Here’s a heartfelt message from long established host Silverfields.
Dear volunteers, this season, after seven wonderful years on our smallholding hosting a wide and very varied and extremely interesting groups of people from Italy to Hong Kong to France, Spain and Taiwan, to name a few … we have hosted two WWOOFers who felt it was ok to just get their stuff and leave without warning or explanation.
So I write this to express how a host might feel in such circumstances. We don’t for a second expect anyone to stay if the experience is not working out as they have expected. But as a host, we have invited you into our family home to share and live with us for a short period and that takes a lot of trust and respect, especially in our case, with a five-year-old running about the place.
We understand that we are all very different with expectations to match. One person may well love to stay in a very basic caravan with no electricity and another may not. One person may enjoy time on their own, another may not. One person may well enjoy a full day’s hard digging on hard ground (ok, nobody should enjoy that) but another may not. So we understand that after a few days the experience can go well, or not so well. And although we will have planned work and will be disappointed if you wanted to leave, we will empathise with how you might feel.
So although we understand that an individual turning up to a stranger’s house after perhaps only a couple of email exchanges – we don’t get into too much questioning – can be a daunting experience, we know, we’ve done it… the very least we hope for is honesty and respect, both ways. Somebody leaving without explanation or, as in the case of one, a brief email the next day and in the case of the other, a nasty review full of lies posted on our WWOOF page leaves only a bad taste and leaves us questioning what we did wrong and subsequently why we do this.
Trust and respect are at the very core of the WWOOF experience. Leaving without warning or explanation disrespects that ethos.
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