..and we’re back.

Fhew, what a week. We’re WWOOFing at Daruma Farm in Bang Phra, Thailand. It’s right outside of Si Racha, home of the famous hot sauce we love so much back home.

We got to the farm on November 6th and have had a pretty incredible 11 days thus far. Right now we’re here with about 7 other WWOOFers, and we live with a Thai family of 6. You can see the big house below.

The farm work is hard, but fun with good company. Daily activities include collecting eggs, picking up buffalo manure, clearing fields of the insane grass that grows during the recently ended wet season, prepping and planting a new garden, helping build a tea-house, delicious meals and dips in the pond after work. Some special jobs we’ve undertaken include digging up and transplanting whole trees (mangosteen and palms mostly), harvesting rice straw for mulch and throwing around the adorable little kids that live at the farm.

The other WWOOFers hail from Washington, Germany, Estonia, England (but a permanent mobile expat), France and Arizona. One incredible individual we’ve been able to work with is Elmer. He’s an 88 year old retired teamster and landscape gardener who brings lots of knowledge and an aesthetic flair to his gardening, with periodic breaks for some great stories dating all the way back to WWII.

The family who lives here have made us incredibly welcome, and we’re having a great time getting to know them. The parents are Toon and Deng. Toon is Thai and comes from Supanburi near Ayutthaya, Deng is Lao from Chaiyapum in the North-East. Deng’s oldest daughter is Em (14), who daily works on her English and Thai-pop karaoke skills for our benefit, and plays a mean game of badminton. Toon and Deng’s two little ones are Dan (5 come December) and Ka Toon (2). Dan is almost entirely deaf, but possesses a remarkable visual memory and inquisitive mind, watching him problem-solve around the farmhouse is a pretty awe-inspiring activity. Ka Toon is an adorable little monster who loves her Soymilk and makes the creepiest Zombie impression you’ve ever seen.

Toon is the caretaker of the farm, and so helps us around the property on various tasks every day, in stone cold silence until the work day is over. He’s an interesting fellow who busts mad hip hop dance moves and sings and plays guitar (though we’ve yet to get him to perform).

Deng is the housekeeper at Vimaya Spa which is owned by Neil and Su, the farm owners. She also acts as foreman in the kitchen and gives us daily lessons in Thai cookery.

We have so many stories to tell, we don’t even know where to begin, and today is special because its our day off and we’ve got to head to the market to get some grilling meat for this evening.

We love you all, miss you dearly and can’t wait to tell you about our adventures in person. Until then, check out the pics below.

And in big news for a lot of you, we’ll be buying our plane tickets back tomorrow and our visa runs up January 4th, so it’ll be between New Years and then. See you soon!

Love

Jack and Katie

Jack Deng and Em

Katie and Ka Toon

Jack and Ja, Deng's older sister.

Dan (or Dun) looking skeptical. He actually took quite a few of these pictures. He figured out the camera himself in about 30 seconds. He is seriously quite brilliant.

Riste and Ja

The Big House. 3 floors, currently sleeping 14.

Day at the beach with Sid, Teddy, Belinda and Elise (fellow WWOOFers)

Action shot! Ripping apart galangal (Thai ginger) for transplanting.

With Molly the Water Buffalo. Molly is a chiller.

Burmese Python pulled out of one of the chicken coops. It got 5 chickens though, mostly chicks.

Garden we helped clear and plant.

Thomat (France) juggling. He teaches clowning and circus skills to kids.

View out the top floor at the catfish pond and the hills beyond. Theres a large agricultural university between the farm in front of us that you can't really see, but it's there.

Sydney and Nui approve of each other.

Toon and Marie

Daruma Farm WWOOFers endorse Chang beer. So does this crab.

Thats all folks. Best Wishes and stay tuned for more of the T-Nuts.

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