Waking up on our first day did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. I collapsed into our bed content with the knowledge that my magic-phone would be waking us up a full hour before we needed to do anything. I neglected to update said telecommunicator with our new time-zone, so we were awakened by the lovely sounds of wood being split by our host Scott at five-to-nine. The importance of the missed orientation time struck me while standing in the kitchen behind Scott, as he prepared rolled oats and dried fruit, and I realized I had no idea what I should be doing. Jet-lag has a funny way of turning your brains to mush.
Following breakfast, we received the grand tour of Les Seilhols (which means “the Sunny Place, in Occitan-a native language in Southern France). We met the creatures we would be caring for (the chickens, Muttley the dog, and Alphonse, Paulette, and Josephine the donkeys), and fed them. Finally, we tagged some trees for later chain-sawing.
Next came lunch of egg and chorizo (I know, right?!), on some delicious bread. Tomorrow we will be buying fresh baguette, so more on French bread later.
The next portion of the day was spent with Emilie fighting the forces of jet lag, and Chris getting the lowdown on Chainsaws. “What’s there to learn?'” you might ask. “Enough for an afternoon”, I would respond.
Today was the last day we would without-a-doubt see both of our hosts (Scott will be returning after two weeks, but Saira might be out till after we leave). With this in mind we decided to do the work of preparing dinner. One of the gifts we brought our hosts was some Minnesota wild rice. With some spaghetti squash from the farm, and some heavy internet-recipe-browsing, we were able to pull off a pretty palatable meal. Combine this with some wine our hosts friend made, and some delicious pureed chestnut and fromage blanc, and you have a very enjoyable evening. Our hosts also bequeathed us some local maps, and books on local flora and birding.
With full bellies and properly synchronized phone-clocks, we drifted off to dreamland (which is heavily influenced by the amount of cheese one consumes, FYI!)