No matter how many times I talk about Birdwood Downs, I'm still thrilled at how it has changed my life. I started to WWOOF at Birdwood Downs and performed in their Crow and Cockatoo theater with many interesting actors. It was the first time for me to meet so many people with such a diverse background all at one place.

One day when I was sewing the sheets for the tourism huts in the theater Robyn, the then director, came to talk to me. She asked what do I liked to do, I was shocked that I actually had no answer for her question. Her question was like a seed of dream to find what I love to do in life. I thought about her words a lot after I left the farm.

The next year I decided to follow my heart and go back to Birdwood where I started my Ecological Frontier Training Programme. Straight away I fell in love with ecological farming and also with community living. I started to open up a lot of my senses which I never realised before. I did gardening in the veggie patch and fruit orchards, landscaping, animal husbandry, handling machinery, building,  horsemanship, theater, meditation and cooking. All the work there was a great way of life, positive and meaningful. I have never lived so full in my life before.

Inspired by the Institute of Ecotechnics, I went to volunteer at a sister project – Heraclitus, a research Chinese junk that sails around the world. Robyn organized a theater performance to fundraise for my seamanship program. I was really touched with her generosity and kindness.

Unfortunately, Robyn was diagnosed with cancer when I was with the ship. I came back from Spain to hold hands and thank her before she passed away. It was so sad for me. She had inspired me to take care of our environment. I then stayed at the station after her funeral. I started to slowly take responsibility for gardening, managing the communal kitchen and also cooking for the tourists. Hans and Greg were really great mentors. They worked on my personal development and encouraged me to try new things. Hans even guided me on my application to go to Mars with Mars One project. And I got selected into the next round!

Birdwood Downs has given me chances to learn independently to manage a farm with my own style. I took that knowledge and skills with me and started to work in organic farms in Malaysia, my home country. Now I have my own sustainable farming project.

Birdwood Downs a magical place, where you hear the hum of the earth.

Xin