Saturday, 13 September 2008


Olivier and his friend Guillaume went to Australia in November 1996 after first trying to find some work for harvest. One of Guillaume's cousins had been in Jerramungup on an IAEA exchange and that is how Guillaume got our email address from the IAEA handbook. He had sent out emails asking for a job over harvest, but got no takers. We were not able to offer a job to the two French boys who had just finished their studies at Ag college either, but I told them that they would be welcome to visit our farm and once there I was sure they could find some work. So they arrived in November and helped Roger with some sheep work. We took them to Bunbury where they bought their "Bongo van". It was an old tradesman's van, complete with dents and rust, for which they paid $2,000. After a few days in the workshop they had it fitted out ready for a trip around Australia. A few phone calls got them a job picking strawberries out of Mount Barker (WA), which was the first of their three jobs, followed by picking pears in Victoria and then picking bananas in Queensland. They drove the Bongo van around the continent and once back in Perth they sold it for $3,000 (to another French backpacker.) We can only wonder how much further the old van travelled, and whether it is still going.
So now here we were visiting Olivier on his farm in France. He and his girlfriend made us a lovely dinner at his parent's house (his parents were away visiting their newly-born granddaughter.)

Olivier and Pauline served hors d'œuvres on the terrace.

Hugh was happy to find a toy tractor.

The girls were happy to act like Princesses in a house they thought
was like a château.

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