November 23

I began my work at the hostel today, in exchange for accommodation. They split the hostel by area and each cleaner has a domain. Lucky me, I am in charge of the toilets and showers! It isn’t too bad. Although they get a lot of use, I continually remind myself that the work is character-building. I wear headphones while I work so I am able to just space out and clean. Each day at 11 am all of the cleaners take a break and the owners and receptionists make cake for us. The break is known as “smoko.” It is a nice way to hang out with the other workers and just visit for a half hour. Given that our shifts are only two and a half hours, it seems strange to have a half hour break and to be fed, but I love the tradition. It is nice to have some tea and decompress before finishing up work. Pretty much all of the cleaning staff is leaving. There is one other girl, Franzi, who is also new. She will be around for a couple weeks as well. She is German and just finished up her master’s in psychology. She’s extremely knowledgeable about world events and we have some interesting conversations.

After cleaning I decided to head out of town to do a nearby hike. My roommate, Johannes, came with me and we drove out to Kinloch to do the K2K hike. When we arrived the view of the lake was amazing.

We thought the hike would be awesome. Unfortunately, most of the hike was through the woods. There was only one nice view and that was at the summit of the mountain.

However, the lack of views did allow us to talk quite a bit and we learned a lot about one another. Johannes is taking a year off before heading back to school to get his master’s. He has many interests and is so passionate about all of them. It was impressive. He has most recently been woofing at a dairy farm. It sounded like quite an experience.

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We hiked back down and on the way were shocked when we came across a herd of rabbits. There were at least ten of them! They weren’t scared of us in the least. Once we got back to the start, we treated ourselves to some ice cream and headed back to the hostel.

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