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BOUSSAC
All Year: no
Area (ha):
Persons: 2
Category: Other
Host ID: 10048
Country: France

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Last Updated: September 13, 2016

LAST MINUTE OPPORTUNITY - SEPTEMBER 2016

Come and help us out in quiet, rural France, doing some traditional roofing work preparation, general labouring, odd jobs, maybe a bit of gardening and helping us to finish a small cob house with a living roof.

We live in central France, in Creuse, which is one of the most beautiful and quietest parts of France. It's perfect if you like peace and solitude. Creuse is the main farming region of France and we're surrounded by rolling countryside and farm animals.

Dotted around are swimming lakes, the occasional park, chateaux and natural attractions. It's all about nature and tranquility here.

Here is our nearest village with some local point sof interest - http://www.tourismeboussac.fr/en/index.html

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The work

We're renovating an old barn, to be converted into a house, and we're also in the middle of building a small cob cottage next to it. We need to get the main work done before Winter hits, so it's urgent. We've got a lot to do and we'd really appreciate some extra hands.

The roofing work on the barn is really the biggest job. You'd just be helping us prepare, and depending on what stage we've reached when you arrive it might be; removing the old roof; cleaning old tiles; cementing the tops of walls; helping us rebuild the roof by being an extra pair of hands [we don't need someone experienced, we already have someone helping us to do the skilled roofing work].

The cob house is well underway. We have already done the walls and are putting in windows, so you might be helping to finish off the tops of the cob walls and then helping us put on the living roof.

If you come during cob building work, we can teach you how to mix it yourself, which is a useful eco-building skill to take away with you, as you can use it to build all kinds of structures, including small things like an earth oven. Perhaps we will start by getting you to help us build an earth oven.


Extra stuff

We will teach you some cob building so that you have a new skill/experience to take away with you.

We can also show you ways to live on a low budget, for example by upcycling stuff and turning it into something new.

We can teach you how to use metal-working tools and we also encourage you to be creative.

If you have special skills to offer, there might be something else you can help us with that we haven't thought of yet, so let us know what you can do.

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ACOMMODATION

You would be staying in a tent, though we also welcome people bringing their own camper vans or other vehicles.

We can provide the tent, with mattresses and bedding, to make you as comfortable as possible.

There is a solar shower [outdoors] and a compost toilet.

We apologise for not being able to offer more comfortable accomodation and facilities, but this is how we live. It's a chance to try out a different lifestyle, stripped of creature comforts and to see if you can hack it.

This is how we started out ourselves when we first left London, and it gave us a whole new outlook on life because we saw how it could free us from the trappings of the rat race.

We generally eat vegetarian food. This is what we will provide. If you have any other special dietary needs, please let us know.

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Us

We're a couple [Irish and English] who met in London and escaped the rat race a few years ago. We have our own little business here making musical instruments, which pays the bills.

Animal-wise we only have 2 dogs who are part of the family. We don't have children of our own, but we're fine with you bringing yours.

We're quiet people who generally entertain ourselves. We don't drink much, though we don't mind if you have a little.

We generally eat vegetarian food.

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You

We definitely need people who are prepared to work, and you also need to be willing to try anything, even if it seems a bit dull. We will aim to teach you something about cob building, so we hope that will balance it out.

You need to understand that it is very quiet here and there is not much entertainment, so you need to be able to entertain yourselves.

We think it is best if you are a couple, as then you have company and can be self-sufficient entertainment-wise. Families are also welcome.

It's best if you are people who appreciate nature and enjoy time alone, for example to meditate, to play musical instruments, to write, to sketch, to read etc... Maybe you need time to just think and heal. The natural environment here is very healing and soothing.

We can offer you tasty food and some bikes to go off and explore in your free time.

We can take you out sometimes, to some of the local attractions, but not every day as we will simply be too busy. It would probably be at the weekend.

We hope that most of the time, when not working, you can be independent, as we tend to continue working until the evening meal.

We can offer you occasional access to the Internet but not all the time - maybe every couple of days, so you can keep in touch with the outside world.

We generally eat vegetarian food. We don't mind if you need to eat meat sometimes, but you would need to buy it yourself.

Smoking is fine.

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BENEFITS

It's a chance to try out a different lifestyle, stripped of creature comforts and to see what you are left with. This is how we started out ourselves when we first left London, and it gave us a whole new outlook on life because we saw how it could free us from the trappings of the rat race, through living cheaply, in tune with nature. Depending on how you approach it, it can be a transformative experience.

We aim to teach you a little about cob building so that you have a new skill/experience to take away with you.

We can also show you ways to live on a low budget, for example by upcycling stuff and turning it into something new.

We can teach you how to use metal-working tools and we also encourage you to be creative.

Language-wise, we speak only basic French. We speak English amongst ourselves, but we welcome French people to help us become more fluent, and in return we can help you with your English.

It is so peaceful and quiet here that it's great for people wanting to escape the city and to enjoy some solitude. Maybe you need time to just think and heal. The natural environment here is very healing and soothing.

We can lend you musical instruments that help you to relax. Our instruments are very easy to play, so even non-musicians enjoy them and benefit from them.

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LOCAL AREA

Creuse is one of the most beautiful and quietest parts of France. It's perfect if you like peace and solitude.

Dotted around are swimming lakes, the occasional park and other bits and bobs, but nothing spectacular. It's all about nature and tranquility here.

Boussac is the nearest large village, with all the necessary amenities. This site lists some of the local attractions nearby;

http://www.tourismeboussac.fr/en/index.html

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Talk to us

We have been on both sides of the fence - as volunteers and also as hosts. We know that it's really important for both sides to communicate their needs and expectations, both before and during the experience.

So please write to us and tell us what you need and/or hope for from this experience. It is more important that we get suitable people than to just get anyone at all. It's better for you, too, if you find a place that is suited to your personality and expectations.

We don't want you to try and impress us - honesty, openness and communication are best.

We look forward to hearing from you. ;-D

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