I'm at the point of not being able to stand it here any longer. This has occurred only recently since Rosa has apparently gone bat-shit insane. We picked up the new WWOOFers on Monday and ever since she has been out of her mind. There have been less chestnuts in the fields now that we have been picking every day, and it is hard to do anyways because the rules are constantly changing. Some days you are told to not pick up the small ones, and other times "all sizes are good." Then we are told that we should pick all that are bitten because the "animals eat only the best." Yesterday, however, Rosa returns in a panic. She returns from the factory looking as though she had just returned from a fight with a badger, and tells us that the man did not pay her for ANY of the chestnuts because they were so awful. She says, "The man said that 70% were bad, and he not pay me." She then proceeds to give us a lesson on what is a good chestnut and what is a bad chestnut- a class that is about 3 weeks overdue by this point. I bring up the fact that she told us to pick chestnuts with the holes, and the small ones and she denies it adding, "one is okay, but not all."
Later we remember that on Tuesday she made us separate the good chestnuts from the bad, and that she had brought the whole bag of bad ones to the factory. We suggest that perhaps this is the reason for the lack of payment- maybe he opened up the bag we had set aside of bad. She doesn't acknowledge what we have said, "They do this at the factory, I do not decide. Massimo had gone before and then they were also bad" Really? Then why the fuck is this the first time we are being told about it? If they have been not getting paid for THREE WEEKS of chestnuts, why NOW are they deciding to tell us what's wrong. I am fuming at this point.
Today we picked and she got mad because she "is older and slower and she picked a whole bag [her]self, while [we] have only picked three for five of [us]!" Keep in mind this "full" bag was only 1/4 of the way full, and most of the chestnuts looked JUST like the bad examples from the day prior! Jess confronted her about her chestnuts and she told us that hers were not as small as the others, and that a little bitten is okay because it is hers. She had also told Jake earlier that if we didn't want to pick chestnuts we could go home. That had me roaring. I am always up for that game - someone wants to threaten me with going home, I'll fucking leave. She needs our help far more than we need hers. Rosa does not even feed us half the time, there is no heat, she refuses to let us put the firewood under shelter so it s always wet and we cannot make fires, we cannot take showers because we can't heat the water- I really don't even know what we are getting out of this anymore other than a fucking headache and a large dose of rage virus. I would much rather be lost in the beautifully majestic Positano than here right now.
The only redeeming thing about being here is the other WWOOFers. They are all really funny, and we're all so different with completely different life experiences that we have loads of stories to share with each other. For this reason, I love being here. It is also a comfort knowing that we are all about at wits end with Rosa, and that it's not just me who thinks she's lost it. It's sad to watch, like seeing someone half-way effected by anesthesia or something, but more than sad it's fucking annoying.