Saturday, March 19, 2016

Workaway in the High Desert of New Mexico

From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve 2015, I had the pleasure of living and working in the quaint town of Roswell, New Mexico. My hostess was Karen Boehler, a local writer and animal lover.

For those of you who aren't yet familiar with Workaway and HelpX, I'll explain. Workaway and HelpX are work exchange programs where a person (the volunteer) performs several hours of work per day for the host/ess in exchange for room and board.  After signing up online, a volunteer pays a small fee to become a member ($29US for two years) and then they complete a profile about themselves. Volunteers can choose which positions to apply for based on their interests and skills set. The volunteer emails a potential host/ess and things progress from there.  Some hosts want a Skype interview, some prefer talking on the phone, and some communicate exclusively through email. Once the host and volunteer agree on a beginning work date and length of stay, the volunteer makes travel plans and ideally keeps in contact with their new employer.  Once the big day arrives, the volunteer is usually picked up at the airport, bus/train station and taken to the home/farm by the host or by another volunteer.

Many hosts give you the tour and allow you that day (and sometimes the next day) off to get rested up and settled in to your new digs.

I had a wonderful month in New Mexico working for Karen and I was able to meet a lot of different and interesting people during my stay.  There were four other Workaway volunteers that cycled in and out that month and a Couchsurfer who came by for a few nights. The weather way amazing and the skies were beautiful at night, some of the prettiest sunsets I've ever seen on the US Mainland.  The day after I left, Roswell and surrounding areas received a whopping three feet of snow - a record breaking amount in their desert history!  Glad I was on that bus to Florida!

Here are some of my photos from that wonderful experience.  Thank you Karen!

Curiosity, a rescued goat.

Karen's funky cool farm in Roswell, NM.

Aries, another rescued goat.

Ginger, the rooster.

The two adorable ducks.

Blondie, the rooster.

Me, helping offload firewood.

Milky Way, one of the two goats who were tragically killed by dogs during my stay on the farm.  RIP little guy,  

Luna, the other rescue goat who was mauled to death by dogs.  RIP young lady.
Llamas in the high desert of New Mexico
In the foreground is Nova, the young male.
His mother, Momma Llama, is in the background.
Both llamas were rescued by Karen.