Interview with Tanja Volunteer in Brazil

Eco Caminhos, farming, volunteer, voluntariado,
Tanja, why did you decided to join the Eco Caminhos team?

I wanted to live something different. I was studying in Danemark with a lot of dreams about Living in an organic way. In Danemark I bought organic food and I had many ideas on how I wanted to live in harmony, but I found it difficult because I lived in an urban neighborhood. When I saw the website of Eco Caminhos and I read about the farm I thought it would be the ideal place for me. The farm is located in Brazil, which means a lot to me because I was born in Brazil.

What was your first impression when you arrived at the farm?

When I arrived it was night so I could not see much. I was only aware that the farm was located in a very high place. The next day when I opened the window I was left breathless because the view was so beautiful, I was impressed with the beauty of the place. The team welcomed me with open arms, I went to Bart’s house where I could see the beautiful view of Cardinot and they showed me the waterfall that they have on the farm. I am sure that there is a lot of beauty hidden around the world, and you cannot get to know it if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone.

How is your daily life on the farm?

I work as a short term volunteer, which means that I work three days a week and I have two days off, so my work schedule is flexible.  My first task was in the vegetable garden where we planted and watered plants. They wanted to give me a complete experience of the things that you can do in the farm so they asked me if I wanted to participate in the bioconstruction of the chicken coop as well, I thought it was a good idea because I want to build my own house one day. They showed me the ecolodge and the work that they were doing there with bioconstruction, I worked there one day. The life on a farm is very unpredictable, but we always work as a team which means that if something doesn’t work well we will help each other to make it work. It can be anything, like fixing a fence that the cows destroyed, or change the workplace when it rains. Each day is different from the other.

How is the social life on the farm?

When I arrived most of the team members were already there for a long time, they had a structure to which I had to adapt. In the beginning, it was not easy but little by little I discovered that the more I got involved in the activities, like the volunteers night or the movies night the more I got closer to the members of the team. If I had a positive attitude the others had positive behavior towards me. I have made a lot of friends and I am very grateful for that.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned how my thoughts and actions can become more harmonious. From the beginning, I wanted to live in an organic way and Eco Caminhos gave me the tools to do it. I have gained much more from this experience than I expected. I take with me new friends from all over the world, I feel stronger and I don’t doubt myself anymore. I feel that I have a place in the world and that I have the strength to make my dreams come true.

Read more about the volunteer opportunities Eco Caminhos offers.