Help with Siberian huskies and more in Finnish Lapland

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    50  

  • last activity

    Last Activity

    27/04/2017

  • Last email replied

    Reply rate

    98.0%

  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 9 days

2017

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  • Description

    Description

    We have 70 Siberian huskies for both our pleasure and work. We arrange husky safaris into the wilderness for our guests in winter, as well as snowmobile and reindeer safaris. We also have some log cabins for rent year round, a traditional restaurant and other outdoor activities. (Scroll down for some pictures.)

    Our inn is the oldest tourism business in this region of Lapland, situated well north of the Arctic Circle. Our family were the first to settle in this wilderness back in 1733.

    Before applying, please check our calendar for possible vacancies.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    General Maintenance
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Language practice

  • Help

    Help

    Help is mostly needed in looking after (training, exercising, grooming and feeding) our huskies, as well as cleaning and maintaining the kennel area. This includes taking dogs for walks/runs, brushing the dogs when they blow their coats, preparing their daily food (handling raw pork, beef, chicken, fish, elk and reindeer meat and bones), as well as cleaning up the dogs feces (poop). Sometimes we have puppies that require extra attention and feeding.

    In the spring, summer and autumn, (May-September), help is also needed in the garden and the forest. We grow our own potatoes and some organic fruit, cut and chop our own firewood and clear or maintain forest paths, and we usually fix or make improvements in our husky kennel area, our house and other buildings, so help is needed in all these areas too.

    In October and November, once the weather has cooled enough, we need help with training the dogs in preparation for winter sledding.

    Throughout the winter and into spring, (November-April), we need help with the range of activities offered to our guests, including safaris, in addition to the normal kennel routine. Also, help is needed with training and conditioning the dogs that will be participating in sled-dog races.

    Additionally, in the summer and winter there is some cabin cleaning and laundry to be done as necessary.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Finnish, a little French, Spanish, German and Swedish

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    In spring, summer and autumn the accommodation for our volunteers is in our rustic lumberjack's log cabin (picture below), which is equipped with normal modern conveniences and located next door to our own house. In winter the accommodation is in another house of ours over the road.

    In the cabin there are 3 pairs of bunk beds; one in a separate bedroom, another in an alcove off the living room, and the third in the living room area. There is also a small kitchen area, tables, sofa, fireplace and TV, WiFi and a washroom with wc, shower and washing machine. The cabin is electrically heated and has running hot and cold water. The house has the same facilities but with separate private bedrooms for each volunteer. The sauna is by the lake. All our accommodation is non-smoking. Usually we have 1-4 volunteers depending on how busy the season is and we allocate placements so that they are either all male, all female, or for a couple.

    Recuperating or injured huskies sometimes live with you in the cabin or house. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate your own pets because of this.

    We normally eat workday lunches together, and dinner together once a week, otherwise food is provided for you to prepare according to your own timetable. While we have guests in winter, breakfasts and dinners are eaten together with our kids in the restaurant. We do not cater for special dietary requirements.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Our dogs are lively, happy and strong individuals that require confident handling, personal attention and lots of gentle TLC (tender loving care) too! It is physically demanding and can be in unpleasant or extreme weather conditions, so you should be healthy, have a good back, plenty of energy, a good level of strength and fitness and you must not mind getting dirty. However, we are not looking for wannabe survival experts, even though you will learn some of those skills in winter by default. Hours will vary according to the requirements of our dogs and guests, and during quieter times we usually keep to an average of five hours per day. However, additional hours are necessary in winter when we have more guests, and some days can be very long. On those days, you will need to participate in a variety of tasks and you will have to push yourself to new limits.

    In your free time you can explore the area and take part in the activities available here and in our tiny village community. For example, during the summer it is possible to go cycling, canoeing, swimming, hiking and fishing, and in winter cross-country skiing, skijoring, snow-shoe trekking and ice-fishing. Many other summer and winter sports are available in nearby resorts and hitch-hiking around the region is quite easy. If you like reading, writing, photography, etc. or need to study, there is usually time for that too. And on clear nights from autumn to spring you can go out into the garden and watch for the northern lights - the aurora borealis.

