Response from Anam Cara:
We are sorry for this experience. And we are grateful, because it has brought a lot of reflection and learning. Also, this is an opportunity to be able to express what we want to achieve with our project.
To open our home door, and being available to human beings we have never met is both very gratifying as it is challeging. This really is a human relationship experience with growing and learning opportunities that we embrace.
Apart from the payed service we provide (that sustains the necessary resources and work), we affirm that we are not selling a product or just renting rooms, because we are available 100% as human beings. Empathy, respect, flexibility, socializing and caring we give naturally and freely, but harmony only happens spontaneously and both ways.
This was not the case with Rodica.
We must publicly state our perspective of this experience so there is a clear cenario.
All Rodica complaints were clarifyed with airbnb that supported us on our version of events.
When Rodica arrived at our home almost immediately demanded things and manifested a difficulty in respecting our home rules and healthy boundaries which conditioned immediately our relationship and communication.
Several demands made by Rodica are not included in the room price, such as cooking, washing personal clothes and activities, (all mentioned on the airbnb site).
We discussed the cooking and washing personal clothes and after her insistance we all agreed trading the breakfast for the use of our kitchen, to cook her meals. This exchange was also due to her sugar intolerance, that we talked about and concluded that Rodica would not be able to enjoy and consume the breakfast we usually provide, which includes homemade jam, from our trees and fruit and juice of the season, among other local products. Before we had the exchange talk with her, Rodica told us she had already bought her own specific breakfast items and that she would use our stove.
In the first morning with us, we asked Rodica if she wanted her breakfast table ready like the other guests. Rodica said she would prefer to eat with us, in our kitchen table and we did.
In the morning after she had her breakfast with other guests. The mornings after that she had her meal alone because she decided that way. We never told her to have her breakfast alone and all was available simply by talking to us. Rodica had always access to the kitchen as all other guests have, and used it more than what is included, due to our agreement.
The beds are new and first quality, and many guests have refered their appreciation. Indeed, they are a bit harder, because they are orthopedic matresses. We are always concerned about our guests confort, and the beds being the best we could find was a priority.
All our project description (sustainability, education, restoring, upcycling, etc) has an history and a path, that we are pleased to talk and explain to everyone interested, which was not the case.
All the activities listed in our description exist. Being at disposal does not mean at the same time, happenning on the spot, and all for free. We have a massage pricing, horse riding (200 meters away), partners for hiking and water activities, among others, that Rodica did not show interest in, on the contrary.
Besides from this kind of activities we have had some wonderful moments with some of our guests. Hiking and sigh seeing, meditation and dinners together. All for free. This only happens when a friendly and respectul connection is established from both parties and according to disponibility.
We feel Rodica was distressed the first moment she was denied of her demands, and maybe because of this, all the things we could have enjoyed and shared together faded away.
Also, Rodica stated that she was running from a Sintra hostel due to a fire and had not properly read our project description, and was on a low budget. Because of those statements we feel and have to conclude she though that by giving a personal perspective there was an opportunity to gain some money back. In fact, Rodica requested us a refund through airbnb, which was denied by the platform resolution board due to inaccurate arguments.