For today’s blog I’m going to use pictures of my fellow interns to describe what a day is like here at Moriumius.
Morning starts at either 6:30 or 9 am but the sun rises very early so sometimes I’m up before 5 anyway. The girls live close to work and sometimes we walk there which takes about 10 min, but the boys’ house is much farther and they have to drive in. We start the day by opening the grounds/buildings which includes watering the plants, feeding the animals, and getting ready for any incoming guests.
Throughout the day we have various jobs to do so that everything runs smoothly for both the guests and the grounds. Usually the guests will go out and work on a project or do an activity with the staff. Lots of cleaning takes place during this time: rooms, kitchen, equipment.
Lunch is usually around noon everyday. The interns on the kitchen team help prepare the food for the guests and staff while everyone else helps set the tables. I’ve done it so many times now that I will always remember that rice is on the left, soup and drink on the right, and the hashi‘s (chopsticks) broad ends are on the right and tips point left. When we all pitch in to set and clear the table the work goes much quicker.
After lunch it’s back to work. The afternoon may mean more cleaning but it may also mean doing other jobs around the grounds/buildings. Things pop up during the day and you have to be able to adjust to what is happening. You may be in the middle of putting away gloves when a delivery of pig food comes in and it needs to be brought up the hill to the pig shed. Going with the flow is important for this kind of work.
Most evenings when we have guests we fill the ofuro (bath) with warm water for bathing (except when it’s raining because they’re outdoors with no roof). It’s a Japanese custom to take baths after a hard day’s work. The water is heated by a furnace which means we have to build a fire and get it hot enough to warm the water. We do a lot of stick collection in preparation because the fires need to be sustained for a long time. It’s harder when the wood is wet but we always manage. Depending on the number of guests, we may run both bath houses or just one.
During the day, in between jobs, we get to take breaks. Sometimes there’s a lot to do so there’s not much time for rest, but these are also the days when it’s important to rest so that we don’t get over-worked. It’s a good time to catch up with my family/friends for a bit. Sometimes our breaks get interrupted by another task that pops up suddenly, but that’s how it goes ~ gotta keep working!
After a long day we all sit down for dinner around 6 pm. It’s always a nice time to come together one last time for the day over a great meal and unwind from all the work. Once everyone is done eating we clean the dishes and that’s usually the end of our day. There may be small jobs still left to do but usually we all leave shortly after dinner. (If we’re lucky there are lots of leftovers we can take home!)
And there ya go! A general outline of our day. Of course, it varies day-to-day based on the guests. There are no two days exactly alike. It’s nice to have a general structure of work and then other work thrown in; it’s never boring. Everyone who works here, be it staff or intern, is very nice and that makes work seem easier. Then we all go home and get a good night’s sleep so we can get up and do it again the next day.