About one year ago Nov 2014 I was working 3 weeks on the lemon tree farm of former Belgium fighter jet pilot Gino Corneillie. How the hell did that happen?
The answer is Help exchange. It is a perfect idea for saving some money during your travels. You exchange your human labour for accommodation, food and unique experiences. There are several platforms out there where you can find interesting jobs.
Most frequent one are
I found my host Gino via help exchange and helped him with fertilising and weeding about 4.000 lime trees on his sitio. It was hard and stupidly repetitive work (at least for the Zurich spoiled city guy like me) as every tree needed the same treatment . Check it out…
Baiano the caseiro of the sitio
Baiano is working on the farm since 35 years. He is above 50 years. The name is referring to the region Bahia where he originally comes from. His daily routine from Mo-Fr is farming and explaining greenhorns like us including Gino how to grew the best limes of entire Brazil. Patiently and always with a smile he leads the crew out into the field. Day in day out the same. He lives in a small house on about 15qm together with his son. 2 years ago he bought his first TV.
Baiano the philosopher
I never heard a word of complaint from this hard working guy. Instead every morning he greeted us with his big smile white teeth. During a short break I chatted with him about life. He feels happy, is thankful for having his work. There is no girl in your life Baiano? He grinned to me and said… “At the moment 2 :)”. Still a Brazilian I thought ;). Furthermore he barely is going to the 10km away beach. Instead on weekends with a Robinson Crusoe mentality he is building a second house. My westernised mind will never be ready to be happy with such a simple life I confessed to myself. In fact I just came back from Berlin the entrepreneur capital where all is about business ideas, investors and Apps. But I also promised myself to keep this guy in mind. And always I will remember this one sentence he wisely said to me.
“Mario a beleza nunca para!”
“Mario the good things in life never stop”.
About a month ago Baiano had a horrible accident and was lying in coma for about 10 days. But as beleza nunca para he is already back in the fields again.
We all should search for a little Baianoness in ourselves.
Enjoy and be happy,
Mario Räuberhöhle, Ravensburg