Restoring oldtimer van and/or babysitting in the Dutch countryside

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  • Description


    We are a family with a 2 year old boy, a 13 year old boy and a Labrador dog. We live in a small house in the countryside in the south of the Netherlands. We enjoy listening to music, playing board games, hiking, watching films and documentaries, video editing, try and play some guitar and many more things.

    Since privacy for both our guests and ourselves is limited, we prefer stays of 3 days up to 3 weeks. If there turns out to be a really good match, we can always discuss a longer stay.

    Current availability:

    We don't have availability until September.

    If you would like to stay with us from September on, please contact us. We don't know yet whether or not we will need a volunteer, but we will keep you in mind just in case.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Animal care

  • Help


    Currently, we are mainly looking for 2 types of help (you can choose from or combine):

    1. Restoring oldtimer van:

    One of us just purchased a 65 year old four-wheel drive van (Renault Goelette). It once served as an ambulance in the french army. It will be a complete restoration, where we first separate the body from the chassis and start by sanding and painting the chassis. The second step will be the mechanical part, repairing the brakes, engine, cooling system etc. After the chassis and mechanical tasks are performed, the sheet metal work can start on the body, cutting, grinding, welding and applying filler and sanding…sanding…sanding and finally painting. After these tasks are performed, the body and chassis can be merged together again and everything can be re-installed, re-wired etc.

    So in short: if you are experienced in restoring vehicles (mechanical or bodywork) or you are just into technical stuff (or willing to learn), we can use your help to restore this old van and turn it into a running vehicle again! During weekends and evenings we can work together; during week days there will be plenty of tasks you could perform independently (or you can combine them with the types of help mentioned below).

    2. Babysitting:

    One of us works fulltime and the other one tries to study to become an elementary school teacher. So it would be very helpful if you could spend some time with the toddler (born February 2016).

    The 2 year old boy loves to read books, chat and dance together, play with the ball, or with sand and water. You can speak to him in your own language. While you are spending time with him (for example every morning from 9 till 12 and one or two more hours after his afternoon nap), one of us will always be around to change the diapers, prepare his food, answer your questions etc.

    The rest of your time:

    The rest of the time is your "time off" and we really hope you will enjoy that time, either with us or on your own. Should you nevertheless wish to do some more voluntary work (or do something different, for a change), there will always be things to do, for example: walking the dog, vacuum cleaning, cooking or gardening. Or helping with some technical/maintenance stuff if you like. Or teaching us skills, like playing guitar, Photoshop, languages...

    The 13 year old boy (who lives with his mum's family and visits us every second Sunday) would love to practice his English with you. He loves playing board games or video games, telling jokes, swimming, fighting with Nerf guns and many other things.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are very willing to share our daily life with you and we love to talk about our cultures. One of us has been a guest at many homes around the world and, now settled down, enjoys being a host for a change :-).

    When you are around, we speak English as much as possible, but sometimes, when the subjects are about practical stuff or when we have guests who are uncomfortable with speaking English, we will switch to Dutch for a while.

    If you wish, we can also teach you some Dutch.

    Depending on your interests, we will visit some interesting/fun and budget-friendly places together or visit our family and friends, so you can have an impression of (this part of) the Netherlands.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    Dutch, English, German, Russian, a little French and Spanish

  • Accommodation


    You can choose from 3 basic accommodations:

    Accommodating 2 Workawayers at a time will be new to us, so we cannot guarantee lots of comfort, since we will all share the bathroom (with a toilet and a shower).

    1. Oldtimer van:

    A few meters from the house, we can accommodate you in a lovely but very simple oldtimer van (not the one to be restored). It's just a little bit more comfortable than sleeping in a tent :-). For most people, the months of October to April will be too cold. Currently, the back door cannot be opened, so the van can only be ventilated through the front and side doors and windows.

    2. Attic of the barn:

    You can also sleep on a couch in the attic of the isolated barn (with some music instruments), where you can put on the diesel heater for a while, before you go to sleep. The ladder to the attic is not safe for very young children, by the way.

    3. Teenagers room:

    Or you can sleep in our house in the teenagers room. The disadvantage of this last option, is that it might be a mess sometimes and that every second Sunday (during the day) the room has to be available for the 13 year old boy himself :-).

    If you have a young child, he/she is welcome too!

    During the day:

    During your time off, you can hang out at our home or have some more privacy in the small van or one of the other accommodations.

    Of course you are welcome to have breakfast/lunch/dinner with us. Breakfast and lunch will be typical Dutch: coffee/tea/milk, (brown) bread with butter and cheese/meat/peanut butter or chocolate paste and/or if you wish yogurt (with granola) or porridge. And often some fruit. Should you wish to eat something you are more used to, you are free to prepare this in our kitchen. Dinner will mostly be potatoes, meat and vegetables, but we regularly try something more exciting and will be happy to learn about the culinary art of your home country. We also love to try vegetarian or vegan food.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The nearest airports (from closest to farthest) are Eindhoven (with many affordable European flights), Rotterdam The Hague, Amsterdam and Brussels. From there, you can travel to the train/bus stations of Breda or Tilburg, where we can pick you up.

    Work will take 4-5 hours a day, 5 days per week. We are very flexible, so we can always discuss an 8-hour working day for example, compensated by an extra day off.

    During your time off, you can make nice walks around the house (45 min - 1h45 min) or use our bike to explore the surroundings (for example the National Parks of Drunense Duinen or Biesbosch or the famous amusement park De Efteling).

    The nearest train station (Rijen) is 10 km from here and the city of Breda is 18 km from here, but we can take you there by car. From there, you could make day trips to, for example, the cities of Den Bosch, Antwerp (Belgium), Utrecht or Amsterdam.

    You can take your days off during the weekends, but you could also consider doing your trips during weekdays, when cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht are less crowded.

    If you like to make long walks (15-20 km) together, you will make one of us very happy, especially in the weekends.

    We are non-smokers and welcome other non-smokers.

    Since a vibrant urban life isn't around the corner, you will probably most feel at home if you enjoy nature more than cities and if you are mainly interested in sharing our simple daily life.

  • 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?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My Photo Album

the van to be restored (in the barn)
the van to be restored (and the dog)
the van to be restored (and the toddler)
sleeping in the van
our accommodation van
Our family in the oldtimer van.
the family :-)
the baby :-)
walk around the house
walk around the house
Our 'garden'.
our van, barn and house (door + first two windows on the left)
view from the garden

Host ref number: 194721232728