February 17 to April 28, 2019
Our Workaway experience continues successfully. Hannah and Vicky were a delightful couple who answered our call for a housesitter for April. When our plans suddenly changed to include a cruise in March as well as the planned trip to see the grandkids in April, they agreed to arrive early and brave a Manitoba winter.
Hannah is from Australia and Vicky from Germany. They met here in Canada while on a Workaway experience. I have to admit I was a bit worried about the two of them alone here during the winter. Manitoba has been known to throw out some pretty wild weather in March. However, there was no need to worry as they embraced the chance to experience a Manitoba winter. While they didn’t get to experience -40C, like we had in early February, they did get some pretty cold weather.
Their job description was pretty simple – walk the dog twice a day, feed the dog and cats, keep the house warm and take care of my plants. Despite the sometimes very cold weather, they faithfully braved the cold to give Hanna her much loved daily walks. As well, both cats, Booksey and Sox, enjoyed their abundance of animal love.
Keeping our house warm is not as simple as it sounds, as we use a wood burning stove to heat the house. Each morning, they awoke to a chilly house (around 15C) and had to get a fire going. While we had a good stock of wood for them to use, they did need to forage for small stuff – kindling – to get the fire going. I was very impressed at how much they enjoyed the wood heat and how well they adapted to cooking and baking with a wood stove. We arrived home after each trip to find a pot of homemade soup and a loaf of homemade bread waiting for us. How’s that for a homecoming!
Both Hannah and Vicky are vegans and I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss many topics with them. They quickly learned the basics of whole food plant based eating and enjoyed the use of my well stocked pantry and collection of cookbooks. Both turned out to be excellent cooks.
They also volunteered at the town’s perogie fundraisers and turned out to be excellent perogie makers.
Hannah had to return to Australia the end of March, but Vicky stayed on alone to housesit in April when we went to BC. She did really well alone, not minding the solitude. In fact, without Hannah who was the primary cook, she became a proficient cook in her own right. Before she left, she made up a bunch of healthy snacks to tide her over on her 24 hour travel back to Germany. You can find the recipes posted here on Ponderosa Cooks.
Thank you Vicky and Hannah for taking great care of our home and sharing your love with Hanna, Booksey and Sox. We are so happy to have the chance to get to know you and hope you will be back to visit your Canadian home again.