Granja #6: A lesson in optimism


In its write-up, our sixth farm described itself as a perfumery, something different and interesting. In their email correspondence with us, the hosts seemed overjoyed at the idea of our stay with them.

Within our first day or two with them, we discovered that neither of these were so.

It was a generally uncomfortable experience, which is all I’ll say for now so as not to dwell on negatives. The positives were (a) that Sara and I spent two full days picking walnuts, and invented our own cosechador de nueces out of a plastic jar, some wire, and a piece of bamboo, and (b) met some of the kindest, most interesting fellow WWOOFers thus far. Between a French couple that had met in Morocco while she was studying journalism and he was studying oceanography, and an impressively dreadlocked Czech/Irish couple who had got jobs as shouting soldiers in the filming of King Arthur thanks to their general unkept look, we always had plenty to talk about.

The most striking thing about these travelers, though, was their ability to stay positive even at this particular farm, where relations with hosts were awkward if not sometimes downright tense.

Sara and I have sadly observed that the one thing that seems guaranteed to bring people together, regardless of nationality or experience, is complaining. Despite the beauty and crazy adventures that are constantly surrounding us here in South America, it’s often hard to relate to anyone without finding something to whine about. And now, when finally there were things we could’ve easily let annoy us, we found ourselves with people that seemed determined to genuinely get to know each other and show love to our hosts even if it was not always reciprocated. It was definitely both a breath of fresh air and a challenge to both of us.




Cosechador de nueces, design copyright Pedro Wieja 2011


Welcome to Hotel Massacre*…

Hike up Loma Bola


For Scott Donnelly: Fine dining in La Paz – The tale of a tenacious journey.

* In case you’re concerned: “Hotel Massacre” was the affectionate moniker given by the WWOOFers to the absolutely terrifying, bat-infested crumbling building where we were told to keep our stuff and in which we were welcome to sleep as well (no one ever seemed to take this offer up…)

5 responses »

  1. Interesting coincidence … maybe? … just heard these words this week and wrote them down and tacked them on my fridge: ” Thankful hearts prepare you to hear the voice of God. Complaining sustains the purposes of darkness. If you want to know the condition of your heart, ask yourself the question “How thankful am I?”

    Thanks once again for sharing and giving us glimpses of your adventures!

    Blessings and God’s provision to you both!
    Love yah.


  2. Wow, interesting observations! Love your mom’s comment too…I might post that on my fridge as well! Makes you think about how much difficult circumstances causes our hearts to take more joy in small things or something we would not normally appreciate. Maybe this is how God builds our joy throughout life because our eyes and hearts are opened to even more for the joyful, carefree valleys of life 🙂


  3. Hi there

    (this is actually Gwen, but I can’t figure out how to log in as moi…I’m at Ma’s computer in Wpg now)


  4. Okay…my last post worked, so now I’ll actually leave a longer comment!

    I have your kitty sitting in my lap. xox

    My baby is sleeping in Ma’s lap. 🙂

    Josh – great post (good writing as usual)! I liked the froggie in the dining area.
    Now off to read the rest of your posts!


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