Two weeks in the vicinity of Ôgimi

IN THE NORTH OF OKINAWA

Monday, January 18, departure at 8am from Nago for Ôgimi, a small rural town in the north of Okinawa where my new woofing is located, on a dairy farm. I arrive half an hour later at the Konbini (small supermarkets open 24/7 present everywhere) where is the meeting place. I call the farm using a landline and wait almost an hour for my contact to pick me up. A little grandma finally landed. Keiko Kiyuna, the owner of the farm. She takes me in her little car, her heavy foot on the accelerator, on a small path snaking through the tropical fauna in the middle of the hills. The farm is outside the village of Ôgimi.

Around Ogimi - Okinawa - © Claire Blumenfeld

Arriving at Kiyuna Farm, I get to know the other woofers and discover a small farm very rural. Keiko shows me the accommodation (very very rural) and invites me to choose work clothes and boots warning me that the work is messy. She then abandons me to other woofers who are responsible for showing me the work. I get to know Saya, a young Japanese woman studying agricultural work and milking cows, woofing for two months on the farm and three Germans: Sonja, Martin and another whom I regret to say I can not remember his first name. The two young German men are friends who have been woofing on the farm for 1 month. They are leaving tomorrow. Sonja arrived three days ago. Sonja warns me that the work is hard and exhausting and there is little free time. When I am told that the alarm clock is at 5:45am to gather the cows at 6am, my mood goes down. It is so early! Without further waiting, I start the work. I am taught how to feed the cows, clean the manure, prepare food, etc. I also meet Asahide Kiyuna, Keiko’s husband, little grandpa with a big smile.

Kiyuna Farm - Around Ogimi - Okinawa - © Claire BlumenfeldAt noon it’s meal in the house with everyone and then we leave the three Germans and I take a walk to the beach. The sea is rough but that does not prevent them from jumping into the water. Back at the farm, we resume work to finish around 6pm. I am very tired after this first day and a little disillusioned with what I had imagined. The atmosphere is said to be very friendly and family put forward in the comments recommending that woofing but the reality that I am experiencing is different. Maybe because it’s winter. The workload is also much larger than expected.

The following days are similar, tiring, monotonous and not really funny. Keiko and Asahide participate very little in the work of the farm. Probably because they are starting to be old. And apart during meals the exchanges are very limited. Fortunately I get on well with Sonja, the kittens of the farm are soon cute, working outdoors all day is nice and the paintings on the walls of the farm give it a certain charm.

Paint on the walls - Kiyuna Farm - Around Ogimi - Okinawa - © Claire BlumenfeldKitty - Kiyuna Farm - Around Ogimi - Okinawa - © Claire Blumenfeld

In the end my ten days of woofing pass relatively quickly but I admit that when I leave Kiyuna Farm in the morning of January 28 it is with no regrets. After these rather tiring days, I’m going to enjoy the last days that I have left on Okinawa to rest and visit Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium, the second largest aquarium in the world, after the one in Atlanta in the United States.

I invite you to read the focus I made on Kiyuna Farm, here, which unveils in twenty photos all the details of my woofing.

PRECISION ABOUT MY ARTICLES

My woofing at Kiyuna Farm is an opportunity to set up new types of articles. The articles “travel diary” are interesting but I feel the need to diversify a little content.

First of all what I called the “Focus”, which will present you in about ten or twenty photos a specific subject of my trip. These are kinds of photographic reports with legends aimed at deepening a theme. Discover my first focus Woofing at Kiyuna Farm

Then comes the “Glimpses”. Those who follow me on Facebook have already been able to meet them. Very short articles, simply composed of a photo and a small reflection, they serve to illustrate an original moment, a particular situation occurred during the day. They also serve to fill the waiting period between the release of more detailed articles. The goal is also to increase the attendance of my site which is not very important I admit it.

Happy reading !