Monthly Archives: April 2010

Accompany us for a day at “Paraíso del burro”!

Even if you do not have the possibility to come over to visit us here in Asturias, use your imagination and accompany us through our daily life!

The first task of the day is giving the donkeys alfalfa and letting the four dogs out of their sleeping- stable. The breakfast, with freshly made porridge, is already being prepared in the living- room, where we take it together at 9 a.m. making plans for the day. After breakfast we let the donkeys out and prepare their stables, what includes spreading new straw, filling the water buckets and the strawracks.

After the stables we take a coffee together on the terrace. After this refreshment everybody begins with the work she or he chose to do while staying at Paraíso. This can be fencing, working in the vegetable garden or building a compost boundary.

Marleen or some of the volunteers choose to cook on this day so we can have our communal lunch at about 2 p.m. This could be a little appetizer like toasted bread with goat cheese followed by zucchini lasagna as main course. Salad, home made bread and cheese are always part of the lunch as well as a glass of wine for those who like it. Usually we end the meal with a cup of coffee. After that we prepare the donkey dinner that consists of a big bag of carrots and two kilos of apples, which have to be cut in small pieces.

Food bowls

The time between lunch and donkey collecting is free time, so some of us choose to have a siesta, others go with the flow and continue working or go for adventure! Asturias is one of Spain’s most beautiful regions and full of hidden treasures like big forests, hidden beaches and abandoned crystal mines.

At about 6 p.m. we collect the donkeys from the grazing land and control if they have enough water. We spread the apples and carrots between them; add grains and vitamins or medicine for those who need it. For dinner we halter the donkeys to secure that every one of them has the time to eat out of his own bowl. Also the dogs have to be closed in their stable and be fed, as well as the cats are given their food.

A typical dinner at 9 p.m. would be a vegetable soup with bread and cheese or whatever you fancy. We end the day with giving the donkeys straw for the night and taking the dogs for a walk while others take care of the kitchen.

By Astrid

Self-made volunteering at “Paraíso del burro” by Astrid

What can you expect when you want to volunteer at “Paraíso del burro”?

Tanja (a volunteer from Sweden) said while driving through the metal entrance gate when I arrived “Whatever you expect, you won’t be disappointed”. What a huge compliment- and she wasn’t exaggerating!

Wwoofing seems to be an easy concept- working on a farm in exchange for board and lodging. In reality, every wwoofing farm differs of course significantly in the work that has to be done, the sleeping place and the food.

One opportunity of Paraíso are the different tasks that have to be done. The animals require caring and feeding, filling the water buckets, cleaning the stables and of course the donkeys have to be brushed and caressed!

Tanja and Marleen giving Alfalfa

As we are still building Paraíso the work also includes fencing with mesh wire or wooden board, building a flower garden next to the house and also general maintenance, like spreading the dung between the apple trees or planting and weeding in the vegetable garden.

There is the housework: like getting water from the public water tap at the “area recreativa” with its spectacular views, shopping in Arriondas, baking bread, making yoghurt, cooking meals and cleaning the house.

After all the work you will be able to enjoy the fantastic vegetarian kitchen of this house! The meals are creatively cooked with plenty of fresh vegetables and commonly eaten at the big wooden table in the living- room with its fantastic views.

Why self – made volunteering? In Paraíso you will be asked to choose and organize your work on the tasks you would like to fulfill during your stay yourself, although there is general work that has to be done by everybody.

In the evening you might sit in front of your sleeping caravan on the donkeys’ grazing land, enjoying the stars and the sound of the neighbour’s cowbells, and know that you arrived- at the paradise of the donkeys.