Help me renovate a beautiful old stone house in Brajkovići, Istra, Croatia

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Croatia

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    Last activity

    23/09/2020

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  2020 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    My name is Nina (39) and am renovating a beautiful old stone house in the countryside of Istrian peninsula. I am converting it to a sustainable ecological home away from home.

    The purpose of the renovation is to bring natural materials closer to people, who want to experience a natural home first hand. The plan is to convert the house into a permaculture haven where people can try out living in a building made of natural materials with a permaculture garden surrounding it.

    The house is is located on the edge of a small village 12km away from Rovinj and the coast. It offers a nice interlace between nature and village life.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco Projects
    Help around the house
    Art Projects

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    If you’re interested in natural materials, their use in construction and permaculture, this place was designed for you. I spent a lot of time gathering all sorts of information regarding the described subjects and would be more than happy to share my theoretical and practical knowledge. My passion is spreading awareness in the world and creating a sustainable future for all.
    Since I love doing things with my hands and I experimented a lot with the renovation techniques on the house, I can also tell you about the mistakes best avoided :)
    I can show you how to use earth as a building material and we can construct things out of stone, wood, straw, reed, clay and lime together.

    Since I started renovating the house I travel less, consequently missing the exchange of people’s worldly views and experience. I enjoy having my horizons opened with every single person ever so slightly more. That’s another reason why I’m inviting volunteers to my home: in the hopes to have an intriguing chat about the depth or heights of a human soul and have a good laugh while we share the present moment.

  • Help

    Help

    You will be invited to participate in various activities. That means doing the practical/dirty work spiced with some theoretical explanations from different fields of sustainable practices, all depending on your interest and the depth/limits of my knowledge (natural materials and natural construction, energy resources, composting toilet, water re-usage, permaculture). You will be encouraged to share your know-how connected to the assignments at hand, expanding your knowledge in tasks already tested out here or maybe we’ll both end up learning something new while trying out some improvements to the place/project you’ll suggest.

    Current tasks:
    Outside:
    -general garden preparations
    -planting, sowing, transplanting, watering the plants
    -weeding and maintenance of green surfaces of the compound
    -earth preparations for the water distribution system (digging ditches:)
    -building a plant-based gray water cleaning device
    -building a stone wall next to the terrace
    -building an outside kitchen (stone/cob)
    -building an outside shower
    -building an outside bathroom/sauna
    -making outside furniture
    -building a wooden shed in the garden
    -building a protected space for the outside bed
    -repairing/rebuilding the dry stone walls along the perimeters of the compound.

    Inside:
    -building the kitchen out of wood
    -finishing the layer of reed supporting structure for the clay plaster in the interior partition wall
    -base coat and finish coat clay plaster for the interior partition wall
    -repairing and repainting the cracked part of the clay plaster ceiling
    -painting the clay ceiling in the bathroom
    -implementation of tadelakt in the bathroom
    -protect the wooden surfaces (floors, door frames, window frames) with tung oil
    -clay and lime plaster decorations
    -building furniture out of wood.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Croatian: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    Accommodation: the premises cover really basic needs. Since the house is still a building site, i don't use it for sleeping (it's unpractical to move things around all the time). There is space in the garden to put up a tent (I have a small one or you can use yours if you have it) or park your preferred vehicle of accommodation. You'll get linens and blankets here, but you're welcome to use your sleeping bag if you have one.
    There is a bathroom in the house you’d share with me (hot water, compost toilet) and a cold shower in the garden.

    Food: the kitchen is provisional/temporary, but it has a decent size fridge and a gas stove. I love to cook but enjoy sharing the cooking experience with a fellow human even more. I usually cook once a day, the rest of the meals are fresh fruit, vegetables and the likes.
    My friends in the vicinity have a big ecological garden so in the summer most of the produce comes from them, otherwise I aim for local and seasonal. This year I hope to grow some of the basic veggies (herbs, tomatoes, salad) on the permaculture garden in front of the house.

    It is very important to use only biodegradable products on the premises (for washing dishes/humans/pets, skin products etc.) because the water used for washing and showering goes directly to the garden and everything that you flush with it as well. I would prefer you brought your own products, in case that's not possible i can provide some basic soaps and shampoos.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Before I moved to Croatia, I worked as an architect in various countries. I was heavy-heartedly aware of the damage we are doing to our beautiful planet on a daily basis, so I wanted to join all the gutsy people out there living the change we all would need to make in order to stop this down slide. In 2017 I decided it’s time for a bigger change for me as well. Now my life is a somewhat complex but beautiful mixture of interests, places and people.

    My primary interest is energy efficient use of natural materials for building, clay being the leading star among the materials. Apart from that i'm into learning more about permaculture and contact improvisation dance. And plenty more stuff :)

    The area and surroundings:
    -public transport exists but not in abundance: the village has a bus stop with regular service to Rovinj, Kanfanar train station is 6 km away
    -there is a mini store at the gas station 500m away, a grocery store is 5 km away
    -the Lim bay is 4 km away, Rovinj with all it’s gorgeous beaches 12 km away
    -there are nice bike trails around, some leading to Rovinj and others to other parts of Istria
    -rock climbing Zlatni rt in Rovinj (13 km), near Dvigrad (13 km) and in the Lim bay (5 km)
    -other attractions nearby: traditional tavern (1 km), pizzeria (2 km), the wine route (5 km), aromatic park Histria Aromatica (6 Km), Dvigrad castle ruins (10 km), Motovun (35 km), water park Istralandia (40 km)
    -events: Summer Salsa Festival, Rovinj Jazz Festival, Photodays in Rovinj to mention a few.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 142184649423