Meet Jodi Markley, a volunteer at Corynnia Station Farmstay.
Corynnia Station Farmstay Accommodation is set amidst the flat golden plains just outside Carrathool, near Hay in Western NSW. The station plays host to guests passing through for a couple of nights, as well as longer-term volunteers who spend a couple of hours each day helping out around the property.
Jodi Markley is one such volunteer, and hails from a world away – the mountainous country in Colorado, USA. A dentist by trade but a traveller at heart, she sold up her possessions in order to embark on an ambitious international holiday.
“Giving away my dog was just the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” Jodi tells Travel In on a sunrise walk through the station’s fields, a daily ritual of hers while staying at the property. One of Corynnia’s sheepdogs accompanies us on the walk; an elderly gentleman who has trouble with arthritis and is almost completely deaf. When we come to a cattle grid Jodi cradles the heavy dog in her arms and carries him – he doesn’t see well enough to navigate the steel beams by himself. “But when he’s having a good day he just loves these morning walks,” she says fondly.
Tending to the animals is Jodi’s favourite job at Corynnia, and they return her affection in kind, especially Buster ‘Buzzy’ the rescued kangaroo joey. When we get back to the homestead and let the little guy out to graze on the green lawns he wraps his front legs around her thigh, just begging to be scratched under his chin.
“Next up I am off to volunteer for a few months on a cattle farm in South Australia, and then I think I’ll spend a couple of weeks holidaying in Cairns,” she says with relish.