88 days diaries: Loooong days

I made 14,5 work hours in one day. Everyone had the morning off, but not me. My day started at 8AM, which is late compared to my recent 5.30AM starts. However, at 7.30AM the farmer was already knocking on my door. There were some second grade cherries that needed grading. When the others arrive at 9.30 I am still working my ass off. Shit, shit, I haven’t even had time to calibrate the scales. I push people aside and quickly check the scales as the cherries start rolling down the belts.

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There were plans to work on the area’s power supply in the morning, so at 10.30 the machines all stop. The packing shed turns into a ghost house and everyone is send away for the time being. While they are waiting in the heat outside I am still selling cherries. Without having a lunch break we start again just after 12. A lot of people have left, tired of waiting without answers, so we gather the people we can find and resume the work. We work until 5.45PM. Then the cleaning awaits me.

When the floors are cherry-free I see some people in the machine. “Andrea, do you want to crawl into the machine too?” Says the farmer. I look at him. I’m exhausted. “No, don’t worry, I’m joking. Some things require small people. Your too tall.” Few… some joke. It is lovely to end my day at 7.45PM. After days of working till 9 or 10PM, this is freedom. This, and the news that my pay gets a boost. I’m up to $16,50. Happy days.

If you want to stay in Australia for a second year working holiday, you’ll have to do your 88 days of regional work. In the 88 days diaries I tell the story of my three months of farm work on a cherry orchard. I worked out in the fields as a farm hand before working in the packing shed during the cherry season. Read about what I think, experience and explore, from eccentric farmers to new skills.

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