help exchange   Host 40453
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Help Exchange

All Year: No
Area (ha): 1
Persons: 3-4
Category: Other
Host ID: 40453
Country: Italy

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Last Updated: September 29, 2017

We are two Australian couples who have bought an amazing 1960s house designed by a famous Italian architect. It hasn't been lived in for many years. One couple, Darrell and Barbara, will be living in and renovating the property. Darrell has built two houses before and plans to do all the work himself. However, help may be needed to have the house ready by April 2018. Darrell is a 63yo Aboriginal psychologist and I, Barbara, am a former journalist and have written 6 books. Our most recent working life was both working in the Western Australian semi-desert town of Halls Creek for 2.5 years on a Healing Strategy for the region, based on cultural empowerment and local indigenous employment to deal with family trauma issues.
I already had a flat in Paris (bought 2003) and speak some French and Italian. We love Italy, the food, people and friendliness we've found here. We had been looking for 3-4 years for the perfect place for us. We finally completed the sale of this house - the exact opposite of a period house we began looking for! - on 20 July this year.
Darrell has built his own house in Australia, having worked in the demolition industry for five years while studying for his psych degree. I speak the lingo, badly, but enough to order things and deal with local suppliers. I also paint, garden, cook, shop and am the general dogs body.
The house basically drops off a cliff, has total privacy with lake on drop side and cedar forest on the other side, has incredible views over the Lecco arm of Lake Como.
It has three levels, including a flat roof we plan to turn into a living space. All floors have panoramic views of the lake.
All the bones of the garden are there - terraced retaining walls etc We need a team of workers for this.
Hoping to find painters, carpenters, people with experience using tools, build the new kitchens. We will have new quality tools to work with but anyone with their own tools very welcome.
To see a youtube below of the house from a drone.
Possible to have your own floor and privacy.
We would welcome a single, couple or family if you come with skills, willingness to work and be part of our life for as short a time as you'd like to try. Even a week is fine. Darrell is a quiet, thoughtful, introvert, a good listener and prefers to ask questions than talk himself. Everyone loves him. I'm more social and interested in everyone and everything. Love podcasts and seeing things completed! Lots of energy.
Possibility to work full-time with us 4 days/week and we can pay for accommodation for you down closer to the lake for three days per week where you can enjoy all the other aspects of the lake that are more accessible than our place up higher.
Having said that, four buses/day pass our village and we have two Brompton foldup bikes you can coast down to the lake, take ferries anywhere, just have coffee down there, 10-15 minutes away, then get the bus back up.
Civenna, our town, has a supermarket, bakery, pasticceria, post office, bars, fruit and veg shop, butcher, newsagent and many Italians say the most incredible views on the lake.
The house and garden will inspire.
We will provide all food in exchange for 5 hours work 5 days/week. We eat everything but if you have special needs that's also fine. We like vegetarian food as well. We usually eat a hot meal at lunch time. We will provide money for you to buy food to cook your own evening meal and breakfast.

You could stay on the bottom floor which is completely self-contained with it's own small kitchen and bathroom, two bedrooms and lounge if that suits. It has a lovely view of the lake from both bedrooms. The first job for the first helper will be to paint this space and prepare it. We will take photos then.
The middle floor will also, eventually, be a self-contained living space with four bedrooms, kitchen, 2 bathrooms and living area. At the moment of writing, there's three liveable bedrooms and two bathrooms. The fourth bedroom, kitchen and living area are rubble at the moment and this will be one of the jobs we need help with - to turn this into a beautiful apartment with it's own terrace over the lake.

We can't accept any dogs because our neighbour, a dear friend who teaches Darrell Italian, has 14 cats!

Please note, we need you to have private accident insurance, see Insurance link above.

We need any helpers to have travel accident insurance to protect us all. If this is a problem for any reason, please speak to us about it.

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