I would describe Roos Anne as a free spirit grounded in a young, practical brilliance– something I wish I had just an ounce of at her age. Constantly smiling with eyes wide open, Rosana (what I like to call her) has a keen understanding of her surroundings in a way that makes her seem completely at ease wherever her wanderlust takes her.
She’s got a sharp wit and a way with the kids; every time I found three-year-old Miro, I would be welcomed with “Where’s Roos Anne?” She was the only brave one somersaulting down the sand dunes with him, barefoot and her jacket flying open, while the rest of us huddled on the beach in hoodies to keep warm. She also has a masterful strategy when winning board games and herding those tricky goats. And for a girl who rocks out to German punk music, her farming theme song choice may surprise you. Roos Anne is still WWOOFing in Portugal with her best friend, Chen. They don’t know where their journey will take them in 2011, and it doesn’t bother them in the slightest.
(NOTE: in the basic stats – age, hometown, etc.- I asked each person how they would define themselves for this series. The answers say a lot about their personalities.)
Meet Roos Anne Kniest
Almost 19, from Oostrum, Netherlands, curious and stubborn
What inspired you to WWOOF?
It is a cheap way to get a lot of experience, learn a lot about culture, meet a lot of new people from all over the world and that is exactly what I was looking for this year.
Have you ever worked in farming before?
Yes, my father is from a farming-family.
Why was the hill overlooking the wind turbines your favorite spot at Casa do Burro?
I liked the walk to the garden in the morning and if I wanted to be alone in the evening I walked a part of that road because when it is dark you can see the wind turbines as little red spots hanging in the sky. And sometimes the spots disappear for a moment beause the blades are turning in front of the light. And if I sit on that spot in the dark, I can see the red lights everywhere around me, like a dancing line of lights. It feels good to sit there, watch the lights and think.
Do you place an importance on how food gets to your plate?
Yes, I think it is important to know where the food you eat comes from, because otherwise you can support really bad companies by buying the food without knowing that you are supporting them– companies who use a lot of toxic stuff for the vegetables or really bad conditions for the animals. But sometimes it is not possible to know, you just have to accept what is on your plate.
What is your favorite food from home that you miss while abroad?
I miss the pepernoten in the time around December5th, because in the Netherlands we have a special celebration day and then you eat these small kind of cookies. They taste a bit like pepper, cinnamon and sugar. And I miss the stroopwafels. These are waffles with caramel inside and you are suppossed to eat it when they are warm. They are really nice, especially in the winter.
What is your favorite food discovery in Portugal?
Risois and pastel de nata.
What is your farming theme song? ( ie. What song played on your mp3 playlist and/or mental soundtrack during the adventure?)
I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. And of course, the Oben clay song. [You'll get this one soon, folks.]