This is my first time to join WWOOF; I was very excited about it and got a little bit nervous when I got ready to come from Taiwan to here. The best plan was which I can stay in Taiyo Bokujo.
I will always remember that the milking cows were so huge when I saw them on my first working day. I didn’t know how to approach them at the beginning since I thought they might hurt me. Actually they won’t. I had not had a chance to be with animals or even dogs in Taiwan, which is why I was scared. After staying with them longer, I found how adorable and friendly these cows and Cinnamon are. I have enjoyed taking care of and playing with them very much. It always had interesting things happened here, like a cow escaped and I run after her. Therefore I don’t feel tired at all.
At free time, I tried to make some desserts or special cuisine and Katsu san always helped us to find out the tools… I also like to see Katsu san make desserts and he is glad to share his recipes to me, such as delicious jams, ice cream and yogurt…
In fact, I always expected to eat bread with Katsu’s jam for breakfast everyday.
They are all so yummy. Then if the weather is nice, I will ride the bicycle which Katsu san lent me. Here is suitable for biking and adventure somewhere.
I also appreciated Katsu san very much even if we didn’t talk much. I have realized more about him from my sister and WWOOFer’s notebooks. I felt he always treated WWOOFers as his family and was glad to share everything to us. The thing which makes me most impressed is that I always can hear his laugh, which sounds very loud and natural, haw haw haw… Recently, every day had new issues, which made you become very busy, such as cows’ sickness, something wrong with the milking machine, new baby cows… However you were still optimistic as usual. You are a good weather person like the sun, and you affect everyone who comes here. They get happy easily. I am really grateful for living and staying here.
Thank you for giving me the great memory of Taiyo Bokujo. I will miss you, Cinnamon and the cows. Please take care!
☆★ 不容錯過的wwoof好地方-太陽牧場 ☆★
ＦＲＯＭ ＴＡＩＷＡＮ 林婉裕 ＬＩＮ ２０１２．４．１９
初めまして。Alec Weltzienと申します。あまり日本語が上手じゃないし、英語のほうが早いし、英語で書きます。すみません。I’m 25, and I hail from the great states of Montana and Virginia in the United States of America. For reference, Montana itself is about 3,000 square kilometers larger than Japan, but has only about one million inhabitants. It’s “high, wide and handsome,” as wiser minds have put it, and something of that quality is present in Hokkaido as well (perhaps not so high).
So, why I am in Hokkaido at TaiyoBokujo, enjoying the excellent hospitality and eternal patience of Mr. Kataoka Katsunori? I came to study Japanese and live with Japanese. Since the fourth year of college, it’s been my dream to attain a modicum of fluency in the language. My girlfriend Lisa is also half-Japanese, so she has greatly encouraged me to continue. One day, I would like to enter the Foreign Service and live in Japan, in addition to possible doctoral work in the Japanese language.
The road to that point started at Taiyobokujo. Regarding Katsunori-san, I echo the others in emphasizing his kindness, generosity, and patience. Since coming here, he’s taken me out to lunch, to the Monbetsu Sea Ice Museum, to the Monbetsu Seal Center, and to local hot springs (probably my favorite stop so far). Katsunori-san goes out of his way to make sure his WWOOFERS are enjoying themselves, even if he has visited the same place countless times.
Farm life keeps a regular tempo. For many of us (like myself) who have worked desk jobs, it’s a blessing to work without a computer and in the open air. In the last month, we’ve seen a calf born and a sick cow sold. The veterinarians visit regularly to check hoof and leg injuries and infections, as well as company employees who perform artificial insemination for Kataoka-san. At mealtimes and in the evenings, we practice Japanese and English, while showcasing the various dishes of our respective countries (so far, I’ve tried Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Japanese food). There’s usually some Japanese talk-show on the television that I don’t understand as well. I try to listen anyways and pick up a little as I go. By now, Kataoka-san is very proficient at making caramel, custard, ice cream, and jams. We’ve all had the opportunity to make these with him, as well as sample them. And the eggs! Now that spring is arriving, Kataoka-san’s flock lays at least 10 eggs a day. I’ve made quiche and frittatas and am busy searching the internet for new egg recipes.
Thanks to the spring weather, parts of Kataoka’s farm are becoming visible again. I will be staying until the end of May, so I am looking forward to leading the cows to pasture and some of the spring work. I’ll write another update as spring continues to settle in.
My clothing is a little too small… ah, life in Japan.