry “está bom” compliment. However, in the end they made friends and Cécile even got invited to visit Dadi’s house in Mangue Seco – an honor which neither me nor Anna were never granted.
The best thing about having Cécile at Atlantis was the fact that I gained a great new friend. I never imagined one can order those by clicking volunteer ads on workaway.org ;-) !
After spending almost the whole day together at the pousada and going out at night often for our classic drinks&forró fun we became very close. Cécile turned out to be a very fun person to hang out with and now when I am looking back at the time we spent – we had so much fun! Hiking, surfing, and (even!) stand-up paddling together, watching sunsets, getting drunk, dancing, gossiping, making fun of each other, and (not to forget) having a lot of meaningful conversations, which is a rare thing to happen between people in Jeri.
So, yeah, until now each time I water the garden or eat water-melon, I remember her and how much fun we had and I really hope to see Cécile somewhere around the planet again!
And, by the way, the workaway project is off at Atlantis for now, to a certain point maybe because Cécile was too good to surpassed by any other volunteers that might appear after ;-)