[WWOOF Korea Survey] From Hosts to WWOOFers

WWOOFKorea News
2024-05-08 15:41

From January to March, the WWOOF Korea Secretariat surveyed the experience of WWOOF Korea hosts and WWOOFers to provide a better WWOOF experience. Many of them responded with meaningful opinions on areas for mutual improvement. In this article, we will look into the replies of the hosts.

If you intend to WWOOF in the future, their words will be helpful for effective preparation - shall we go check the results together?




What to prepare

The secretariat asked the hosts if there were “things WWOOFers can bring for a better experience.” Let’s check out the comments left by the hosts.

1. Hat, boots, work clothes, pajamas
2. Personal items such as towels, water cups, etc.
3. Efficient farming supplies
4. Hobby supplies needed to spend leisure time on the farm

First of all, the hosts suggest bringing personal tools. Equipment such as boots and work clothes depend on body size, and it would be better to work in clothes that fit oneself.

They also mention that it would be a good idea to bring 'hobby supplies to spend leisure time with'. From their observation, WWOOFers who bring their hobby items - painting tools, musical instruments, and so forth - have worthwhile breaks and good WWOOFing experiences. Take these tips into account to experience more fruitful WWOOFing in the future!


Favorable attitude of WWOOFers

Next, we asked the hosts what they liked about WWOOFers during their stay. Hosts sent us a variety of opinions, which can be summarized as follows:

1. Love for nature
2. In the case of overseas WWOOFers, cooking food from their home country
3. Proactively spotting&taking care of tasks
4. In the case of overseas WWOOFers, strong and active willingness to learn Hangul
5. In the case of overseas WWOOFers, preparing gifts for the host
6. Cooking with wild plants and washing the dishes after eating
7. Active participation and interest in all matters on the farm 

In general, the hosts said that they liked when WWOOFers actively participated in farmwork. Since WWOOFing takes place within strangers’ workplaces and living spaces, it is crucial to actively contribute to work within the space and naturally assimilate into their lives. The love for nature was mentioned as a favorable attitude as well - something every WWOOFer intrinsically possesses, I assume. The responses above would be a good mindset to ponder if you prepare for WWOOFing!


Request for WWOOFers

Next, we asked what could be improved based on their previous experiences with WWOOFers.

1. I hope they actively participate rather than try to kill time.
2. I hope they're willing to will to learn.
3. I hope they have an understanding of rural life.
4. I hope they stick to the schedule arranged with the host (No unilateral cancellation notice)
5. I hope they keep their space clean - there were times when the laundry, waste sorting, and room cleaning were insufficient. 
6. I hope WWOOFers focus on their work rather than chatting too much with each other while working
7. I hope they take good care of personal items - Sometimes, they leave things behind, either forgetting to pack them or just leaving them behind. 

Most hosts gave positive reviews like “There is no need to request any special improvements as every WWOOFer has a different personality” and “It was generally good”. However, many hosts regretted that “active willingness to participate” was needed.

In addition, they left comments about breaking promises, such as the unilateral cancellation of a stay. Since the relationship between WWOOFers and hosts is based on mutual trust, it is fundamental that they keep their promises. Keeping the visit schedule and sending a confirmation email after receiving the inquiry reply would be good practices.

If you are a WWOOFer, it is important to have the will and proactiveness to gain experience and learn through WWOOFing. In addition, if you are a well-mannered WWOOFer, it is essential to keep the place you stay clean!^^


Concluding the post

At the end of the survey, we asked the hosts if they had any wishes from the secretariat, and many hosts said they would like to receive more WWOOFers. Many hosts seemed to feel that it was exciting and wonderful to meet diverse new people and share experiences with them through WWOOF.

It is impossible not to have any problems during one's stay. Yet, if small changes are made through mutual communication between the WWOOFer and the host, WWOOFing will be a better experience. I hope today's post will be helpful to many people preparing for WWOOFing.

How was the post? Would you like to try a new journey through WWOOF Korea?
Even now, a new relationship may be waiting for you somewhere!
In the next newsletter, we will share opinions about the host farm answered by WWOOFers. Stay tuned!

This article was written by Yoonji Jo, volunteer of WWOOF Korea.

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