When Richard and I first found out that this was the summer he would be having his hips replaced, we
signed up for a program called WorkAway. The idea is to
host a worker, usually a young person wanting to travel and experience a different culture,
and to trade room and board for a few hours of work every day.
For months, after several dozen requests to interesting participants,
we got nothing.
Summer passed and whadaya know?
We got an e-mail from a Japanese lady who said she could come the next week.
And that's how we met Toni.
We picked her up at the bus stop on a dreary, rainy evening. She stayed with us for almost a month.
We got a lot done around the house with her help. It's incredibly motivating to get things done
when you have to fill 3 hours of a workawayer's time with chores. The bathroom was painted,
the windows washed, the gardens winterized and so much more.
Another plus was that it threw us into tourist mode. We showed Toni around our little town,
and in so doing, we were able to see our home with new eyes.
Everything was exciting and new to Toni, and we were able to realize that
yes, we do live in a pretty great place, full of beauty and quiet excitement.
We took the time to go biking.
We discovered a waterfall we had never seen before, just minutes from home.
We feasted, Japanese style.
We went whale watching.
The best part?
Getting to know a wonderful young woman who has become a friend to the whole family.