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help exchange   Host 7268
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All Year: after 1st july 2010
Area (ha): 0.8
Persons: 1 or 2
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 7268
Country: Bulgaria

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Last Updated: June 11, 2016

About us:
We are a couple of easy-going, oldish: early 60s, goats who moved from South West Wales to Bulgaria 3 years ago. We arrived with a dog, old and now dead, and cat, which disappeared after about 6 months. Now we share our home with 3 dogs, all Bulgarian strays, plus Tripod, a three legged cat. Unfortunately, since moving to Bulgaria, my physical health has taken several turns for the worse, and I find that many of the simple jobs which I would once have enjoyed have become a major challenge. Our belief is that life is about more than work, and we hope that visitors would quickly learn to love and enjoy this place, as do we.

About our village:
Our original destination had been in the south of Bulgaria. However, after much searching in villages within a radius of up to 150 kilometres of Yambol, we eventually found a house in the foothills of the Balkan mountains. The house had been empty for 12 years, and is situated in the little village of Golyamo Chochoveni, about 20km west of the lovely city of Sliven. The village is at the end of a good road, 500mt above sea level. It's unique in that the population of less than 200 is, apart from one Bulgarian family and us, 100% Karakachani. You can check the net for more info on that, but it means that, besides Bulgarian, everyone here also speaks Greek, and most have links with Northern Greece. We find that the Karakachani are wonderful, kind, industrious and sober people, and from our first day here, we have been made to feel very welcome in the village. Though the place is very peaceful and secluded, we are, in fact, only a couple of miles from the main Sofia/Burgas highway and railway line. We shop in Sliven every week, and itís a city with everything one could need. There is a regular bus service to and from Golyamo Chochoveni.

About our house and land:
The house is now refurbished, though there are still a few indoor projects which are waiting to be completed. Along with this, we have about 7,000sq mts of hillside which was previously used for grazing sheep. Unfortunately, the fencing which once kept the sheep in has almost gone, and we are regularly visited by the local goats, horses, cows and sheep. We also have hares living in the garden. There are mountains behind the house and, to the south, we can see about 75 kms. over the Yambol plain. It is, in short, a wonderfully restful and spiritual place to be. In spring and summer, the wild flowers, and especially the bird life may take your breath away.

About what we need:
We have a double and a twin bedroom available, with a shower room, so two friends or a couple would be fine. Our hope is that you would be happy to live, eat and work with us as part of the family, simply Ďmucking iní and helping wherever and whenever necessary. Some of the work is simply physical, but not too tough. We have a whole house in need of painting: inside and out, so skills of all sorts: either building trade, or horticultural would be very welcome, but most of all would be a willingness, and a positive attitude to work, sometimes on your own initiative. Your ideas would be welcomed. We have no dietary restrictions, and meat eaters are welcome. Also, we have no objection to smokers. Life is slow here, so we would like guests to work for about 4 hours a day, for 5 days each week. We are flexible over length of stay. Everything, within reason, will be provided. A sense of humour is a prerequisite, as is an appreciation of wildlife and natural beauty. Should anyone wish to see more photographs of our house, village and the surrounding area, then visit our website link above.
Thanks for taking the time to read through our appeal, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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