“Billets needed 21-22 March” This was the Request posted on the Taranaki TimeBank database at the beginning of the year. Having grown up overseas, I had no idea what the word ‘billet’ meant and googled the word. The definition I received in return was “a place, especially a civilian's house, where soldiers are lodged temporarily”. This was a bit of a surprise to me – why were soldiers coming to New Plymouth? I clicked on the TTB website link and discovered that the request meant a TimeBanker was looking for a home for protesters who would be coming to town to support the People’s Climate Rally. This was more like it – we as hosts would help people from out of town who were coming to New Plymouth, making sure they had a warm home and hearty food after a long day protesting for a good cause, so I offered our house as abode. A couple of weeks before the actual Petroleum New Zealand Conference, and the associated rally, I received a call from Stuart Bramhall from the Green Party New Plymouth to confirm that we were still ok with putting up a young family who would travel from Wellington and would require bed and food for a couple of nights. On the night before the rally the young family from Wellington arrived in time for dinner: Frances, James and baby girl Alfie. They happily joined into our family dinner and had breakfast with us the next morning before heading off into town. Later that day I visited them during the protest and despite the rain and never-ending drizzle they were friendly and cheerful and chatty, explaining to me what was happening at the protest. In the evening they joined us again for dinner and let my girls play with Alfie, much to the delight of my two daughters! We were all very happy to have James, Frances and Alfie stay with us. They were fun to chat with, brought interesting political views and conversations to our house, helped tidy everything up (James was very apt to find his way around our kitchen – utterly self-sufficient!) and were just a pleasure to have around. I was sad to see them leave and would happily host them – or other ‘billets’ - again in the future. In terms of TimeBank credit, Stu explained to me that we should add up time spent on cleaning, making beds, cooking, etc. and debit that amount to her on the TTB website. All up, hours amounted to a total of 5 – which I will happily spend on much-needed help with weeding, painting and learning Te Reo!