Volunteering Abroad: Two Weeks On A Boat

Life on a boat.
20130508-221848.jpgWind blows against the rotting wooden hull. Rain water finds its way through the hatch above our cabin bed. The boat is dry docked. Having been fully immersed at one end the inland harbor for a span of nearly 20 years, it has seen better days. The back, or stern, of the boat were Kim and I reside is nearly finished, while the bow is a mess of mahogany framing that resembles the ribcage of some great sea faring creature. The planks creak and moan as the wind blows through the boat, as if it’s calling out to be among the waves once more.20130508-221954.jpgKim and I do all we can to help reunite this vessel with the water. Just a days bike-ride south of Paris we were volunteering for David and his wife Alianne. The work was hard labor; wood-working, sanding, painting and grinding on a 1950s era Chris Craft. While living on the boat, we were in a sea of grape fields in the middle of France.20130508-222101.jpgSancerre, the village in which we were volunteering, is famous for their white wine. It is nestled on a hill that rises out of surrounding vineyards like an island peaking up from an ocean of grapes. Life on the boat was an unexpected and extremely satisfying volunteering stop along our route. By the end of our 2 week stay David invited us to help paint his flat in Paris. A boat, world renowned wine and a Paris apartment to stay in for free. The perfect volunteering pit-stop.


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