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help exchange   Host 46440
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 5
Persons: 2-3
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 46440
Country: France

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Last Updated: March 15, 2016

A small 3 bedroom house along with barns, workshop and house that has burnt down and needs clearing. The land is pasture with trees and a pond. All set in the rolling Dordogne countryside.
Hi there Helpxers, are you interested in helping a ‘young’, easy-going, 54 year old divorcee’s dream become a plan? My humble little home is set in 5 hectares of pastureland and trees. Around us there are forests and tracks and a smattering of sleepy historic villages. In short it is an idyllic spot for people to get away from it all but close enough to beautiful towns such as Sarlat and Bergerac.
However, our home has seen tragedy. A few years ago our house suffered an arson attack and is now a stone shell fast turning into a wild, walled garden. We had to turn our back on it for financial reasons, and convert our pigsty barn into a house! In trying to rebuild our lives the land became a low priority too.
But that's in the past. Now my plan is to turn our tragedies into something that will benefit others (see below).
In essence, we are looking for people to tidy the land and pond, clear the burnt house, and do some general maintenance and repair work to the barns and the (unfinished) house where we now live. Nothing particularly specialist, just a lot of manual work unless there is someone out there who is a mechanic (I have a second car that would be available for Helpxers, but needs TLC to get it roadworthy)!
For four hours per day, five days per week (days off to suit you), I can offer one or two basic bedrooms (double beds) and food. However I am currently writing a book, plus I have a full time teaching job which requires me to be away from home two nights per week. Therefore there is an element of trusting strangers here, and the motivation to work on your own. Common sense and an imagination are necessary, ability to use strimmers and such, a bonus! Also, in my absence you would need to cook for yourself (food provided) and keep two fat Labradors plus far too many cats company. I can accommodate more than one person, which would perhaps be more fun for you.
My older daughter (25) lives with her boyfriend in a little house on the land. My younger daughter (19) is at university, but comes home some weekends. Next door there is a young French/Dutch couple, so although we are off the beaten track, you would not be isolated. Ours is a bilingual (English/French) family. We are smokers and meat eaters. I can cater for dairy/gluten free diets. I do not profess to be the Eco-Queen of the Dordogne, however we try and live a simple, good life and would love help making a vegetable garden to become more self-sufficient.
This is my plan: to set up a charity and renovate the house as a getaway for people suffering with chronic and/or cluster headaches and their families. Why? Because I have episodic cluster headaches and my two daughters suffer with chronic migraines, so I get the half-life hell those with these chronic conditions suffer. Why a charity? Because when you suffer with these conditions, you can't even hold down a job, let alone afford a holiday for you and your family. Further down the line I envisage opening the facility to other 'chronic condition' sufferers, such as ME, MS etc.
So for now we need you to tidy up, but if this goes well, Helpxers will be welcome when our plan is up and running. Further down the line we will be building a swimming pool using recycled materials. It would be ideal to have you stay for a minimum of two weeks, but if we all get along, that could be extended for as long as you like. We can pick up from Bergerac airport or train station, Le Buisson, Sarlat or Perigueux train stations, preferably weekends and evenings, but not exclusively.

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