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help exchange   Host 33494
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Help Exchange

All Year: April to November
Area (ha): 1.3
Persons: 5
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 33494
Country: Switzerland

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Last Updated: November 6, 2017

Hi Everyone!
We are a brother (Ezra, 32) and a sister (Devi, 29) who run our project on a property which was used as a traditional farm back in the days. It's a beautiful place with a grotto, waterfall, stream, ponds, gardens, farmland, a barn and old traditional houses. Also a private spot at the Lake of Zurich is part of the property.
We are uncomplicated, easy-going and open-minded people. We travel a lot and have an international background.

Our place is a meeting place for people from all around the world. In the summer months (June - September), we host international guests and volunteers in the main house which has the feeling of a guesthouse. Everyone who visits is part of our community that is always set up by the current visitors since nobody lives there permanently. It's a "Place of Inspiration" where people can be creative, try new things, develop their own ideas and learn from each other. Furthermore, we have event spaces that we rent out for events of all kinds.

In the remaining months (October - May), we rent out all the rooms to long-term tenants who are around 8 international people. The house has then the feeling of a shared housing residence.

Like most of you, we have traveled a lot and gained valuable experiences in different cultures around the world. This project is our great chance to continue living the dream of traveling, however, in a stationary place. We try to build the type of place that we would have liked when were traveling ourselves: a place where it's easy to get in touch with other travelers, where you feel home from the moment you arrive, where you can help with meaningful work but at the same time learn things for yourself, and on top of all, in a great location with beautiful surroundings.


Type of Help

We are looking for skilled volunteers who are good at:
- renovation works in the house (make floors, doors, install kitchen, bathroom, fix windows etc.)
- general construction work: sanding, painting, work with wood, concrete, stone, glass etc.
- repairing things: bikes, machines, cars, appliances etc.
- sanitary work, plumbing
- some strong hands to help with various tasks: landscape gardening, clearing out spaces, move stuff, cut wood with chain saw, help with renovations etc.
- gardening: Preferably a long-term volunteer who has experience and knowledge in gardening
- helping in the guesthouse (June-September). Tasks are: making beds, welcoming guests, cleaning, laundry etc. We are looking for a responsible person who can work independently. Previous experience in hostels is a plus but also fast-learners are welcome. You should be a perfectionist and have high cleanliness standards when cleaning and making the rooms. You shouldn't mind doing this work repeatedly.

We are always happy to host people who are creative and bring in their own ideas. People who can think outside the box and can find creative solutions in non-standard situations.
If you have further skills such as writing, filmmaking, graphic design or arts, in addition to your manual skills (from the above list), you are welcome to put these into practice as well.

In your free time, you have the opportunity to do arts and develop your own ideas.

Often our volunteers tell us: "What you are doing, is exactly my dream: Having a piece of land and hosting people from all over the world." We want to share our experience with others and help them building their own dream. Therefore, we also host volunteers who are ready to take more responsibility and are willing to learn how to set up and manage such a place. In this case we ask for a minimum stay of 3 month.

We start at 9:00 with the morning meeting and work for about 5 hours. Usually, it's Monday to Friday, except for people who help in the guesthouse, we also need help on the weekends. Time can then be compensated during the week.


IF YOU DECIDE TO CONTACT US, please provide us with the following information:
- Which of the tasks can you help us with (see section "Help")
- preferred time and duration of your stay (please check our calendar first for availability! Exception: If you are professional in construction we might have space even if the calendar is marked red)
- tell us about your interests, background and why would you like to stay at our place
We recommend to have your profile updated with the description of you and your skills, some photos of you, your age etc. You can also send us links to your facebook-profile, blog, website etc. so we get a better impression of you.

For helpers, we ask for a minimum stay of 3 weeks. Longer stays are possible after an initial trial period of 2-3 weeks and by mutual agreement. For short stays we have other arrangements. Please contact us for more information.
Our age limits are from 20 to 40 years.
In particular, we'd like to encourage individual travellers to stay with us because we often don't have the space to host couples or friends.


In the dormitory in one of the houses.

The food is vegetarian. From Monday to Friday one of the volunteers cooks for lunch and we eat all together. In the evening and on weekends the volunteers prepare their own meals (food is provided). Therefore you should be able to take care of yourself and cook your own food.

The food is vegetarian. Most of the time, the volunteers cook for each other and eat together. Therefore, it's good if you also know how to cook.

The property is located a 2 minutes walk from the beautiful lake of Zurich. In summer the lake is great for swimming. There are forests in the area where you can go for a walk. We have bicycles that you can use to explore the area.
The train station is a 10 minutes walk away. There are trains every 30 minutes to Zurich and Rapperswil, which are both nice cities to visit. Rapperswil has a beautiful historic town with a castle overlooking the lake, a boardwalk with restaurants and bars and a wooden bridge to walk across the lake.
Although the property is located in the country side, it is very close to the infrastructure of the city.

Cultural Exchange and Expectations:
Our place lives from the exchange of culture, skills and ideas. Everyone is seen as an individual with different skills and cultural background. We try to match the tasks as much fitting as possible to every helper. We give you the opportunity to learn new things and share your skills with others. Although our place is very international, we try share with you some Swiss culture for example by cooking Swiss dishes (mainly cheese ;-)) and tell you stories about the people and country.
We expect that people contacting us are motivated and genuinely interested in experiencing our place and not just looking for a cheap way of traveling. Since we always have people from around 10 different countries in the house, it is essential to be tolerant and respectful towards the others. We are a very diverse team that lives and works together. We expect everyone to help each other also with tasks that are not everybody's favorite.

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