Mathilde, Martina and Caroline, all from Germany.
Our last volunteers have just been fantastic. One from Switzerland and three from different parts of Germany. All brought the same mix of hard work, flexibility, enthusiasm, warmth and humour.
Lisanne from Swtzerland was the first with a gentle energy and ready laugh, and she gardened and cooked and most especially bottled and labelled our limoncello. Read more in this previous post.
Then came Mathilda with her groundedness and her skill in all kinds of areas. And her lovely smile. She undertook the huge task of photographing all the antiques and crockery I want to sell for which I am very grateful.
A while later came Martina and Caroline, both very smart and super helpful. Martine had the added skill of giving a great massage and Caroline was a wiz on the computer,
But most of all the last three volunteers helped us make wine and they drank some wine too .
We thank them very much, wish them luck and hope to see them again
Feedback from our volunteers:
During my travels through South Africa I had the luck to stay at Fynbos Estate for 10 weeks. The farm is an absolutely wonderful and magical place. Diana and Johan as well as the staff are such lovely and welcoming people and the adorable dogs and the surrounding nature reserve is amazing. From the first day they made me feel like a family member.
The tasks were widely spread from gardening, making tapenade and cooking for events. As I was there during harvest I had the opportunity to learn a lot about natural wine. I helped with harvesting, making the actual wine and bottling, which was all very interesting.
Diana and Johan are very flexible so you can decide on your own how much you would like to work and you get plenty of free time where you can go hiking, play with the dogs, take the car for a little roadtrip or just relax at the pool.
Thank you so much for the unforgettable time and all the kindness.
All the best for the future and lots of love!
Fynbos Estate – a place to be.
by Martina Jeßnitz
I am standing in the middle of paradise: Surrounded by old oaks, huge palm trees, jasmine bushes, lianas and nearly any other kind of flower and plant you can imagine. Birds are singing, insects are buzzing, the sun is shining through the reaves roof which protects us from being burnt.
Us being Mathilda and I – two German girls with so many similarities it sometimes scares us a bit. We just met here on the farm a few days ago and already feel like we know each other. We just finished four hours of work in the garden, cutting bushes, cleaning up the paths through the garden beds and keeping the wilderness limited without ruining the natural atmosphere.
Now, it’s time for lunch and I recognize that my mind has been switched off for the past four hours. The first thought that comes to my mind, which is also spoken out loud is “What shall we eat?” Mathilda starts laughing “This is exactly what I was thinking about!”.
There are so many stories I could tell about the things I learned, about gardening, massaging animals, harvesting, different cultures, history, humans, South Africa, Zimbabwe, baking Linzer Torte, myself. But the thing I enjoyed the most and which is still present being back in Germany, is this state of just being.
Diana and Johan with their serene, warm, open and honest way of living created a matchless place where I immediately felt home.
In the beginning of the year I spent three weeks on Fynbos, the time when vine harvest is about to start in South Africa. Johan’s and Diana’s calm kind, their warm-heart characters, and overall, the special personal charm of the farm made me feel like home right away. My bed was in a little hut just next to the farm house garden, which I shared with two other volunteering girls, Martina and Mathilda. They were good company and we alwalys had a lot of fun while baking cakes, relaxing in the gardens or having dinner together with Diana and Johan, and always with us the puppies and cats. During the day we could help with wine making, olive pealing and weeding among other tasks. Diana was always keen to make sure our tasks are diverse and fun for us. I am certain that Diana’s ambition made my first woofing experience special and I felt lucky to work there as it did not feel like work but helping out friends. Of course you will meet other lovely creatures on Fynbos: Donkeys, ducks, horses.. and a bunch of friendly people who help with the winery, guest houses, weddings and all the work the farm brings along. My personal highlights of my stay include hiking on Fynbos-owned mountains (Dragonridge) for sunrise (you have a beautiful view, colourful plants and exotic animals up there), some BBQs with young winemakers who lived on other farms and which take place during harvest, and, last but not least, watching the impressive starry sky while sitting next to the pool by night. I wish Fynbos all the best for the future. Thank you for this beautiful experience!