After our English immersion trip, I gave my students the task of writing about some of our experiences and the option of posting it online. Here is a wonderful account of an organic farmhouse where we stayed in Maine written by Mayumi.
Because of our flight delay and missing baggage, we were running behind. Our lodging that day today was a Farm House. The closer we are got to the address, the darker it got and the harder it got to see houses and lights. After the last corner we curved around, we seemed to wander off into the woods. It was a small road covered by many trees. Finally we made it with the help of the directions from the owner, and we parked the car. It is was 11pm. The owner had said she would be asleep before we arrived. There was a wooden house in front of the car. It had as big set of stairs outside. Our space was upstairs. When we got out of the car, it was horribly cold, so I rushed to climb the stairs. I almost slipped, then I noticed the stairs were frozen. I changed to gingerly toe walking on the tips of my toes. That was the way my coworker taught me to walk on ice when I lived in a snowy area. With unexpected effort, I finally arrived in our room. I felt a big relief. The room was clean and cute but still cold. I was very surprised when I found a compost toilet – I had never seen one before. After relieving oneself, you had to cover…it… using just sawdust. No water.
The hardest thing was that there was no shower in our room. We had to walk to the owner’s house through the garden. It is was freezing outside. It was 27 degrees. The owner said she would keep a light on at the entrance of her house for us. We saw a light on the left side of the garden. However, it turned out to be a chicken’s house. Lauren found out the hard way since she went to shower first. I cannot imagine how surprised she must have been. Next, luckily I went to shower in a real human house. A good thing was waiting for me. Inside the house there was a cute cat. It was sitting near the door looking outside. When I came in, it came close to me and rubbed her body against me. It healed my exhausted mind and made me happy.
After my shower I put on warm night wear; however, it was getting colder rapidly, and I couldn’t sleep at all. The building didn’t have heat except for some old space heaters. So I woke up, and put on 5 layers of clothes and slept covering my face with a down jacket. At that time I saw a lot of stars through the skylight above my bed. I felt as if I was sleeping outside.
It was a very sunny day the next morning. The room shined brilliantly from the light coming through the big windows along the deck side of our little apartment. How amazing it was! From the deck I could see down to a pretty little garden surrounded by woods even though there had seemed to be nothing in the darkness last night. There were many kinds of animals; hens, roosters, ducks, pigs, and dogs (they are were walking around in the yard freely). There were even some plastic green houses. The chicken coop was very small and strange, though it seemed much bigger like a human house the night before when it was lit up in the dark.
In our room we had a big kitchen. No water came out of the faucet because the water pipes froze up. It was so cold that night before! We made fried eggs using a cast iron skillet that I was pleased with. It was very heavy but antique and cute. It was a very simple breakfast, only eggs, bread, and coffee; however, I felt very satisfied sitting around the dining table with all 4 of us together. And the food was very fresh and delicious. I enjoyed this very happy moment like the a bear who was just coming out from hibernation.
This was one of the best most valuable experiences I have ever had. A country side life is very different from my city life. It is so inconvenient; however, I learned the importance of a simple life during this time on our trip in Maine.