WWOOF volunteering program – what was my day like?

“Mom, mom look what a cute little yellow gosling! Can we take it home? Please, please!”. So they take the little, yellow gosling home. They take care of it and feed it even though they have no idea how because the only thing they know about little yellow goslings is that they are little and yellow.

When little yellow gosling becomes a big, grey goose which poops a lot and tries to fly, they are confused. Nobody told them that little goslings grow up to poop more and fly! They sometimes cut the goose’s feathers. Sometimes its wings deform by themselves due to  bad diet. Such pet is not fun anymore. They call a rescue and ask them to take it.

Really a lot of birds get to Skywater Rescue Ranch and Sanctuary this way. There are other reasons as well, almost all the animals here have their own, sad story. Being hit by a car, getting tangled in nets, falling out of a nest, attack of another animal. All of them need help – and they get it there. Volunteering with wildlife and nature can be extremely rewarding.

What was my role in it?

WWOOF volunteering in the USA. My day.

Feeding and watering the birds

My morning routine was to feed and water all the birds on the farm.

Boring? Not necessarily. Some of the birds eat seeds but some of them eat dead mice. Yum, it doesn’t sound boring, does it? My first meeting with the mice was quite difficult but after a few days I had great fun playing with them 😉

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA.

Morning talk with a goose. Every day stuff… 🙂

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

Picking eggs

No comments needed 🙂

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

Cleaning up after birds

Let’s say that birds are not the cleanest creatures in the world. So I had to clean bird poop out of a concrete terrace. Also, unfortunately not all stories have a happy ending so I also had to clean up dead birds a few times. Well, it’s a part of a bigger process. You can’t save the world without getting your hands dirty.

Preparing medicine for the birds

I was injecting medicine into a mouse, which I fed an owl with. It has already been this stage of my friendship with dead mice that it was a very fascinating task 🙂

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA.

WWOOF – other tasks

WWOOF is about working on a farm or a ranch but it doesn’t mean you won’t do anything else. A lot depends on the place and how much work the farm requires but you may be doing other, not farm related things too. I helped to prepare the house for painting, cooked dinner a few times, drove the car when my host Stefanie couldn’t do it after her surgery.

What are the advantages of volunteering as a WWOOFer in the USA?

I’ve heard a few times – that’s all great but why did you volunteer? You could have seen so much more in the meantime instead of getting dirty with bird poop. Yes, I could have, but I didn’t want to. Why?

The fact that for these three weeks I almost didn’t spend my own money at all because I didn’t need them neither for accommodation nor for food is an obvious advantage – but it’s not the most important one.

First of all, I met amazing people. I lived with them for these three weeks and I participated in their American life. I got to know the “American way of thinking” and even though I knew it to some extent already and it’s not very different from ours, it was very interesting to learn more about it.

WWOOF is not only work – it’s also fun and travelling. During my stay I was riding a bike around small towns which I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Together with my host Stefanie we went wine tasting to California Shenandoah Valley and to Napa Valley. She took me to the best Golden Gate bridge viewing points. Thanks to her recommendations I visited beautiful places which are not so popular among international visitors – Lake Tahoe, Muir Woods, Bear Valley / Point Reyes National Seashore.

WWOOF volunteering program.

Wine tasting in California Shenandoah Valley – Dobra Zemlja Winery (amazing!!!)

WWOOF volunteering program in the USA

Wine tasting in Napa Valley

WWOOF volunteering program.

Point Reyes National Seashore

WWOOF volunteering program. Point Reyes National Seashore

WWOOF volunteering program.

Hiking byTahoe Lake

WWOOF volunteering program.

Golden Gate bridge

Is it worth volunteering in WWOOF program?

Yes, it is! I gained new experiences (a city person working on a farm?!), I learned a lot – about birds, about life on American village, about an “American point of view” – and about myself. Due to these experiences I again became a bit better version of myself. And at least I know, what little, yellow gosling grows up to be 🙂

Are you ready? 🙂 Check the below guide and start planning!

How To Volunteer Abroad?

You can also jump directly to the post explaining how WWOOF works and find your own volunteering opportunity. Also remember that WWOOF is not the only option. In case you aren’t fully convinced, check this post in which I asked Polish travel bloggers if in their opinion it is worth volunteering abroad 🙂

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6 thoughts on “WWOOF volunteering program – what was my day like?

  • Reply Life lesson learnt from cleaning bird poop off the terrace. March 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    […] I volunteer as a WWOOFer in Skywater Rescue Ranch and Sanctuary – a place where sick or hurt birds are brought. They recover here  and if possible, they are released back to their natural environment. I feed them, take care of them, watch how they are healed. I also had an opportunity to release a bunch of herons. […]

  • Reply What To See During 3 Days In San Francisco? June 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    […] in a couple of days. In a few hours I will say good bye to Stefanie at whose ranch I spent last three weeks volunteering. And I wonder if I will ever actually see this person with whom I will exchange the “see you […]

  • Reply What I wish I’d known earlier – birthday letter to myself 10 years ago. July 8, 2017 at 11:34 am

    […] feel the best while travelling, spending your time in international company, meeting new cultures, helping others and spending time in the […]

  • Reply Is it worth volunteering abroad? November 21, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    […] experiences you can have while travelling – and not only. Volunteering in Russia with AIESEC and WWOOF in the USA are some of my best memories – I got to know life in these countries well and they taught me a […]

  • Reply About Successes And Failures #2 – My Personal Sum Up Of 2017 December 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    […] But it was calm in comparison to 2016 when I changed quite a lot and when I had my longest trip and volunteering in the USA. […]

  • Reply How To Volunteer Abroad? Step By Step Guide. December 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    […] most cases you can volunteer overseas on a tourist visa. I did that on a farm in the USA and I will also teach English in Thailand on a tourist visa. Tourist visa doesn’t allow you to […]

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