Nenda’s care



I really did not know what to expect from this WorkAway host, and I am leaving not richer by any clue, but richer in heart. Let me explain a bad Workaway Host, life in the rainforest of Sri Lanka and Nenda’s care (my actual host).

  • Working as: Gardener
  • Place: Norton Bridge, Sri Lanka
  • Time I’ve spent here: 09.12.16 – 14.12.16

My story


Nenda’s frontyard and house.

I landed in Colombo, Sri Lanka, checked into a B&B for a night and contacted my host the next day. I had found a WorkAway that described a cultural cooking exchange, which sounded incredible, but since my times in Sri Lanka were a bit shorter, I requested 1-2 Weeks. My host guided me perfectly to a village called “Norton Bridge” and picked me up in the early night. He told me about me about the place I’m going to and that’s when all plans suddenly had changed.

He brought me to a house, that required some gardening work. Nenda’s house. With little disappointment, I agreed on that, since I expected a union of cooking lovers. Before Dan, my Workaway host, departed, he briefly explained me short details about my upcoming job and sneaked in the fact, that there are leeches in the garden. I agreed another time to the circumstances, but really got turned off inside me.. I wasn’t in the mood for leeches getting on me in the jungle.. and I was expecting something else.

My life


My actual view, when taking a shower.

Due to my short time of stay, the unclear events of tasks and personal freedom, I did not work that much.  Nenda, the elder lady was cooking in the house and I thought about helping her out, but I just couldn’t see myself helping her. I would literally be in her way, because she knows all about her local kitchen and I don’t. So I used my time to study languages and wikipedia articles. I went for a run, or sorted out some pictures on my laptop.


One of Nenda’s lunchplates.

The food was absolutely THE best thing I encountered in Sri Lanka!

I am very fortunate to have had the chance of tasting local cuisine by grandmas kitchen. A rice plate with additional four side dishes, that kept on switching during the days. From vegetables to fish, to chicken, to lentils, to potato, to salad, it just never ended. I am certain, I ate dishes which you can’t find elsewhere.

I was gardening a little bit on the next day, even though no one explained me details of work. I tried a very aggressive mosquito/insect spray to protect myself against leeches, which worked fine until the last day. One the last day of my stay, Nenda showed me the actual crucial parts of the garden and lead me into a wildern part behind the house. As I gave it a try, I pulled out a plant and discovered a leech in the earth as well as on my glove. That’s, when I quit my job.


The kids, Nenda and I on a walk around the neighborhood.

My host anyway, declared my leave a few days earlier than the agreed one week, which was a bit frustrating, but because I didn’t work so much here and Nenda kept on feeding me holy delicious food, I didn’t complain and took my leave on the 14th.

Ever since day one, I never saw Dan, my Workaway host again

An unexpected finish with the bad Workaway host
Bad workaway.jpg

He’s not doing what he should.

My host informed me about the possible chance, of getting another few days of stay close to Norton bridge, from the 19th – 22th. I was curious about the giant, unorganized mess this Workaway host had and discovered two Workaway accounts. One account had only references of Workawayers, thus I asked him to leave one for me, before I would make my move. However, he refused to take that simple 3 minute task and kept on insisting about me, advertising for him on several of his platforms. I usually write these blog posts about WorkAway places for the host and WorkAway. This one however, is not for the host. I cancelled all connections to Dan on the 16.12.16 and decided to leave a simple WA Ambassador reference on his profile and close the case. Dan, the WorkAway host failed in respecting WorkAwayers in several aspects and therefore I do not recommend him as a host.

Final impression

tea-potWhile my relation with the WorkAway host was terrible, Nenda was my actual host and while I should feel a disappointment now, because nothing turned out like agreed, Nenda not only saved my days, but made my times here absolutely unforgettable. I had so much personal work to do elsewhere and could really calm down in the quiet nature around here. It’s absolutely worth it, I think it’s not possible to let volunteers run around leeches without agreeement, but meeting Nenda and her surroundings was an unforgettable experience.

Thank you, Nenda

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