I would say this happened at the height of our enthusiasm for voluntouring. We spent 6 weeks in a rustic little village, tending to animals and farming, in central Bulgaria. It was one of those old farm villages where all the houses are clustered together, with mud brick walls stretching from house to house, and everyone has their own vegetable garden, fruit trees, and wine grapes growing. We harvested corn, black beans, asparagus, beets, carrots, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, and aubergines. This included doing a lot of – and learning a lot about – preserving.
Every villager was breeding some kind of animal to put in their bellies during the cold winter so the daily journey to get bread from the bakery was like walking through a petting zoo. On an average 20 minute walk we would see free-roaming geese, mules, chickens, sheep, turkeys, horses, ducks – even partridges.
We didn't have a car to use so we spent a lot of time working outside, enjoying each other's company, relaxing, and making friends with some of the English expats in the village. This was a very authentic, no-frills experience that taught us a lot.