UPDATE SUMMER 2019:
Since we probably can't finish our house as fast as we first imagined, but will be needing a place to give birth to our second child in July 2019 and to stay in winter, we decided on building a smaller house first that later can be used as an accommodation for friends/family and volunteers. This will make it easier for us to stay close to our ground and work whenever there is time.
The house will be a strawbale house with a wooden structure and a clay plaster. We already placed the floor frame on poles and will finish the platform in the coming days.
From the middle of March until the middle of April we will be in Germany but as soon as we are back we would appreciate some helping hands and feet. ;)
We are a young family (Matias 26, Jennifer 28, Emilia soon 2, Dog Dimti 3) settling down in a kind of abandoned village. Matias is from Finland and Jennifer is German. We met in Spain and since then we were travelling through Europe (by car, train, hitchhiking).
During the pregnancy we stayed in Germany because Jennifer wanted to feel safe close to the german health system but throughout the months she started questioning why she would go to a hospital to give birth. We decided to have a freebirth (homebirth without any midwife, just us two and Dimti). When Emilia was 4 months old we moved into our van and continued traveling (all the way down to Greece and back up to Romania).
In Greece we started being more interested in living in an alternative community, growing our own food, being closer to nature. We want to go our own way, not the way society wants us to go. Our lifestyle means taking more responsibility over ourselves and how to raise our daughter. We don't want to pass our responsibility on to kindergarten, school, doctors etc.
Now we have found our new home here in the hills of Romania, surrounded by beautiful people and nature.
We came to the abandoned village Bratea in May 2018 as volunteers, but quickly decided we would like to join the developing community, buy a piece of land and build our own house. There's currently 2 households in our little valley who are also on workaway. There's also other neighbours kind of close by and some friends that want to move here. If you're looking for a place to stay yourself, you could even find it here. There are some houses for sale in the valley.
Our plan is to build a house and have a garden to live as self-sustainable as possible. There are vegetables growing already but still lots of work to do. We want to plant lots of fruit trees, berry bushes and keep on seeding vegetables. In the future we would like to work more in harmony with nature, in a permaculture way.
The main part of the work will be the construction of the house. The foundation/rubble trench of our straw bale house is filled and we slowly get all the needed materials here.
Next steps are building a rock stem wall, start building the wooden frame, fill it with straw bales and clay.
Since we can't offer a house to sleep in, we would offer a really off-grid experience where you could train your survival skills. ;) Sleeping in a tent, using a compost toilet, taking water from a well, because there is no running water yet. For warm water the water has to be heated up on a fire.
Of course food will be provided (we still go to the supermarkets). We don't eat meat.
If you know about wild edible plants we would love for you to come and show us. We know some but there are so much more to explore.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
In our valley we are like a small community, growing and developing. You can be a part of this and experience our way of living and helping.
Since we learn as we go, we can only teach you what we learned so far but I think it's anyway much more important to learn from your own mistakes. So come, let's make some together and work them out to improve.
In our family we speak english, german, swedish, finnish and spanish. Other languages in the valley are dutch, french, and some romanian. Any language you want to practice?
As mentioned above we want to focus on the house itself. So if you can provide any building skills you are more than welcome to help. If you are interested in building but don't have any experience, we want you here as well. Let's learn it together then. ;)
Work to be done:
- Finish the smaller house
Work on the big house:
- Build rock stem wall
- Construction of the wooden frame
- Build a roof
- Filling with straw bales and clay
Work in the garden/general work:
- seeding, planting, weeding
- building a green house, cold frames
- clearing around our property
- playing with Emilia (if she accepts you :P )
Other works are building a shed, a shower"box", a swing or even some of your own idea what you think could be helpful.
german, finnish, english, swedish, spanish, learning romanian
We have a tent for volunteers. Do you want to bring your own tent/yurt/etc. and find a nice place? No problem. We could even figure out something if you think of staying in your campervan. The road up the hill was repaired so it's okay to drive when it's not too wet.
Since we can't offer a house to sleep in, we would offer a really off-grid experience where you could train your survival skills. ;) Sleeping in a tent, using a compost toilet, taking water from a well, because there is no running water yet. Warm water has to be heated up on a fire.
Please bring your own sleeping bag if you have one. Also warm clothes and good shoes would be preferable for autumn/winter/spring.
Electricity/Wifi: Until now we have it in our campervan, same with wifi, but after selling it in Germany (March/April) we will have to figure out where to put our solar system to have some electricity and wifi again.
Of course food will be provided, some even from our garden already (we still go to the supermarkets).
We usually have dinner together with you. Because of Emilia we don't have a fix time to wake up, so it's easier to have breakfast on our own. Lunch is an inbetween thing. :D Sometimes we have it together, sometimes apart from each other. Breakfast and lunch usually are more simple, cereals, oats with milk/yoghurt, porridge or bread. Dinner is always something warm and at least vegetarian, if not vegan. It's not always just us who cook. Until now our volunteers as well wanted to cook or at least helped in the cooking/ cleaning process which we think is a good system.
The day you come you don't have to work. We want you to be able to arrive in peace and to have the opportunity to look around. Of course if you decide after some time on helping a bit already, we won't complain. ;) Days off normally are Saturday and Sunday, but if you would like to not work another day just talk to us and we can figure it out. As well if you maybe would like to have a long "weekend", you can work more hours another day, if it works for us.
We are in plain nature, no big streets nearby but many paths to hike!
In the village down the hill (1km) you can find a bar and small shop, where you can connect to the locals or just spend some time off.
Twice a day there goes a mini bus from the village to Orastie, where you have more variety of shops and entertainment if you're looking for that. The locals know the timetable.
But I guess hitchhiking from or to Orastie is the easiest option.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week