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New entry for the resume!

We're back in Gymps and working again!

overcast 18 °C

Queensland has been hit by a huge number of backpackers and there just isn't enough work to go around. We spent two weeks calling the Harvest Line, calling local ads in the newspaper until we found one who called us back. It was one of the local ones so we haven't had to go far or move for it. We're picking green beans. Its about as much fun as you can imagine, we work with some other backpackers, two couples from France. Our supervisor is from Italy and has worked for this farm for awhile now, she was sponsored by them I think I caught. I have trouble with the accents at times. The Italian though is working hard on her English and is always chastising the French people for speaking French while picking. The only language we all have in common is English so she prefers that we all speak it while picking. I think I can manage that. For bean picking they usually try to get three picks off of each patch, each time you go through and pick the ripe ones and leave the little ones to grow and in a week or so you come back and pick them. We spent our first week going over a patch that had been really messed up on a first pick, beans had been left, bushes we're uprooted, it was bad. We would spend all 7 hours and maybe pick a bag each, and a bag holds about 20 kilos. We get paid $1.30 per kilo, so it wasn't really worth it. We were told though that once we get some practice in and show we can do a good job we'd be moved over to the better patches and do better picks. Yesterday we were moved over to patch like that and we're now doing second picks on good patches with a group of professional pickers. In that patch we only did one row each to start, but we picked more in that one row that we had in the other patch all morning. Hopefully we continue to pick in the better patches now. The professional pickers that we met yesterday are a 70 year old woman and her neighbor, Bill. I didn't quite catch the woman's name, but Jeff and her we're chatty for awhile, she's been picking for 40 years now. She retired two years ago, but was bored and came back. Her and Bill could run circles around Jeff and I, they just fly up and down the rows. Bill averages $1100 a week picking beans during the season. I only wish I could pick that fast, only another 39 years of experience to go.

Its been getting cold here, really surprisingly cold. Not down to freezing, not quite, but close. And most houses are built to encourage air flow and cooling for the summer and not really insulated to trap in heat. Its dang cold at night. Was not expecting that here. We were told it would be cold in the winter, but we laughed, pfft cold in winter? You don't even get snow, how cold can it be? We thought we'd seen the end of being cold after we traded in the tent and moved back in a house. I will not question all the time we spend insulating our homes and businesses anymore, its worth it. If it gets that cold here, I would not want to experience a MI winter without any of that.

Aside from that we've been back in town and spending time with the family. We're not sure what our next plan is, it all depends on how much money we can earn before we leave. We do know that on 4 July we're going to Brisbane to watch QLD smash NSW in the final State of Origin rugby game. Its a best out of three series and they're one and one right, going to be awesome.

Less than two months before we're headed home! Where did the last year go? It doesn't seem that long ago I was writing about seeing a cassowary up north or even what having a warm Christmas and swimming on the day is like!

Posted by owensj11 21:39 Archived in Australia

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