Costa Rica, Großbritannien, Portugal
07.04.2018 - 30.11.2018
I was raised in Canada but left in 2001 on what's been an adventure that has yet to see me move back home. I've lived in Ireland, Australia, London, New Zealand, Scotland, China, Uganda, and Rwanda where I've been since 2010 (I run a website and make tourist-oriented city maps). I've also done some long term volunteering in Haiti, Indonesia, Nicaragua and Bangladesh and travelled to a whole bunch of places.
In short - I'd say I'm an independent person, inquisitive about the world around me, and very open to meeting new people and excited at having the chance to experience a little piece of their daily lives while helping out as much as I can in the process. I'm a hard worker and, as you can see in my profile pictures, I love getting my hands dirty! A perfect day for me is one spent working really hard, getting sweaty, and laughing a lot before settling in for some good food and conversation, and a well-earned sleep.
I plan on buying my own piece of land in Portugal in 2019, building some natural structures, and having a small homestead. The people doing these sorts of things are the placements that are of most interest to me.
Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
Hilfe bei Kunstprojekten
Hilfe mit Computer / Internet
I've checked the Workaway categories where I feel confident in my skills (or my ability to learn) but I'm open to trying any type of work. While I know how to swing a hammer and am good with my hands, I'd probably want some guidance in these areas since I don't actually have any formal training. But I'm open and I'm a quick learner!
I'm moving to Portugal and my intention is to buy a piece of land, build a house, and set up a garden so I'm mostly interested in working on projects that expand my knowledge and experience in these areas (but I'm willing to try other things, too). I'll spend April to November 2018 travelling around Portugal doing a few Workaway placements (I prefer staying at least a month in each place) and my hope is that I meet some cool people doing something similar to what I want to do, learn more about the different areas of the country so I can narrow down where I want to be, and learn more about the planting seasons, what grows in Portugal, and anything else that might be useful. Hopefully I make some new friends and get to work hard on bringing their vision to life!
Here's a breakdown of some of my skills and experience:
Farming & Permaculture
My main interest for using Workaway is to be able to find hosts who are working towards living sustainably, growing their own food, and managing their land responsibly - and then learning from them. I have experience as a fruit and veggie picker in Australia and New Zealand and have volunteered on a few farms (in Nicaragua, New Zealand, and Oregon). I've also taken a 10 day permaculture course in southern Ethiopia and, though I'm still learning and eager to learn more, I'm familiar with the theories and many of the practices. I'm a hard worker and very happy whether I'm left alone in a field all day doing the same physical task or whether the jobs are more varied and involved.
I've never been professionally trained in any trade but I have worked on a variety of building projects including helping build small homes and schools in Indonesia, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Nepal, and Haiti after natural disasters using a variety of materials and techniques (as part of the organisation http://www.hands.org). Through this work I've learned how to use many power tools, concrete, carpentry, masonry, and have dug lots of holes and pushed lots of wheelbarrow loads around.
I've also taken a 10-day natural building course (with a focus on cob) in Oregon and I've recently worked on Keela Yoga Farm in Central Portugal for a month. They gave me a place on an 8-day straw bale building course for free and then I led other volunteers towards finishing the build. I love building, I have some good experience, and I'm very eager to learn more.
I love to cook and make meals for people. I don't have a huge repertoire of recipes but I love experimenting in the kitchen, especially with fresh foods from the garden or forest. I like that sharing cooking duties is often an expectation of Workaway hosts and would very happily join in on cooking meals.
Computers, Art & Design
I work as a web designer and run a popular website in Rwanda. I could help with basic web design, instruction on how to set up a simple site that you could maintain yourselves. I could also give social media advice and instruction. Besides my work with websites, I also run a small business designing tourist maps (so far I've done Kigali, Kampala, and Addis Ababa) and through this work, I've taught myself how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well as some cartography principles. I'm not an expert in anything, but more of a Jack of all trades type and I can usually puzzle my way through things. If you think these skills might come in handy, please let me know! Plus I know how to draw and I'm pretty good at making sketches for building projects.
I've never had any training in this, but I have pulled off a few major projects and think I'm organised and efficient enough to be trusted with helping manage any large projects you have on the go. I've just completed my fourth map (http://www.mapofkampala.com) which involved a huge amount of work over 1.5 years, arranging printing and figuring out customs and duty, setting up accounting systems, dealing with distributors, and a whole host of work involved in registering a business in Uganda. It was a huge amount of work and thinking about it makes my head throb, but I've managed to get this product out there and that's given me the confidence that I can organise and manage projects that have lots of things going on at once.
English, Basic French, will aim to take Portuguese from April
Canadian / British
My plan is to arrive in Portugal in late March and then visit a friend and possible take some Portuguese lessons (and I would love to be forced to speak Portuguese as much as possible while I work!) I'll be free basically from April until November and I'm hoping to fill that time on interesting projects around the country.
Because I'm planning on moving to Portugal, I'll want to spend some of my free time exploring the surrounding areas. I'll also have to spend some time online running my businesses based in East Africa (lucky for me, I can do this remotely but it'll take a few hours each week to maintain). So I'll be able to keep myself happy and occupied and I'll never be short of things to keep me busy when I'm not working. I'm planning on buying a car when I arrive and hoping to also have a bicycle to get out and explore as I love cycling.
I'm very excited about meeting new people and spending time with hosts whenever the opportunity presents itself. One of my main reasons for wanting to move to Portugal is to find like-minded people and a sense of community so I'll be hoping to cultivate friendships, rather than just an employee/worker relationship.
Thanks! I'm looking forward to meeting you, experiencing a bit of your lifestyle, and exploring your corner of the world!