    Days in summer will sometimes be rainy, or cold, or hot, or humid, surrounded by mosquitos! Days in winter can be mild, cold or very, very cold. We are a place of extremes: in 1999 the temperature ranged from -53C in February to +32C in June! Although we live in a very sparsely populated area, a good range of shops and other services are about an hour away by car or bus. The compensation for our remoteness, however, is that we are situated by a beautiful little lake surrounded by the largest wilderness forest in the world - the taiga.

    We have many, many applicants for a very limited number of places. If our calendar is full and you are flexible with travel dates, please consider being on our waiting list for places which become available at short notice. And please be patient when waiting for a reply - we try to answer all enquiries, but we are sometimes so busy that we do not have time to answer enquiries for many days/weeks. After initial communications and once you have been provisionally accepted, we will send you additional information with much more detail on what happens throughout the year to help prepare you for your visit. We require that you also send a detailed CV, complete with two references: one character and one work.

    So, please only apply if you are highly motivated, have a positive nature and lots of energy, and are genuinely interested in dogs and the North. We expect our volunteers to be helpful and flexible in our sometimes difficult Arctic conditions, and really eager to participate wholeheartedly in all types of activities necessary. We should not be only considered as your holiday destination, and we are not a charity. While here, we will endeavor to teach you about huskies, sustainable countryside tourism, the culture, lifestyles and traditions of Lapland and the wonders of the Arctic wilderness, but only if you want to listen and learn! We try to give a lot to those with the right attitude, aiming for a workaway experience which will be mutually rewarding.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    One of the great benefits of a cultural exchange is gaining a more realistic worldview free of fears, prejudices, assumptions and generalizations. One of our previous volunteers recorded her workaway travel experiences a couple of years back in a interesting blog, the other fork in the road, and recently added this quote “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.” ~ by Naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, quoted in Nature. So just travelling may hopefully help to broaden your worldview ;)

    What you learn depends on how proactive, motivated and receptive you are, and of course, what time of year you travel. In addition to learning how to care for the dogs, clean the kennels and the cabins, you will also learn how to train dogs in the autumn and drive dog sleds and snowmobiles in winter. And in summer you might learn how to prepare dogs for shows. But, you can also learn to fish and forage if you want to join us doing this - we pick wild berries and mushrooms in our forest and go fishing in our lakes. You can learn about the way others live up here too if you are keen to explore places nearby.

    Hopefully, you will learn how to dress properly for the weather too, and how to be sensible in our challenging conditions, while still providing service with a smile. You will need to learn to do less appealing tasks, quickly, logically and to a high standard. Also, you will be living and dealing with people from different cultures and with different personalities, so we hope you will also learn moral and social skills so you can be free of prejudices and accepting of all.

    Our working language is English, so you can learn or improve that too, and if you want a challenge, we can teach you some Finnish - one of the most difficult languages in the world!

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    On average 5 hrs/day, 5 days/week (except end of Nov, Dec, end of Feb, and March, when the hours will be more on some days)


Photos

Click images to enlarge

Reindeer safari
Snowmobile safari
Husky safari
Ice fishing in front of the sauna
Our campsite in summer
Our house, the restaurant and reception/service building
Hiking with our lapphunds, the native dogs of Lapland
Our beach in July/August
Our restaurant in mid-winter
Siberian husky Sarmi and her puppies
The nearby fell, Käyrästunturi, in February
Views of the wilderness from Käyrästunturi in July
Guests at the end of a 4-day visit
Some of our log cabins
Seemi, the boss
Young Hapsu getting some TLC
The colours of a cold winters day, -38C
The lumberjacks cabin, Oravala
Aerial view of our place
Northern lights in December over our cabins
Midnight in July
Host ref number: 15879269594d

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