Help restoring a small family hut in Thompson, near Sofia, Bulgaria



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  • Description


    Restoring the small family hut in Thompson - Iskar Defile (30km from Sofia) has been a dream and a passion forever! Renovation started three years ago, the goal was minimum budget, a lot of recycling, learning and fun. And it still is! Come join me :)

    Hi, I am Nevena! I come from Sofia and I enjoy nature, sports, construction and art. I have lived in the Netherlands and Belgium and I came back to Bulgaria three years ago. My goals while numerous have always included making Thompson a home for me and for guests as well as exploring and interacting with the country and its wonders!

    Dedicated to giving new life to materials that other people would simply dismiss, I am eager to create a place entirely out of recycled materials. And I really need YOUR help to finalize this project! I have a lot of experience with volunteering on both sides of the table and hopefully you will enjoy staying at Thompson as much as I do!

    The house is situated at the heart of the Iskar Gorge close to the Iskar River. It is the last house at the end of a dirt road about 1 km away from the closest village - Thompson. Close by you can enjoy nature as you wish – hiking, cycling, rock climbing and anything you wish to do at the river (just let me know in advance, so I can prepare).

    The house is connected by regular trains and buses to both Svoge (6 km) and Sofia (30 km). There is electricity, internet and the water supply is sufficient (there is a well in the yard).

    Volunteers are also welcome to spend a portion of the time in Sofia, as this historical and vibrant city is worth exploring. I would then welcome you to my home in the heart of the city. Depending on preferences the duration of time spent in the city can vary.


    Once a place I spent every summer with my grandparents, the house in Thompson had been abandoned for more than 15 years. When I first visited after this long period, I couldn’t even see it from the road – nature had taken it back. 40 long minutes later, cutting my way through the branches I was able to see the tiny house with the red bench in front – a time capsule of simpler times.

    And then – the madness began – I couldn’t sleep – I had to spend every waking minute there! Travelling back and forth, even for an hour’s worth of work! You can only imagine the stories I could tell you!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    If you choose the stay with me in Thompson, you will have the chance to interact with local people from the community, learn about Bulgarian culture, habits and food (all dietary preferences will be catered to). Furthermore, I am an awesome tour guide, so I will be happy to show you the surroundings as well as our awesome capital – Sofia.

    In terms of skills – you will get the chance to learn about working with wood, gardening, plumbing and electricity if you like. Furthermore, you can practice sports you enjoy or haven’t tried before.

  • Help


    So there is a lot to do of course, but volunteers should not spend too much of their time working, for sure not at the expense of the cultural experience. I could be flexible in terms of how much, when and how. General expectation is that volunteers help out for about 20 hours a week.

    PHASE 0 – the yard (ongoing)
    The collaboration with nature continues – it tries to take back what rightfully belongs to the green jungle. Fighting level 10 bushes is part of the deal. Tasks could include:
    - Clearing areas of the yard
    - Removing the large pile of earth that is blocking the entrance to the yard
    - Creating an outdoor shower
    - Building a fireplace
    - Using the wood material for a delicious barbecue

    PHASE 1 – the house (completed)
    Everything used to rebuild the house was left over material found at the house, obsolete materials from other projects and the gifts of time and dedication from good friends. This was Phase 1, now completed.

    PHASE 2 – Summer kitchen (not started)
    Now it is time for Phase 2 – building a summer kitchen from the wood materials still unused. Tasks would include:
    - Building the foundation and frame
    - Wood work on the building
    - Installing electricity (only if you have experience in that)
    - Creating an outdoor bar

    The intention of the stay in Sofia is to explore the capital, and experience it for what it has to offer. Help in Sofia is needed on very sporadic basis.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    Russian: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    The house is wooden and hosts four people in two separate rooms. The walls are thin, so sound-wise, it is one room really :). Furthermore the yard offers good conditions for sleeping in a tent or a hammock.

    There is a separate toilet and running water. Unfortunately there is no indoor bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Thompson lies in the scenic Iskar Gorge of the western Balkan Mountains. It was founded after World War II by merging the villages in the area and was named after the British officer William Frank Thompson (1920–1944), liaison officer between the British Army and the Bulgarian communist partisans during the war, who was captured by the Bulgarian Gendarmerie and executed in the nearby village of Litakovo on 10 June 1944.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 166426654814