So I spent several months in Spain, travelling and doing Workaways and when I arrived at the finca, I immediately knew it would be one of the best decisions I could have taken.
When my airplane landed at the Airport of Tenerife South, I received a message from Emma telling me that a guy, looking like a Viking, would pick me up in a huge animal transport van – so I wouldn’t be able to miss him. And so it was. When the van arrived, I looked into the huge smile of a guy, who indeed looked like an Italian Viking. Him and his friend were covered in dust, without shirts and shoes and were absolutely lovely. We became friends in the first minute.
About an hour after I arrived at the finca, Emma asked me if I wanted to come for a ride – and of course I wanted! So, we went out with some of the horses which are comfortable to be ridden and love to go out. I got to ride Eric, a 5-year- old Cob, who was found in a stable without food and water when he was rescued. But when I got to know him there was nothing left of his fear of people, he would happily gallop with me whenever he saw the chance to do that – one of his favorite things to do how I found out later.
The next weeks I felt like my life was on fast forward. Every single day on the finca so many things happened, good and bad things, funny and crazy moments. I got to know a bunch of absolutely lovely people, open-minded and enjoying to live together in a community, working for saving the lives of animals and giving them a new home to feel safe and find their voice.
Every morning when I opened my eyes, I jumped out of the bed, excited to start a new day and to see what would happen next. As I said, when you are living with 250+ animals, there is always something going on. I loved the humming noise of the horses in the morning when they saw me, as they knew it would be feeding time soon. I loved to be followed around by a bunch of dogs while I was feeding, grooming and training the horses, picking up their poo and going for in-hand walks with them (sometimes having more dogs with me than horses).
I loved to spend my day with the other volunteers, getting things done together while having fun (mostly) and sitting around the fire in the evenings. It all sounds like a very romantic version of farm life, but it was like this- I promise!
And then there was this very special little dog out of the bunch of dogs running around on the finca, who would follow me around all day and coming to sleep in my bed in the night: Ludo. I fell in love with his dark brown eyes, always observing me, and with his super cute little face which is the cutest of all (Katy used to say he has a “Disney face” at it is so cute). I had no idea where the future would take me, but I decided to adopt him as we both got attached to each other really fast. Until today there was not one single day where I regretted this decision, he is the best dog of all and I love him like he was my child.
There was also a very special volunteer who I met in my last couple of weeks of my 3-months stay at the finca: Andrea from Italy. After he arrived, I didn’t really get the chance get to know him as he was doing construction work with the guys, while I was taking care of the animals with another girl and Emma. But there was this one night, where he and I sat by the fire, talking for hours and hours. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship which lasts already for more than a year and I couldn’t have wished for something better.
After a couple of months, I moved to Italy to be with him and we had a great time there but never could forget about the place we met: the finca. I was speaking to Emma every now and then to see how things were going in Tenerife and in the beginning of 2021, we finally decided to come back. So Andrea, Ludo and me all returned to the place where we have met.
The moment that we got back here, about one month ago, I knew it was the best decision ever. Even if you do not consider the craziness which is going on in the world in the moment with the pandemic, being here in sunny Tenerife and working with great people on an amazing project for the welfare of animals is like paradise.
I am enjoying so much to be with Emma and Edo again, who gave us a warm welcome back and are definitely one of the reasons why we came back here. Already during my first stay I became good friends with these absolutely lovely, warm-hearted and crazy people and I couldn’t be happier to be back and work with them on their incredible project.
I love this place, I love Emma and Edo and everyone working here, I love the fact that, with Andrea and Ludo, I found my own little family here and if I can be here- why should I be anywhere else in the world? This is how I fell in love with the finca.