?> WWOOFing

I am currently reading Yes Man by Danny Walace, most certainly the funniest book I have read in years. He basically decides at a certain moment in his life that he has to say yes to every opportunity that poses itself as a yes or no question. This is more or less how we are living our life right now and it is certainly why I am making a rope swing at the moment. Rope swing you might ask? I thought this post was going to be about wwoofing (working for free in return for food and shelter, in our case we even save 9 euros a day). Well, it is about wwoofing but also about building the Healing Swing.


A while ago we surfed the couch of Miguel in Porto. During our stay there he talked about a farm in the South of Portugal, which we needed to visit, he was absolutely convinced we would love it. So two months later here I am and I can’t really speak for Val, she’s coming back one of these next days, but I love it and I am sure she’ll do to. So thanks for sharing your little secret Miguel, the best jam-maker in the world. You were right.

Ole donkeys






It has been only one week of wwoofing and I have got to say it has been a great experience so far. I am sure it has a lot to do with the beautiful location of Vida Pura, the eco-retreat where I am wwoofing, but even more with the people who manage it and the other wwoofers who work here.


Up till now I have learned how to weed, seed, plant and transplant. But the most fun I have had so far was making the Healing Swing, an after hours project my Australian co-worker and I co-founded. Basically he said: “I want to build a rope swing” and I said: “Ok, sounds like a plan”.

the healing swing

It is a thing of beauty, hanging on a tree at the far end of the terrain, close to a river. We are currently finishing up version 2.0. The first version had a couple of flaws, so we had to rethink our initial design and decided a platform would probably be the best road to success. My first try went completely according to plan and I landed blissfully in the middle of the healing river. Than it was up to Shane, who weighs about 15kg more than me… On his first try he broke the handle and crashed into the water experiencing only a third of the trajectory of the swing, which was very funny, but also a bit sad. On his second try, we replaced the bamboo with a stronger piece of bamboo, but unfortunately for Shane the same thing happened. And it had the same effects as his previous swing, very funny, but kind of sad. We decided bamboo might not really be cut out to be a perfect swing handle, so we found a piece of solid wood that was.

shane swing

The rest is history as they say; we’ve been swinging every day since and we can’t wait to add some extra features like a rope ladder or a diving platform. I guess it will be a never-ending project, but it sure makes me live in the moment and has made me laugh at least as much as the book Yes Man has done so far.


Happy swinging everyone!


Ps: If you don’t live close by, you can always ask me for the recipe and build your own.