Hi! It’s my first blog post and I can’t believe it’s actually about WWOOF but not food. Here I am sharing my first ever WWOOF experience in Okinawa in early August 2015.
What is WWOOF?
The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farming, you may consider it as an exchange programme, where the hosts provide food and accommodation while WWOOFers work for a certain number of time each day.
WWOOF website: http://www.wwoof.net/welcome-to-wwoof/
WWOOF Japan: http://www.wwoofjapan.com/main/index.php?lang=en
I heard about wwoofing from my friend and I have been participating in organic farming activities in Hong Kong for a while (eFarm in Fanling: https://www.facebook.com/efarmhk/?fref=ts), I reckoned it was a good time to go wwoofing on my own, to challenge myself, to walk out of my comfort zone, to test my limits.
OKINAWA, Japan. The reason is simple, I LOVE this place. I have first been to Okinawa in the year of 2012 and I totally fell in love with this beautiful place. It is a special place because it had the influence from both Japanese and Ryukyu histories. Okinawan people keep the tradition of Japanese, they are polite, strict to order, pay attention to details, but at the same time they are more chill and relaxed (chillaxing is my hidden life goal!). Okinawa is made up of one main island and many smaller nearby islands. It is surrounded by a magnificent coastline. I will definitely share more photos in my upcoming posts.
My host – how did I find them on WWOOF
Here are the steps that I searched my host:
- Searched Okinawa from WWOOF Japan site
- Looked for host who were accepting wwoofers in my estimated traveling month
- Screened out host who were only accepting wwoofers for at least a month (as I was expecting to travel for two weeks) or those who preferred male wwoofer (as some farm work, especially animal farms, required more physical work, some farms prefer male over female helpers).
- Chose host who could communicate in English as I did not know Japanese.
- After screening, there were only a few hosts left (since most Japanese farms prefer Japanese-speakers which I think is reasonable). My host was looking for someone who could play with their 2-year-old kid, help with housework and cooking, which I thought it was perfect for me, and that’s it! We communicated through emails and the dates had been set. Let’s go!
In Miyagi Island, there is a quiet community with mostly elderly people. The only primary school was closed few years ago which mean young kids have to travel to the next connected island for schooling. There is a bus running around the three connected islands but it only comes every two hours (the driver could recognise my face after I took it twice as I was the youngest passenger! XD), people mostly transport by car.
All photos above were taken by my Seagull film camera and Kodak portra 160 film.