Osiołkowo: they live in a yurt and keep donkeys [Fragment książki]

They were united by their passion for bike rides. Ania traveled alone for three months, from Poland to the Nordkapp. Once, Piotr came up to her to talk about her departure and it caught on. He didn’t seem like a bike. He traveled by bicycle through the Gobi Desert and toured Europe. Together they left for Latin America on two wheels. They decided how to live on expeditions, in the rhythm of nature, in line with sunrise and sunset, close to nature and animals, as faithfully as possible.

Eighty years ago, Piotr’s grandmother and grandfather built a wooden house on vast meadows in Baszowicenear Nowa Słupia, from where the trail to Święty Krzyż begins.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

– We have been preparing to set up a donkey farm for five years. We learned a lot, we went on donkey voluntary work in Poland and France. We didn’t think of a place where the farm would be built, here a house left by grandma with a tiled stove was waiting for us. We took what was – he says.

Peter. – We concluded that it would be nice to have some shelter, because we couldn’t live on donkey breeding alone† We’ve always thought about different sources of income – he adds.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

They set up the yurt. In August, we walked up to her next to a large field of sunflowers in bloom. In the gentle breeze it seemed like it was floating in a rolling yellow sea† – How beautiful here – we say at the same time, entering the yurt.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

Made from natural materials, inscribed in the plan of a circle with an opening skylight at the top of the dome, through which you can look at the skylying in a comfortable bed. It is different from most yurts that usually have a bathroom and kitchen inside.

Here they are in a neat extension, allowing guests to enjoy the full oval of the yurt as it is exceptionally spacious. You just want to take the yoga mat off the shelf and start exercising† In the winter, make a fire in a goat in the yurt and in the summer air conditioning provides relief from the heat. Outside there is a terrace and a little further a birch forest with hammocks.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

– We try to describe clearly what can be expected of us. There will be mosquitoes, donkeys defecate under the yurt, we don’t mow grass. We do not change towels every day and we do not iron bed linen. We use natural cleaning agents† We don’t have TVs or WiFi. But we have a sweet Landseer Pestka and four cats. In the spring, storks and herons come to us and in the fall pheasants hunt us. We know where there is a wild sauna nearby.

Donkeys have been visiting the yurt since November because they are close to it† We see children sticking to the glass like algae eaters and looking at animals – Ania says. You can order a breakfast prepared by the hostess in the yurt. They bake delicious bread, prepare delicious porridge and various vegetable pastas.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

Piotr studied mechatronics, Ania studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts and Special Education, where she learned about the methods of working with donkeys and the necessity of goodness with them. Pjotr ​​became interested in the subject a little later. They lived in Krakow, and where in a big city there was a place for animals …

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

Today he explains:

– Unfortunately, man has become accustomed to working with a horse with a whip. It will not work on an ass, it will deny itself in its place or it will run away.

– You can’t do anything with violence. It is an animal in which the herd is not dominated, so the donkey does not understand this dominance.

By forcibly working with a donkey we can hurt him and he will never forget it. You need kindness with him, with patience. Such work requires much more of us and is more difficult† If a person does not know the nature of a donkey and cannot develop a relationship of trust and respect with it, he will find that the donkey is stubborn. Unfortunately, there must be something wrong with this man’s approach.

“Osiołkowo” – Monika Stolarska / Press materials

We love to listen to the hosts’ donkey stories. They have a lot of love for these animals. We learn how the donkeys take care of each other. When one member of the herd is worse off, the others make sure it’s better for him. Unlike other animals that tend to reject weaker individuals, donkeys work on the principle that every member of the herd is equally importantand a lone donkey will not defend itself. We were moved that there had to be at least three donkeys on the farm. One will feel lonely. With two, if something happens to one, the other gets depressed.

“Osiołkowo” – Anna Waksmundzka / Press Materials

There are eight donkeys in Baszowice.

– These donkeys are all boys. Just like in nature: there is either a herd of harem, that is, a man and the rest are women, or a herd of bachelors. Our herd is quite large for us. The largest in Poland are 28 donkeys – explains Ania.

– Reproduction and breeding is a completely different story from what we do. You must have a very different background.

“Osiołkowo” – Anna Waksmundzka / Press Materials

Onotherapy is Ania’s specialty. – You should focus more on the psychological aspect than on the physical. These are not donkey exercises and horseback riding. It is important to build a secure and deep relationship with other living things. Being with a donkey provides many sensory experiences† You can pet, touch and cuddle it.

Onotherapy is about deep relaxation, unwinding, taking a different rhythm. It is a nice time to de-stress, but also for new experiences. Children with a disability statement from a certain kindergarten come to us. What they experience with us, they later process with their psychologists in the right therapy – says the hostess.

“Osiołkowo” – Anna Waksmundzka / Press Materials

Piotr and Ania dream of organizing small and large donkey trekking. Nobody does it in Poland, and in France it’s a popular activity. The donkeys living with them today made such journeys, even for several weeks, as animal sherpa.

“When I get older, I like to sit on Gus and go to the store. – Piotrek laughs.

Two of their donkeys are poitou breeds. Even a grown man can ride these largest donkeys, which weigh almost half a ton.

OSIOŁKOWO – FARM WITH donkeys, Baszowice 80, 26-006 Nowa Słupia, phone: 515 555 757, www.osiolkowo.pl

More about the book “Take a breath from the city. Mountains.” can be found on the instagram profile of the authors Life after work.

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