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Gierle (Lille)
All Year: Yes (less in winter)
Area (ha): 0,37
Persons: indefinite
Category: Other
Host ID: 58912
Country: Belgium

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Last Updated: December 1, 2017

Come live and work in back-to-basics paradise for a while! :-)
This is a healing and inspiring place that is already serving by bringing people together in a most harmonizing way. All people that have been here, go back home a more connected person. When you are volunteering at The Oak, you become part of a small-scale project with a great impact.

Staying for at least a week helps to get familiar with the work that needs to be done, although shorter stays are welcomed as well. (There is no max. limit for stays, as long as it feels good to all.)
Wanted from APRIL on: cooks responsible for the kitchen; people used to working in (ecological) building projects and especially people with carpenting skills. However, anyone who is a bit handy and wants to be part of manifesting this (already) healing project is very welcome!

BACKGROUND INFO
I'm building a hobbitlike, ecological round and spiraling small weekend house (mainly wood and hempcrete), called Robur at The Oak. The map doesn't really show the right location; best is to find "Robur op Den Eik" on Google Maps.

Since February 2017 the project is officially a non-profit organisation. When ready, Robur will host burnt-out people (or help prevent burn-out), or people who need a break from their personal hectic life to prevent burn-out. Another possible use is a short stay (max. 3 months) for artists (e.g. writers) to be able to focus on their project ("artist in residence"). When not occupied, Robur may provide a harmonizing space for e.g. mini-workshops and other small-scale events with themes that match CONNECTION through Rest, Nature, Healing and Creativity. There is a private Facebook group with photos and videos depicting the evolution: "Robur op Den Eik / Robur at The Oak" (send me a PM saying that you're a volunteer with HelpX and I'll accept you as a member).

Be welcome to become a Roburger! :-)

ACCOMODATION
This is a very back-to-basics project. I myself have been living as a nomad in a van for about 13 years now, meaning that I don't have houselike accomodation to offer. Instead, I offer you a one of a kind, warm, connected exchange and experience.
When you come there may be a bunch of other volunteers, OR you could be there working alone with me or one more volunteer.

Until Robur is almost finished, accomodation will be very back-to-basics and natural, almost like camping in the wild: your own tent in the forest (real mattress available, though!) or your own camper van near the path; there are one or two small tents available. Also, there is one small and simple indoor sleeping room at the back side of the site hut. Two people can sleep on the mezzanine in Robur. New: we just built Querculus, a partly insulated garden shed, with space for two people or one person and a couple (or friends that don't mind sharing the same bed).

The Oak has an outdoor kitchen and outdoor bathroom, but also a heavenly Lazy Lounge. :-) And of course, the heart of The Oak is the central Fireplace.
There is potable water from a well (143 m deep) and green electricity from the grid.
Internet available from your own, or limited wifi by using my laptop as a mobile hotspot.
NOTE: No alcohol, drugs or weapons allowed. Smoking only in the Smokers' Space.

PERIODS
Robur at The Oak will always be happy with any help whenever I am there. There's too much work for one almost elderly woman! ;-)
Just one request: to help voluntarily doesn't mean to help without any commitment... As soon as we've set dates, I actually count on your help for that period, as I will have organized everything (work, food etc.) and I may have declined another enthousiastic volunteer because of you.

I DECIDED TO NOT ACCEPT ANY VOLUNTEERS FROM NOVEMBER 16 THROUGH APRIL 3, 2018, DUE TO THE WINTER SEASON AND TOO HARSH WEATHER CONDITIONS ACCORDING TO THE AVAILABLE ACCOMODATION. However, you can still make an application in this period, for a period starting on April 3. April through September is the best period.

IMPORTANT NOTES
1) when working with hempcrete, and especially if you have a sensitive or dry skin, make sure to bring WORKING CLOTHES THAT COVER YOUR ARMS AND LEGS. Even more important: if possible, bring your own tightly fitting gloves to wear under the protecting gloves (that helps a lot!). Lime is natural, but when mixed with water it can cause burns. I'll provide safety gloves, masks and safety glasses (which you can wear or not (at your own risk)). And creams to prevent your skin of drying out too much.
2) If you would apply for the fall/early spring period, you should be aware of the weather conditions. In Belgium falls, winters and early springtime are often wet and cold, and unpredictable. It may freeze or it may not freeze at all. The sun may shine a lot (still cold, though), or not. Combined with the daring accomodation circumstances (which are evolving!) your fall or early spring stay could be a challenging experience! ;-) Ask me about that, when applying for that period.
3) Staying at The Oak while you are contributing by helping out with whatever needs to be done in that moment does NOT cost anything - unless you want to offer a free donation, since I have no real income and not enough money left to finish Robur. I'm actually doing a fundraising/crowdfunding campaign on the website (and I'm not good at that, so there's not too much coming in, yet...), so EVERY donation is very much welcomed. But I would never ever ask for a mandatory amount of money if people already give the best of themselves to make this project happen!

Anyway, Robur at The Oak is a project for and by many people. It wants to reconnect in many ways, so you are gratefully welcomed to help realize this beautiful project!

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