Hello, I hope you are well. G and I have been on Salt Spring Island for almost two weeks now and I’d like to tell you a bit of what we’ve been doing. When we arrived on Tuesday we met our hosts and some of the family, of whom there are eight in total plus two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a horse and now 11 chickens. We were shown our quarters, a yurt on the edge of the forest, asked about our work and dietary preferences, and left to get settled. A short while later we were “put to work to earn our dinner,” Georgia shoveling out the horse paddock and I helping the husband and his two twenty-something sons hand carry two 18 ft long red cedar trunks up a hill for approximately 400 meters in order to place them in some holes at the entrance to the driveway for a future gate. On Wednesday G and I set about filling up the holes for the aforementioned tree trunks and digging an 18 inch deep trench for some power cables for their new 4 ft deep, 24 ft diameter above ground pool. We finished filling in the two holes in 3 hours. The soil here is filled with large rocks, making digging quite laborious. The trench proved to be quite a task, roots, rocks and hard, dry dirt. Rather than using a shovel, we used pick axes to break and scoop the dirt and rocks. It took the better part of three days, working 5 hours a day to complete the task, partly because we had to wait for the husband to tow the boat out of the way as the path of the trench needed to go directly underneath. When we weren’t able to work on the trench, Georgia weeded the garden and I chopped maple firewood. When I finished the chopping, I helped in the garden until they finally moved the boat. Once the boat was moved Georgia started burying the cables while I finished digging the trench, then we both finished burying the cables and voila, it was completed. It was the longest stretch of serious manual labour I had done up to that point in my life. That was last week. This week we dug a ditch 3 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 15 feet long to fill in with rocks in order to keep the winter creek from flooding their future garden space. I also placed two posts for the future garden fence, and G and I helped put up an “electric” fence to attempt to keep their horse from getting out of his paddock on a regular basis. We let the horse out for a few hours each day to graze on the grass and it is amazing. He eats for at least five hours straight without ever lifting his head! And then he wants more. We are leaving here for Mayne Island on Monday and we are very excited. Things are going very well and we are enjoying our time immensely. More to come soon, thanks for reading.