We are a small family living in the north of Italy in the mountains called the "small dolomites" at 800m. Near a small town called Schio, the next big cities are Vicenza, Padova or Venice.
I'm Anna, half german and half malay and my partner Adam is half italian half colombian so we speak a lot of languages (English, German, Malay, Spanish, French, Portuguese and of course Italian) and have travelled a lot and lived in many different places. We have two daughters Suraya (5 years old) and Lalita Serena (8 Months old). We have a beautiful view and fresh air, fresh spring water and a lot of woods nearby and wonderful walks on the tip of the mountain. We grow our own vegetables in a field near the house, as long as the snow and cold let us, and cut and store the wood we need to keep us warm during the winter. I like to do pickles, jams and pestos and salads with the wild herbs and wild fruits you can find and collect from this generous mountain which also hosts lots of wild animals roes, chamois, racoons, marmots, foxes and so on...
Adam is very talented with music and plays all kinds of percussions, african and latin american mostly, and builds houses with natural materials, straw, earth, clay, lime, wood, hemp etc. together with other bricklayers and carpenters. When he has some extra time he also fixes and builds things around this old small house and has made this place really quite beautiful ;)
I also love music and arts of circus. Last year I went to teach children and adolescents some acrobatics and clown stuff in Schio, where there is a kind of "circus school". Adam has repaired an old turntable for clay for me and I like to do pottery on my own or with Suraya and her friends and have a friend who has a oven where we can burn our pottery stuff. I know how to knit and crochet and haven't done anything for years but would like do some pullovers for my little daughter soon :). I love to cook with our vegetables and like the italian kitchen but also do some malaysian dishes from time to time when I get homesick... I try to produce the everyday life things ecologically as much as possible myself. Soaps, or detergent for the dishes or washing machine...
Now obviously after Lalita was born the house, vegetable garden, crafts projects and passion for circus have been neglected a lot and I am still trying to find a new balance with my two daughters. Suraya who is a very lively and was used to having our whole love, admiration and attention now has to share it with this super cute and peaceful baby. She needs to move a lot to use up all of her super enthusiastic life energy and loves to be in company, also with adults (she likes to sleep at friends houses even if they don't have kids..) but obviously also loves to be around kids. In the past we have hosted small families and single mothers with daughters and so she has shared her toys and space already with others but obviously still has some territorial attacks from time to time ;). She goes to a small Kindergarden which is a bit further down the mountain during the week and luckily there are 4 other families with very similar lifestyles nearby and we often let our children get together and help each other in our gardens, for the wood etc.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
We are a very intercultural family so we have a lot of things to share. I guess a lot of aspects of rural Italian life style and ecologic or permacultural thinking and living. I think we are quite "different" to the traditional ways when it comes to raising the kids. I like to respect their rhythm and not always push and impose my "responsable" and "important" adult world over their enthusiastic ways of approaching life and everything they meet. I encourage and want them to feel free to express their feelings and thoughts... So these kids are not raised to only being "well manered" and "polite". This of course does not mean that they don't know how to treat their surrounding nicely, they really do. They just know how to speak up and respect their own time...
I would like to share and do some creative things with you as well, if you feel like. Use the turntable and do some pottery, share recipes (e.g. how to make fermented veggies, jams, pickles etc.) or do some music or acrobatics, juggling, clown exercises. Languages. And am especially interested in learning from you. I know it sounds strange but even simple things like washing dishes sometimes are done differently ( I know Malay, Italians and Germans definitely have different techniques in washing dishes :) ) and I am open to see and learn from everyone ;)
Since little Lalita was born I have little time to do all kinds of everyday life things at home and in our vegetable garden and especially none of the pottery and knitting, no yoga in the morning or stretching and keeping in form in juggling and and so on ;)...
I would need some practical help things like: get up early :) :) and help me to do breakfast and get the kids ready to go out, to tidy up, clean or vaccumclean, hang up clothes, wash the dishes, bring out garbage, harvest vegetables and remove weeds, sow and plant small plants, cook, bring and chop wood or collect twigs in the forest, play with Suraya or hold Lalita for a while and especially wash up and clear the kitchen after dinner when I put the kids to bed because usually I fall asleep with the kids :) and it's so sad to find all the dirty dishes from the day before the next morning :)
One more thing;
If any of you know how to repair a corrupted external hard drive that would be great, because unfortunately all the pictures and music we have gathered in the past and of Surayas childhood are on this hard disc and somehow I don't know why it just formatted into "RAW".
English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Malay
We have a big space in the attics with a lot of space to sleep, there is a double size and single bed and a bit of space to keep your things in shelves. It is directly under the roof. You can stand in the middle, but have to take care at the sides because you might bump your head.
During the cold season is going to start it gets a bit chilly in the morning and during the night when the fire in the stove is out because while you sleep you can't keep feeding it with wood :) The stove heats everything up quite fast though, as soon as you are brave enough to jump out of bed into the cool air in the morning and light it up...
We are used to it and think it's healthy to sleep in a non heated place, being under thick covers and blankets with a hot water bottle the body is nice and warm but you breathe fresh and cool air.
We eat a lot of vegetables and rice, pasta and other cereals. It is not at all a problem for us to respect religious or ethical rules or reasons for nutrition. So Halal food and vegans, kosher or "everything eaters" are welcome and will find a mother who is open to cook your favourite dish :) and who is very keen to get to know your favorite food aswell ;)
I think it is very important to like the countryside and mountain life if you come to stay with us. There are a lot of nice walks and beautiful landscapes you can discover just going by foot from our house. Then there are busses only 5 times a day that might bring you down to the small town Schio, from where you can get a train or busses that go to the next big cities (Vicenza, Venice, Padove etc.) From Schio it's about 1h to get to Vicenza by Bus, car or train. 1 hour to Padova and 2 hours to Venice. I don't have to tell you about what kind of marvellous things you can visit in those super Italian tourist attractions, right?
There are a lot of small towns nearby and I usually don't go to the big cities but have enough cultural program around Schio and Santorso. Nice ice creams, cafés, pizzas and sushis. Parcs where we meet up with friends and afternoon or evening activities such as Biodanza, Circus, Capoeira and typical dance from Puglia called Pizzica etc, concerts and theater or cinemas as well. During the weekend and on wednesdays there is a very nice Market at Schio where I usually go once a week to get some cheese, vegetables that don't grow in our garden and for the fun to meet people and friends by chance...
Very nearby is the Ecovillage in construction called "Corte del Vento" where we often go and meet friends, jump on the huge trampoline or sit around the fire in the evening or help if there are some permaculture projects, like building a seedbed, fixing the fence of the synergic garden, etc.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week