Cellar Dweller

Trip Start Sep 29, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Ohio
Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's Charles.

I know some people who believe in the words of wisdom – “If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all”. I usually abide by that as well, but there are exceptions to every rule. Here is my Top Nine list for why I hated our work exchange in Ohio.

1.  Our bedroom was in the dampest basement I have ever been in. We could see stains on the walls from previous flooding. It was so damp that we had to wash the outfit we had gotten my nephew because it smelled musty after being in our bedroom for three weeks.

2.  Our main job was to take care of the animals, primarily the rabbits. This entailed feeding and providing water for them in the morning. It also included putting bottles of ice water in their cages once or twice a day. I have nothing against rabbits, but I thought this was a little much given that our host was basically running a rabbit mill. She had over 80 rabbits all in small cages (some were actually cat carriers) in a barn that had little to no light and no air circulation to speak of. Did I mention that 60 plus chickens lived in this barn as well? 

3.  Our host made us work on building a barn in the middle of the hottest day we were there. It was sunny, hot, and humid with the temperature reaching 98 degrees. This seemed a bit ridiculous given the fact that we had just finished another barn two weeks earlier and she had not yet used it for anything before we left.

4.  Our host made us work on the same barn in the pouring rain the next day. Again, what was the hurry?  She wasn't going to be using it anytime soon.

5.  Room and board was provided. The board consisted mostly of salad. We had to buy our own breakfast foods, any fruit that we may want, and snacks if we wanted them.  Our host basically provided lettuce and some meats that she had probably gotten a deal on last year.

6.  Our host would NEVER stop talking.  She was constantly yapping while we worked, ate meals, or were trying to relax. Heather had it worse than me because I just ignored our host and rarely contributed to the conversation. Sorry, honey.

7.  We rarely if ever had the right tools or tools that were in working order. This was very frustrating and made even the simplest of tasks difficult and time consuming.

8.  When the county dug a ditch in front of her property, our host had them move the dirt to her back property. She then had us make a frame with a screen, haul it up the hill with shovels and a wheelbarrow, strain this awful dirt and haul it down to the garden. Every day. During a heat wave. Even though it was July and pretty much too late to be planting the seeds she was putting in.

9.  Our host kept bringing up stories about previous work exchange volunteers. They were wonderful, so funny, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to ask her how they could be so wonderful given the fact that the barn they built wouldn't last a year and only a quarter of the vegetable garden had been planted by the end of June.

There is one positive that came out of our stay. Heather and I spent a great evening at a Moose Lodge in Zanesville, Ohio. We were looking for a place for dinner one evening and stumbled upon the lodge. I asked a guy that was heading inside about it and he said that it was for members only. But he would be happy to have us as guests. We took him up on it. The food and beer were very cheap and very good. And the company was even better. We met a ton of people and they were some of the nicest people we have ever met. They bought us some beers and wanted to know all abut our travels. We met a guy that just bought some oil wells in town, two ladies who were obsessed with the lottery tickets sold there (they bought them ALL and then paid for them with their “winnings”), the guy that was running the lodge that night, and of course our gracious host Rodney Hot Rod. Heather bought a hat and I bought a t-shirt. Our bill for food, beers, and merchandise came to a whopping $22. We are definitely going to consider joining if there is one near where we live when we get back. Shout out to Moose Lodge

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