Day in the Life with Andy
Let’s kick off our blog revival with the first post in our new “Day in the Life” series. Today, we are featuring a true team player in our community: Andy Leeder.
Andy first came to the farm about a year ago, from Australia. He is now sadly leaving us for the second time, in two short days (for Poland!)
Kanekiki has a ‘work manager’ position on the team, allowing an experienced work trader to step up and lead the weekday morning meetings. For his last month here, Andy stepped into this role ― and my, are we going to miss his leadership.
At 7:30am every morning, he sets up the whiteboard at our meeting spot in front of the herb garden. He checks in with how the team is feeling, makes a couple of classic ‘Andy puns,’ and discusses how the team should spend their four hours of work that day. Then, he assigns or asks individual team members to volunteer for the different tasks.
This particular morning though started with a bang, a bit earlier than usual… Take it away, Andy!
And thus began my day. Authentically and legitimately, this sound is precisely what I woke up to on this ‘oh-so-sacred’ day of blogging. (When I say both authentically and legitimately, you for sure know it’s true. 😄)
Oh and by the way, please kindly read this blog with a wonderful Australian accent — I’d love to be represented in your head as accurately as possible. So, stop pronouncing your ‘R’s and read all vowels as an elongated Eeeeee. Thank you muchly. 😉
Back to this fantastical story of my day. I heard the huge crash while half asleep and popped my head up for a short moment — and in the bleariness of sleep glanced around to find nothing but my lovely hut in the jungle, dubbed the ‘bamboo’ hut. The was sun up and about and the was day starting, however, being me, I curled up and went back to sleep for a good hour and a half before getting up to investigate the impressive sleep-breaking sound.
My alarm got me up just in time to grab breakfast before the four-hour work shift, and on my way through to the kitchen I noticed the giant branch that was directly in my way, requiring me to duck and weave my way through its leaves and thick limbs. ‘Another task for the day,’ I noted to myself as I continued on to the day’s adventure.
MORNING HUGS AND FOOD, YAY! Let’s kindly skip this part of the morning; you’ll notice if you join the community for a while that there is plenty of talk and excitement around food, so for now let us focus on something else … ANYTHING else … 😜
I run the morning meetings as a work manager (‘cos I’m super important and like a boss and not at all absorbed in my overly large ego) . I greet everyone with energy, trying to infect others with the playful joy and excitement of physical labour YAY! I yell with glee things that no sane person would, like: WHO’S KEEN FOR WOORRRKKK YO?! And “LETS ALL GET MATCHING BLISTERS TODAY!” I get mixed reactions from “WOOHOO!”s to “mmmphhhhh,” depending on who got the most sleep. 😅
Either way, the meeting is enjoyable and we all get to our jobs, which for most starts with two or three hours of fruit harvesting. For me however, it starts with whipper snippering. 😀
Now, you may be wondering “Hey Andy, what’s a fuckin’ whippersnippering?” (I’m sure it’s fine to swear on the blog right?... Yeah, I’m sure it is…👀). Well, it is my pleasure to inform you that whippersnippering is the strictly superior Aussie term for weed whacking! Yay! The more you know.
So, I spent a couple of hours cutting shit down with flexible blades of plastic, trimming the edges of gardens and anywhere the lawnmower can’t get to. Making shit beautiful! That’s what I’m all about.
And now for the real badassery. Two more hours of cutting shit down — this time using solid chains of metal — I cleanly sliced through trees and… actually, just trees. I enlisted a few lovely community members to help me move everything after I chopped it all up: Thank you Melodramatic Marysia, Selfless Sarah, Steadfast Sarah, Jubilant Jonnah and Tenacious Timar (I’m not sure where those nicknames came from, but I’m gonna go with them for now hehe.)
So when knock-off time came around, we had cleaned up a bunch of the front garden, and even chopped up and made safe the huge branch that woke me up.
After work I made myself some ice-uru-cureamurudonu (banana ice cream inside joke), and had a lovely chat with my new girlfriend who left the farm just a few weeks ago 😢 (Miss you Aga! 💛 Over the ocean relationship struggles are real.)
Anndd then promptly fell asleep on one of the wonderfully comfy jungle-view lounge seats we have in the community room. 😴 I think I was so tired from fun, late-night activities from the day before… I’ve forgotten exactly what those activities were, but rest assured, my forgetfulness is a perpetual personal trait, and not the result of being inebriated. 😬
After my much-needed nap, and now well-digested ice cream, I headed to the gym to get a quick workout in. Back levers, pistol squats, cleans and dips, huzzah!
One of my favourite things about Kanekiki is simply the encouragement and ease of time the community provides — to be able to take care of yourself in what you eat, how you move your body and where you want your mind to rest each day. I try to take advantage of this time and this community while I have it, and I hope to bring pieces of it back with me, when I return home :)
Okkaayyy the day is almost over! We have a dash of surprise, a sprinkle of self-absorbed humour and a hint of honest expression. Now to add a splash of adventure to the mix!
Mermaid ponds trip! Yep, there are ponds full of mermaids just a 45 minute walk away from the farm. And if you’re daring — if you’re lucky — you can manage a hitch there and back, which we did today! Myself, Nina, Marysia, Sarah and Jocelyn stuck out our thumbs and ended up with an amazingly fun and relaxing afternoon in the water and the sun, in the flow and in the moment, in the pursuit of spontaneity and the hopes of laughter, in the dreams of upset geese and the sights of angry centipedes, in th… okay okay, I’ll stop there. 😆
So basically we swam (some of us skinny dipped ‘cause it feels fucckkinn’ goood to get water and sun errywhere!), we sunbathed, we laughed, and we even did some climbing amongst the dense canopy leading up to the ponds. Then, we hitched back home, feeling all giddy, happy and tired.
I’m pretty sure that was at least most of my day! I’m wonderfully thankful to all who are in my life, whether you were present in this day or not. And I am thankful to you, for reading this blog! You are beautiful, and I care for you.
As I’m leaving the community in a week, here’s a bit more gratitude if you can handle it. 😇
I am overjoyed to have been able to spend many months of my life here in the community; it has given so much to me and I am so happy to know that I also have given to it, both as a whole and to many individuals. I know this because expressions of gratitude are often in abundance here — openness, honesty and connections have been easy to find for me here. What an absolutely brilliant time in my life. 💛
P.S. I sincerely hope you made it through this with an Australian accent. If not, colour me sarcastically, extremely disappointed in you. 😘