HOSTING UPDATE 8 October 2020
My name is Astrid, 57 years, and at the moment I work four days a week at home online or in Maastricht as a teacher and researcher in midwifery. I live in a large house with a garden, which is under construction for renovation. I have a piece of land of 1.4 ha in a 7 minute walk, where I host animals like goats, a pony and sometimes donkies. There is a permaculture garden, small foodforests, and a vegetable garden.
I would like to host people who can help me with renovating the house and furniture and with growing food; I can always use people who are handy and willing to do the work that need to be done. Tasks differ, but at the moment I could use help with the garden to prepare it for next year. Time to get some food out of it!
I live with an old female cat, called Saartje.
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 they always teach me new things. It has become a way of life. I like giving problems to volunteers that they can solve and 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.
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.
HOW WE HOST VOLUNTEERS (updated October 2020)
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.
I have several tasks during winter of 2020 you can help me with. You can give me a hand with some natural work in and around the main house. Let us know your preference and skill set when you contact us.
While you (volunteer) are here, we (you, other volunteers and Astrid) are one team. We live and work together. However, we have different roles. The role of Astrid is to be the leader. Your role is to learn, enjoy and do your best for 25 hours a week. Astrid provides you with good food, tea, coffee, water and a bed. When you want to use something else (e.g. snacks/dietary foods other than the provided gluten free*products), it is at your own costs. Make sure you put your name on the products you buy for own personal use.
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 with us clean. When you leave, we 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 us with an emergency contact number and your volunteering insurance information.
Notice you are an adult and we 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 schedule: 08.30-13.00 plus some time for tidying up after breakfast, lunch and dinner. You prepare your own breakfast and you are expected to be ready to help at 08.30.
Regular meals and breaks: coffeebreaks are scheduled from 10.00 till 10.15. Lunches are served from 13.00 till 13.30 and diners from 18.00 till 18.30. If you want to work in another schedule/order, please discuss the possibilities with Astrid before your arrival.
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 we 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 we 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 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, help with the preparation for meals, doing dishes, emptying the dishwasher, emptying and cleaning the compost bucket, watering the plants, feeding the cat, cleaning the communal area. On Monday morning, we agree about who is doing these tasks during the weekdays.
During the weekend you are expected to cook for yourself. Weekend days are considered our free and relaxing time.
Take care of yourself and each other. We are one team with respect for everyone’s autonomy, privacy and other needs.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
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.
We have several jobs during the winter of 2020 you can help us with. Let us know your preference and skill set when you contact us.
Normal bed somewhere in the house. Because of the rebuilding the place of the bed differs. Beautiful shared shower, toilet on first floor, only a bit room in cupboard or tent, spare jellies/boots available. Summers camping possible. We share the kitchen.
When there are more than one volunteers, you need to share the bedroom on the top floor or you camp in a tent. You can use the shower and a toilet on the first floor. You will become part of the house, part of the family. Maybe you will meet my friends and neighbours as well.
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. 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.
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.
Our old female cat does not like other cats or dogs.
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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