My name is Astrid, 58 years, and at the moment I work 24 hours a week as a teacher and researcher in midwifery. The job is in Maastricht ; due to measures according Covid-19 I also work at home. My ecologic renovated house has two rooms for payed visitors, a communal kitchen, my own private area, quite a large part that still needs renovation and a garden. In a 7 minute walk, I have a piece of land of 1.4 ha, called "de Wij", that people can use for growing food, doing arty things, meet each other, educate and so forth. I host animals like goats and sometimes donkies. The place is desgined with permaculture principles, there are small foodforests, a meeting area, meadows and a vegetable garden. Two small rivers are the borders of the property. There is a big area with grass that is cutted twice a year.
The vegetable garden is currently used and regulated by Koos and Mary, who live nearby in Vaals and are eager to develop all kind of skills about growing food. They like to live outside as much as possible. Currently, another woman, called Gaia, is developing a piece of land for a small community supported agriculture garden.
I would like to host workawayers who can help me with my step to step house renovating, with daily life and with growing food in the garden at the house and in the bigger place; I can always use people who are handy and willing to do the work that need to be done. Most important task is help me with my house and in the garden to grow foods. The work is nót to take care of the paying guests. I think it is just nice to know.
The place to be is Vaals, in the south of the Netherlands, near to Aachen. Germany and Belgium are close. Maastricht is 25 km further, public transport to Maastricht, Aachen and Heerlen is good.
I like hosting, I meet a lot of people and I always learn new things. It has become a way of life. I like giving problems to volunteers that they can solve. By doing that, they learn that they can do more than they thought they could. And I also like it when people already know how to do things and when I can learn from them. So, if possible the tasks are matched to your competences and preferences. However, some work just needs to be done and is also part of the volunteering job.
Working like this, it means that I need you to be involved in my project. In order to share my property with you, I need to feel connected with you. Communication is important in my opinion.
As it comes to houserules, I do not like to rule other persons. As I think for you it is nice to know what "my way" is, I give a glimp of the way how I host volunteers:
I hope you feel welcome! I work with permaculture. Learn about it during your stay. I am not perfect and I am open for questions and feedback of any kind.
While you (volunteer) are here, we (other workers and me) are one team. We live and work together. However, we have different roles. My role is to be the leader. Your role is to learn, enjoy and to give your best work for 25 hours a week. I provide you with good food, tea, coffee, water and a place to sleep in a simple bedroom or tent. When you want to use something else, it is at your own costs.
When you work and live together, it is nice when everyone contribute to keep the place clear and clean, with everything in its place. Keep your own place during your stay here clean. When you leave, I expect that you tidy and clean up your place as you found it at your arrival.
Try to be present in the activity you are doing, in the moment. Consider safety, consider your own attitude and the influence of the environment. If you come to stay with me, I will ask you to provide an emergency contact number and your volunteering insurance information.
Notice you are an adult and I expect you to be self-responsible. Of course, I want to help you with adapting to Dutch habits and structures. So please feel free to ask anything!
When you need something, say it or put it on the shoppinglist beforehand.
Regular working hours are as we agree together somewhere between 08.30 and 18.00. You prepare your own breakfast and you are expected to be ready to help at the time we agreed on. Hlaf of the times you work independently, while I need to work for my job.
Regular meals and breaks: coffeebreaks are scheduled from 10.00 till 10.15. Lunches are served from 13.00 till 13.30 and diners around 17.30 hr.
We have separate garbage places for glass / paper / plastic and tins / organic material / metal / else. Take note that you put your garbage (if any) in the right place.
Communication is important. Ask what you want to know, tell what you want to say, share your thoughts and ideas, be open for feedback and give feedback. Learn about non-violent ways of communication. Try to avoid as much as possible words as “must”, “have to”, “good” or “not good”. Instead, use “want”, “like” or “dislike” and communicate your feelings about things or behaviours.
During your free time, you are free to do whatever you like. You can use games and creative materials as long as I have them. Please, when you leave the house, leave a message (verbal or written).
Laundry: when you want to do your laundry, be sure that the machine is normal filled up. Ask someone to assist you when you are not familiar with it. If you have only a bit of laundry, discuss with others how to fill the machine. Take care that you do not laundry work when I need the machine for Bed and Breakfast (B en B) work. Same accounts for the drying wires.
There are some NO’s: No fire indoor, no use of bed and breakfast stuff, no violation of other’s privacy, no violence at all, no drugs, cigarettes or drunks, no negotiation of these rules.
Let’s have a good time together! When you have ideas how to increase our happiness, please share them!
Jobs that come over and over back again and need to be done: mowing grass, preparation meals, doing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, emptying and cleaning the compost bucket, watering the plants, cleaning the communal area. During the weekend you are expected to cook for yourself. Weekend days are considered free and relaxing time for all.
Take care of yourself and each other. We are one team with respect for everyone’s autonomy, privacy and other needs. Doing so we can be autonomous people, willing to learn from and enjoy life with each other!
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
You can improve your English, but you need to have basic skills in English. You will learn some knowledge about plants, permaculture basics, ecological renovating. I expect interest in these subjects. Guests normally feel very welcome and feel warm and on ease here. If you want, you also learn to play Elfenland, which is a board game about travelling.
Any help is welcome and much appreciated. There are different tasks that need to be done and we will look what fits best. Tasks that are done: making room for the sewage, building a chicken castle, building staircases from old woodpieces, weeding, making a toolboard, making roomseperators, isolating the roof, plastering the walls with loam, mosaic in the shower, painting walls, painting beams, sanding, make old furniture beautiful again, building a wooden wall, stabilise the floor, loaming and isolating walls, make a wooden wall, help on electricity, making hugelbeds in the garden, weeding, taking care of young plants, planting, harvesting.
I have several jobs during the 2022 you can help me with. Focus is on making a nice garden around the house, tidying the place, maintaining the place, working in "de Wij" with weeding, sewing, harvesting.
Matras in a big round tent at de Wij or a bed in the back of the building.
Hiking, biking is very good here! Busses are here four times an hour going to Maastricht and Aachen. Two times an hour going to Heerlen.
Aachen and Maastricht are nice cities 8-20 km away.
Good area to take a walk or a ride with bicycle.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Mostly our internet (Wifi) works good, but we have not a very fast connection.
Parking for short term on the big garden.
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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