Hi again Travis,
Thank you again for your reply! I am actually a bit "holed up" right now in a city in the Peruvian Amazon with a broken ankle, so...plenty of time to write! I think with people working on your land, it is a process of experimentation...trial and error. There are of course good people out there, and some that would not be such good matches, and of course some of us are less social and "people people" than others. I've met a real mix during all my volunteering, but I would say that the majority have been really hard working, smart and with a lot of initiative, but it also takes a lot of communication and input, at least near the beginning. It's one of those things...deciding it's a priority, the time when it feels it's good to make it happen, and taking the leap! Sounds like you have a ton of knowledge and experiences to share, it's just figuring out what would work best for you
I guess I've grown tired of the whole volunteering thing. I will still do it when it seems to make sense to me, and I see its value, but it seems to have come to dominate and this has meant that opportunities outside of volunteering and to go deeper are limited. Off course there are many ways to compensate people for their work and input, and food, accommodation and a context to learn in are some of them, but I have seen often people work very hard and receive little for it. People often put less effort into volunteers because they are volunteers. I just saw the post above about the Ecosystem Restoration Camps, and have been following them for a while, but...they are entirely based on people volunteering (and contributing a small monthly donation) and we are in the real world where money is needed to live from day to day. In days gone by with apprenticeships, people were still paid a small income while they apprenticed. People think it's great that everyone volunteers and contributes to the common good, but it's not practical, although I know that there are many people who do find themselves n a financial position to be able to do it, and often a lot of "young people" who are setting out on their permaculture learning paths. But in the end we need to make a livelihood and volunteering is not a livelihood. But I digress! We do need more people out there who are not only homesteading (which is also super-valuable!) who are models, mentors, trainers for people who want to have permaculture be their lives and their livelihoods and to greatly expand the options.
Good luck to you, my friend, in all of your endeavours and dreams!