We are ready to start our second workaway, so we have an appointment with Lily in the evening in Pisco, where she works, but we struggle a little to find her! Luckily she is well known, so asking around we finally meet her in the artisan market where she sells the products she produces. We will find out over time that Lily does a lot of things!
She drives us to Cochiguaz, a little village about 20 Km far away from Pisco, where she lives. The road has no lights at all, that because the citizens who live there, she explains us, have made special apply to have the lowest level of light pollution, both for energy saving and to be able to see better the stars in the sky in the wonderful nights of Valley.
For this week we will live in a small house, made of clay and with the roof of straw. It is very hot during the day but luckily the evening cools and you feel fine. We will work as gardeners: Lily's soil is rich of plants and fruit trees, but it needs continuous watering and to get rid of the weeds that have grown too much and too quickly. I collrct the scrub, prune the dried branches of the plants and take care of the lavender, while Brian digs the ground to set up an hydraulic engineering project to make water flow better to the plants, that will be named as "The Appian Way", just to makes a joke about the hard effort to build it!
There are also some friendly animal, cuddly and sharpies: Manu, Pepe and Claraugustina are the names of the dogs and Nana the cat. They are always looking for caresses and something to eat! Every day at lunch, I eat Lily's peaches, which are delicious. That reminds us of the raspberries collected at the farm on yhe first workaway so wet ry to take advantage of this healthy and organic fruit that the Earth offers us.
But the best moments are at breakfast and in the evening when Lily is at home. She tells us about the life of the valley and we keep asking her about all the things she does. On the walls of the house are hung her paintings, which reveal her artistic and mystical soul. She produces herself handmade jewelry, such as earrings, necklaces, mosaics but her first love is for natural cosmetics, made with the plants of her garden, and the production of Bach flowers' remedies and energy therapies such as meditation and Reiki. She also rents a small room to tourists. When cellphone rings, she runs in the only corner with signal and chats with her son or her boyfriend, who both live in Santiago. then she comes back with a happy smile.
She teaches us how to make macramé bracelets with colored waxed thread that you work simply by making knots... yes, it is simple if you done it before! I try enthusiastically, I love making earrings but it is not easy at all!! My fingers should be thinner to be able to weave knots and after a while my eyes get tired. In the embroidery you can notice little holes, like when you knit and lose a few points. When Lily comes back she doesn't say anything, but I see that she's silently laughing !
Even here, like at the farm, we are isolated, but probably the magic of the place and the serenity of Lily kidnap our souls too, we feel the peace of the valley during the day and the infinity of the cosmos at night.
Even though she is a vegetarian, one evening she brings us as a surprise two big chickens to cook in the patio barbecue, while drinking cold beer and partying. The meat take a long time to cook but that doesn't bother us, we having a good time chatting, always head up to catch a glimpse of some shooting star!
It's a nice feeling: we arrived as volunteers and in a few days we are already friends, in my opinion the real magic of this place is in Lily's smile!
You can find all Lily's products at the link http://artevivo.cl/
If you are on holiday nearby you can book her room on Airbnb
The photos are of the author.