Workaway Hungary 

I feel a summary is in order. I am entering my last seven days of this month long workaway volunteer placement and feel I have things to think about. 

We have been building, cleaning, moving, shaking…all sorts of stuff to try and turn this little farm in a tiny village in rural Hungary (Bodolyáber) in to an eco camping and holiday venue.   

I arrived and certain elements looked plain run-down. A barn with half a roof, a green house made from recycled windows, muddy paths patched with bark and straw. The owner said last week that some of it looked like a squat…his words not mine, but having heard that, I suppose it’s a fitting description. Of the barn at least. But as the days went by the whole place grew on me and I stopped seeing the run down elements as messy but instead as quite homely.   

We started by clearing all the rubble and trash from the barn and turned it in to a liveable space for us volunteers. It now looks like an open plan hipster loft pad barn conversion. Complete with candle stands and animal skulls. If it wasn’t so cold I would spend more time there   

Most of the work was centred around the permaculture gardening and building the cob treehouse: their main guest accommodation.   

When I arrived it was just a shell with a roof on stilts, but we have just today finished the first layer of clay plaster on the walls. The walls are made from thick reed mats, drilled in to wooden beams to stay secure, covered in clay plaster which we got from the garden, then finally we add cob to finish them and make them smoother.   

It has been a good experience here and definitely positive but I think I’m happy to leave. The family who run the project are very nice and the work load is so much better than in Brazil. We worked a full day rather than the usual half day yesterday so they took me for dinner in the nearby city.   

Occasionally Roeland will show up at the barn with a bottle of wine for us to try and he is always showing his appreciation for the work we do. 

I have taken some of my best photographs here too, thanks to being around people I know, who don’t mind having their photo taken.  

In terms of learning, I have learned new building skills which may come in handy in later life. I do not believe that this type of Eco building is the future for mankind. It is inefficient and often wasteful in ways, but for a small project like this it is good. And I feel if I have no money when I decide to settle down, at least I can build a house from the land around me.   

So although I’m ready to leave, I feel I’ve added valuable life skills to my brain. I’ve learned new building methods, lived in a tiny rural Hungarian town for a month, met great people and barely eaten meat. Think I lost some weight too.   

On to the next place now I guess 

Update*

Re ‘I don’t think this is the future for mankind’

I feel I should add, if more people, I guess everyone who lived in the countryside, lived like they do here, then the world would be a healthier one. The amount of nature, and animals and bugs here is unlike anything I’ve seen. The soil is fertile, there are always beetles and spiders and birds everywhere. And if people took care of their land in a manner more like this our planet would be a better place. I guess cities and big industry would still be outweighing the good done but still. I don’t think I gave enough credit to the owners way of life 

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