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help exchange   Host 7878
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St Maurice sur Aveyron
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 1
Persons: 4
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 7878
Country: France

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Last Updated: November 15, 2016

We are looking for a partly 'au pair' role (although light as both children go to school), keeping the house clean & taking care of the children after school, ideally in English, & occasionally cooking. The rest of the work hours will be around the land, tidying the veg garden and clearing up before winter. Some ongoing building projects too if you want to take part. Might be very well suited for a couple as you'll have your own space together and work autonomously. A lot of free time. Drivers license appreciated. No shorter stay than until Christmas in this role, so the children get acquainted to you. Thank you!

We are renovating an old farmhouse and giving a new life to one hectar of wooded land, one hour's train from Paris (but feels very far from the city- isolated farm in beautiful countryside). We are a young Franco-Italian-British family (2 sons, 5 and 8 years old), one of us is a professional eco-builder.
We are eager to share our experience of building ecological systems with natural materials, and share daily life with open-minded pro-active people. We have travelled extensively (still do), and love swapping stories. Musicians especially welcome! :-)
Families also welcome, and longer term arrangements are a possibility- we are open to setting up a small community or eco-village on the land, if people are interested in building their own units. Do tell us if this is an interesting opportunity for you.

About the work:
Priority work is clearing the woodland and building outhouses. Once that will be done, creating an ecological swimming pool and building ecological living units (mudhouses, treehouses etc.). Heavy work included! All outdoors. Please note it can be very physical work, we work long days and don't count the hours we all put into getting a job done- please only join us if you share this spirit. On the other hand, we share beautiful meals at lunchtime on workdays and have an amazing wood-powered sauna which we light up once in a while!

We are staying in the first part of the farmhouse, which we have finished renovating in 2012. You will be staying either in a beautiful Mercedes van (which is our travelling home) or a large caravan, beautifully refurbished- a bohemian dream :-) You might be sharing the caravan (which has 2 independent bedrooms and a living room, and is at a very comfortable standard with its own large kitchen) with other volunteers, or not, depending on the time. Dry toilets just next to the caravan, as well as solar showers, and free access to wi-fi from the van and caravan.

We also have a permaculture-inspired medieval-shaped veg garden which provides most of the fresh food. Diet is mostly vegetarian and alcohol is at your own cost.

A few things about life here:
- you will be working an average of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week (free days vary from week to week)
- helpers are expected to take part in communal tasks outside of their "work" hours: getting wood for heating, cleaning common areas, getting meals ready with us and cleaning afterwards, doing minor maintenance of the veg garden, picking food etc.- we all do this, and if you're here you're part of the lot!
- helpers are expected to know how to take care of themselves, including cooking for themselves. We provide basic ingredients for all meals, and will cook for you once a day on workdays. The rest of the time, helpers prepare their own meals from the ingredients we leave in the caravan kitchen.

To enjoy life here, you need an autonomous spirit, to like your own space and spending time on your own as well as with people. Experienced travelers usually feel very at home. You won't be taken in charge here, so make sure that's what you want!

Make sure you arrive in Paris in the morning to get to us, as there are not many trains.

We ask people to stay for a minimum of 8 days, so we have time to get acquainted and you can get your bearings and develop autonomy here. Longer stays welcome- with an initial 8 days for everyone to see how everything goes. We've found this works the best for everyone.

We enjoy the good life, and hope to share it with you.

A bientot/a presto!


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