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help exchange   Host 55846
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 5
Persons: 4
Category: Other
Host ID: 55846
Country: Finland

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Last Updated: August 31, 2018

We are Marja (finnish sign language interpreter, homemom, from Finland) and Mick (carpenter, from Ireland) and we have two small kids Leo (born 2014) and Luna (born 2016). We live in the countryside in North Karelia 20 km from Joensuu center.

Our project is to build a small straw bale round house to be our home. We have decided to settle down in Finland and after a few years of thinking we decided to build our own home instead of buying an old house. After that decision was made we bought 5 hectares of land in December 2016. We bought it very close (500m) from where we live now and also close to an organic farm Pikkunuppu where Marja has grown up.

We have now cleared the road to the house, gotten building permission and had the trees cut to boards for the house. After we got the building permission we cleared the building plot from trees and we did a natural stone foundation. The foundation of the house is ready as is the foundation for the chimney. This year 2018 is the time to build the post and beam structure from the trees we peeled. Also we will start on and hopefully even complete the roof of the house.
We are doing the whole project with a small budget trying to use as much as possible natural and recycled materials from local resources.
We had our first helpers in year 2017 spring and then more all through the summer and autumn, even up until December. We had about 25 helpers in 2017 and we were very happy how things went with them. That is why we are continuing this great way of charing: we get help and we are able to teach people skills and show them our way to live and we get to meet interesting people and learn from them.

Accommodation: in our current house upstairs, there are two rooms with a bed or mattresses.
Food: nutritious, filling, tasty, mostly vegan. We may occasionally ask you to help cooking simple food with help
Getting here: we can pick you up from Joensuu (from train, bus or airport)
Work time: 5 days a week, 30 hours or more :)
No previous experience required in what we are doing but it is a plus. Carpenters and carpenter minded people are super-welcome!
Languages: English, Finnish, Finglish
Internet, Wifi (off at night)
Free time: we live by two lakes to swim in, we can give you bicycles to go for a cycle and you can cycle to Joensuu, you can do berry and mushroom picking later in the summer, walks in the woods, we have regular sauna. We are into making wooden spoons and are happy to show you how to do it.

For year 2018 the type of work will be carpentry work that you will be learning from a professional, Mick. We use mainly hand tools, Mick occasionally uses power tools for big jobs. Everything will be taught to you so no need for experience. Amongst the carpentry work we have about 101 other jobs to do such as clearing more trees from around the house, preparing timber for building, tidying up the site, making firewood, building an outside dry toilet etc....

During the whole project we are very happy to receive any volunteer help given so if you are interested in doing something with us, please contact and come to help.

Please notice our blog, there is a link to it above. In the blog you will find more about what we are doing just now and what all we did last year.

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