Hello! I am Emilie, a French 37 yo lady, and I live with my husband Allwyn, a 32 yo Jamaican man and our few month baby girl Maya.
We moved in June 2018 in our new paradise home which is literally BY the RIVER (Rio Nuevo), a dreamed spot for us, 10 min walk away from a very nice beach too, and 10 min driving away from Ocho Rios and 10 min driving from beautiful waterfall spot! And these are not touristic, but of course, you also will have easy access to all major touristic spots of the area, and there are numerous!
The property we rent is about 1000 m2 (1/4 acre), nice land with lawn and a few fruit trees and different light buildings spread around the land : one cottage of 2 bedrooms with attached bathroom and one common bathroom, another cottage that count 2 bedrooms by the road side, a family room for 4 and a dorm of 6, An extra big kitchen is set up under a huge white tent that is the guests and volunteers' kitchen.
Not only we have a see-through cool river water access in the garden to cool down at anytime, but on top of that, a amazing pool has been dug in it (about 3 meter deep and 30 m long) allowing to swim long laps. I love swimming, so I am in paradise when I am there, surrounded by trees and birds.
Al and I are both yoga teachers, and also have various interests and skills.
Ally is also a bee keeper and take care of a dozen hives to produce honey (that are not on the property), and he used to work for years as a cohost (before he was yoga teacher) in a place where they were welcoming guests on regular yoga retreats. He's been living 8 years in the area and comes from Trelawny originally.
I have been living about one year in Jamaica, I am also a body-mind-soul therapist (biodynamic rebalancing bodywork, other massages, etc) and I ve been a Airbnb host for 5 years in France in the apartment I used to rent in Marseille and a teacher or trainer of different thing through my life (languages, food and beverage knowledge, etc).
Our new place to grow our family has a tremendous potential, and we want to make it be a place for sharing our passion for yoga and self growth. Welcoming people on retreats, having daily yoga classes among others things are what we want to develop at first.
Also, because I love recycling, we have the project to built a nice outdoor workshop where tools and recycled material would be available to anyone willing to be creative and make stuff. A DIY book with ides of what to do will be provided also.
At last, we have a big long term project to develop with bamboos: I am passionate in this natural amazing eco friendly material that grows easily in Jamaica, so we are to set up the equipment needed to treat the bamboos before they can be used for construction and art craft. And from there having people in charge of havesting, treating and building will be the best to develop this activity in a country that so much needs alternative and cheaper construction options.
The work to be done for the next months will be from building wooden stuff mainly, like a yoga deck, other terrasse over the river, bunk beds, chick shelter, and so on. Gardening will be needed too to plant more tree and start growing veggies. And daily current task such as maintenance of any part of th property, grooming, painting, cleaning and what so ever to maintain the place in a nice condition.
One more thing to read and feel if it resonate with you: because I am
passionate in self development techniques and all the ways that allow one to grow in consciousness I got skilled in massage,verbal and yoga therapy. Helping people to feel better in their life whatever might be the issues and teach them different ways to achieve this is one of my goal in life.
Therefore, this focus on practicing attention and mindfulness in our everyday life is the foundation on which I work on with people, including volunteers.
Thus, the first thing I will ask you is to pay attention. What does that mean? It means observing the place, the standards, the way things are, stored or done so that we keep maintaining this place altogether just from being mind full of what we see and what we do very time we walk through the property.
For example :
- if you are crossing the garden, instead of walking mindlessly thinking of something else than what you are actually doing, which is walking and watching where you are walking, you should be fully present, you should practice attention and be “here and now”. Then, you will be able to see the garbage on the ground that may need to be picked up and put in a garbage on your way.
- when you are opening the fridge, instead of just taking what you need, observe it and see if anything can be improve for your and everyone’s comfort : a big stain needs to be wiped? A shelve needs to be cleaned? Some food are not stored in plastic boxes and may spill over? Old food has been forgotten and need to be thrown away? Well, just do it. It’s always easier to maintain stuffs when we pay attention to what we use and to do likkle things everyday, do our Karma Yoga as well (of your not familiar look through the web;-)) to maintain or improve our life quality rather than being mindless generally and finally realising after weeks that something big needs to be done to feel good again, in this am example would be finding out that eventually the whole fridge is disgusting and need an entire cleaning...
I could give you many examples but I am sure you get it ;-)
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Cultural exchange and learning from them have been my life for the last 15 years as I used to lived abroad and travel the world most my life. I speak 5 languages, and have a very rich backgrounds in term of variety of place to live and different environments, jobs, skills, interests that I develop along the amazing journey of life...
Life is a learning process and we are allways happy to share and teach whatever we can, and learn from others as well.
Not mentioning the great opportunity Ally offered to volunteer being a local Jamaican and so active in his daily activities: some got the chance to go with him in the wild observe or catch bees, and so on, unique experiences!!! Some got the traditional Sunday Jerk chicken, etc...
and most of all this is a place to meet other great people like you, exchange ideas, past host experiences, contacts, etc.
Daily maintenance of the guest house.
THE TREE HOUSE PROJECT (under construction)
We preferably would like someone that is skilled in building wooden stuff, someone that know which tool and how to use it, so who would have creative suggestion and a good sense of autonomy to work and either help or lead in this project of having our home built around a huge over the river. That person could either be a leader to build stuff, or be a skilled helper to work with a carpenter that we would be hired.
OTHER WOODEN or BAMBOO BUILDING PROJECTS:
A large yoga deck is to be built partially over the river bed as well, and some other potential spaces like a bath room, a laundry, etc.
Bamboo project as explain above.
Permaculture garden: anyone with experience and creativity to manage this project and starting growing veggies and plants on our land :-))
The help could include social media advertising and website creation about our activities as neither Al or myself are very keen on that.
And as I said before, unless you are very competent in gardening or building and will be mostly occupied with that, you should be ready to joyfully do any king of tasks sometimes, from cooking to cleaning just because it is useful or necessary, just the way I would do it myself.
Accommodation in a 4 bed dorm is provided (should be extend to 6 bed soon made of 3 bunk beds).
I myself did a workaway last year where I had to do all different king of things with a lot of autonomy and I loved it, this is actually how I met Ally, a few miles away from the place we found to settle down ;-)
And I also did another workaway where I had to work cleaning 6hour a day and no food provided, bad! We are not that kind of people;-) and so far our volunteers LOVED their experience here and were very grateful to be with us, was a very good start!!
French, English, Spanish, German, Berber
A single bed with sheets in a shared room or a tent with mattress will be provided for the volunteers that are needed. (up to 3).
If more volunteers than needed want to come and help, they will have to bring their own camp set.
Taxi transportation are available directly out the property. It's 100 Jed to go to Ochy. Many nice beaches and rivers are all around the area, Al is an excellent guide and will give good advise. Airport transfert and other taxi services can be provided on demand.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
15 hours/week- no food, 25 hours/week- food