When I first arrived at Birdwood Downs end of July 2015, I was blown away from the hidden paradise that lay ahead of me. It was my first time participating as a  WWOOFer. I ended up staying for a little over 2 months and I must say it was an amazing experience! First of all, the kindness and enthusiasm of Hans when I first arrived, he showed me around the property and told me the stories behind Birdwood Downs... The wonderful experience of meeting other WWOOFers and the participants and representatives of this warm, friendly and meaningful horse and cattle station, which quickly became my home. I loved my experience there, I learned how to drive a tractor, fix irrigation and fences, combat bush fires, make compost, ride horses, and also got to do loads of gardening, harvesting and cooking! I was very lucky to find myself there and be able to occupy myself all day and have a healthy lifestyle. For me, it was an experience of a lifetime and something I will cherish in my heart. Waking up early every morning and working for about 6 hours doing meaning full tasks that help build and survive the station. Getting my hands in the dirt planting and making the vegetable garden grow was my passion, and I almost felt like my legs were roots spreading in the ground and participating in the growth and evolution of the place as well.  After our morning tasks we had the rest of the afternoon off to wander and appreciate the surroundings and then we had dinner all together as a family taking turns cooking so we get to savor dishes from all around the world and get to interact with each other in various debates and conversations that broaden your mind. Every night walking back to my hut, I felt as if time had stopped as I stared at the incredible Milky Way hovering the sky, I felt peace. I can`t thank the family I made there enough for the friendship, laughter and experience they have given me. Dream no small dreams, thank you Birdwood Downs!

Sarah Ozaki