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Help Exchange

All Year: no
Area (ha):
Persons: more than 2
Category: Other
Host ID: 49003
Country: Croatia

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Last Updated: May 20, 2020


Hello! Please read carefully all the way to the end: this isn’t your average helpX, but it's a really BEAUTIFUL OFF-GRID EXPERIENCE for those rugged enough to handle it. Check my reviews if you want to see what some of the past helpers have to say. One week is the minimum stay, but I love when people stay longer and really get into the groove. You can even stay for the full 8 weeks if you want.
FOOD IS NOT INCLUDED: you can buy whatever you need in town and cook it yourself at camp. I provide minimal drinking water, washing water and cooking supplies: you should be prepared to fill up your water bottles in town and carry them up every day too, just to be sure you have plenty. I provide tents, but you'll need to bring your own sleeping bag/mat/pillow/whatever. If you're traveling with your own tent, that's fine too. I have a few spare sleeping mats that other helpers have left behind, but they're not that comfy.
WHAT DOES "OFF-GRID" MEAN? In spite of all the stuff you have to do without, living off-grid is really fun – especially if it's just for a short time and the weather's nice! What it means is that there's no refrigeration, no running water (free showers in town, though), and the toilet is a bucket in the bushes with a box over it to sit on and a compost trench nearby. There’s no electricity and no lights at night other than a few solar-powered garden lights, so please bring a good headlamp or flashlight. I have a small solar panel for charging phones, but it's weak and can only handle one or two phones at a time, so bring a power bank if you need it. In case you're worried about connectivity, there's free wifi everywhere in town, and if you have a data plan on your phone, you can connect from camp as well.
THIS IS NATURE: there are harmless bugs, also the occasional harmless snake. Seems obvious, but I just want to make that clear.
SORRY, NO BURNING: it's super-dry here in the summer and that would be totally dangerous. You cook inside the little stone shed I call the kitchen.
SATURDAY ARRIVALS ONLY: we all walk up the hill together on an unmarked path through the forest, so I really need for each incoming group to arrive on the specified ferry (schedule will be posted as soon as it becomes available). The first walk will be the hardest, since it'll be hot and you'll be carrying a heavy load. Figure about 45 minutes. We stop at the grocery store in town first so you can pick up whatever you need before heading up. When you're not lugging a backpack, you can probably go to and from town in about 30 minutes each way.
THE HELP SCHEDULE IS GREAT: only 10 hours per week, broken into three three-hour shifts: usually that'll be Sunday morning, Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The last hour of work is for you to do on your own to make sure the camp stays clean. Not just your personal space, but communal spaces as well. This schedule gives you plenty of free time to explore Vis.
WHAT KIND OF WORK IS IT? It falls into three categories: clearing new spaces (bushwhacking), maintenance (weeding, sawing, carrying water, harvesting wild pistachio leaves, also a little camp maintenance if it needs it) and moving things from one place to another (either bottles of water or rocks for wall building and repair projects). Nothing is particularly hard, but it will be HOT, and you'll need good shoes: you can't do this in flip-flops. Lifting rocks is about as hard as it gets. I supply all the tools.
YOUR WEEK ENDS ON SATURDAY before the new team arrives, but you can extend your stay if you’d like. All I ask is one full week's commitment: if you stay longer you can leave whenever you want.
week 1 : arrive Saturday June 6, leave Saturday June 13
week 2 : arrive Saturday June 13, leave Saturday June 20 ///
week 3 : arrive Saturday June 20, leave Saturday June 27 ///
week 4 : arrive Saturday June 27, leave Saturday July 4 ///
week 5 : arrive Saturday July 4, leave Saturday July 11 ///
week 6 : arrive Saturday July 11, leave Saturday July 18 ///
week 7 : arrive Saturday July 18, leave Saturday July 25 ///
week 8 : arrive Saturday July 25, leave Saturday August 1 ///
week 9 : arrive Saturday August 1, leave Saturday August 8 ///
Ferry schedule will be announced as we get closer to summer: it's not on the Jadrolinija website yet. Last year, the ferry for weeks 1, 2 and 3 left Split at 11 a.m. and arrived on Vis at 1:20 p.m., and the ferry for all other weeks left Split at 3 p.m. and arrived on Vis at 5:20 p.m. It should be similar this year.
As for me? I'm from the US and got my first taste of living off-grid at Burning Man (2002-2006). Once I saw the possibilities, I was hooked! I love the challenge of trying to make something from nothing, and of bringing this magical place back to life. I'm also a bit of a hermit, so I hang out alone when we're not working and have my own separate place to sleep. If you’re interested in helping out, begin your message with "YES, PLEASE!" so I know you've read all this. Also, please tell me which week you want, for how long you think you'd like to stay (you can change your mind later) and whether or not you'll be bringing your own tent.

Work falls into a couple main categories: land maintenance and preparation for building projects; I mix it up each week for the sake of variety. Land maintenance ranges from weeding paths to processing and moving piles of cut and dried branches to digging up stubborn roots to clearing spaces, and building prep (at this point) means moving rocks. We do it by filling and passing buckets chain-style while listening to people's playlists, so it's fun.

Since it's very hot in the summer, we begin work between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning, depending on what time the sun rises and what type of work we're doing. Since we only work on three days per week, this isn't a big sacrifice. Getting work out of the way so early also means you have the whole rest of the day to enjoy!

Helpers come from all over the world, so there's always a fun mix at camp. And the experience of living off-grid for awhile and experiencing raw nature is like a reset, getting you back to basics. So refreshing!

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