- possibly in October
We are a family with a 4 year old boy, a 15 year old boy, a baby girl born in September 2018 and a Labrador dog. We live in a small house in the countryside in the south of the Netherlands. We enjoy listening to music, playing board games, watching films and documentaries and many more things.
Although we would love to have long-term guests, we only want to commit in advance to stays of 2 up to 4 weeks, since privacy for both our guests and ourselves is limited. If there turns out to be a really good match, we can always discuss a longer stay within a few days after your arrival.
Sometimes (mainly during the warmer months), we can also host a couple, but that will depend, among others, on how much work there is to be done. But you can always give it a try and send us a message.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are very willing to share our daily life with you and we love to talk about our cultures. One of us has been a guest at many homes around the world and, now settled down, enjoys being a host for a change :-).
You can ask us as many questions as you want about our country and culture and we find it interesting if you compare things to other countries, but criticizing The Netherlands (a lot) is not appreciated, especially if you are exploring the country for economic reasons. And we find it important that you respect (unwritten) rules, even if you think they don't make sense, like: no picknicking in other people's yards, no walking in the farmers' fields, only feeding other people's animals after asking for permission, etc.
When you are around, we speak English as much as possible, but sometimes, when the subjects are about practical stuff or when we have family members around who are uncomfortable with speaking English, we will switch to Dutch for a while. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to translate everything the 4 year old boy talks about, because he talks a lot :-). But we do our best to at least give a small summary, so you will not feel excluded :-).
If you wish, we can also teach you some Dutch.
Currently, we are mainly looking for 2 types of help (preferably combined):
It would be very helpful if you could spend some time with the children.
The 4 year old boy loves to play outside, chat (a lot!), dance together, read books, play with Duplo, tractors, clay dough etc.. The baby girl likes to be cuddled a lot and be encouraged in her attempts to speak. You can speak to them in your own language. While you are spending time with them, one of us will always be around to change the diapers, answer your questions etc. The most important thing to us, is that you take care of their safety and that you are aware of possible small dangers. We will never leave you alone with the children (even if you kindly offer to do so).
2. Helping in/around the house:
You could be very helpful with cooking (!), vacuum cleaning, mobbing, filling and emptying the dishwasher, washing pans, some extra cleaning and (if you wish) walking the dog, gardening and other tasks in and around the house.
If you wish, you can also help working on an oldtimer van. Sanding, painting, engine works or and/or welding and sheet metal works are the main tasks that can be performed to get the van on the road again.
And ideal week for us would be something like this:
Mo/Tue/Thu/Fr/Sat: cooking (5 hours in total)
Mo/Tue/Thu/Fr/Sat: filling and emptying dishwasher/washing pans (5 hours in total)
Mo/Tue/Sat: 3 hours of babysitting a day (9 hours in total)
Addtionally: extra babysitting/cleaning (1 up to 6 hours, whenever is most convenient for all of us)
But we are very flexible and of course, you shouldn't forget to take two days off every week.
The rest of your time:
The rest of the time is your 'time off' and we really hope you will enjoy that time, either with us or on your own. Should you nevertheless wish to do some more voluntary work (or do something different, for a change), there will always be things to do, for example: helping with some technical/maintenance stuff (like restoring an oldtimer van) or teaching us skills, like playing ukulele, didgeridoo or percussion, Photoshop, languages... Or teaching some English at nearby elementary schools.
The 15 year old boy (who lives somewhere else and visits us every second weekend) would also love to practice his English with you. He loves playing board games or video games, telling jokes, swimming and many other things.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
We will all share the bathroom in the house (with a toilet and a shower).
You can choose from 2 basic accommodations:
1. Oldtimer van:
A few meters from the house, we can accommodate you in a lovely but very simple oldtimer van. It's just a little bit more comfortable than sleeping in a tent :-). Currently the van looks a little less colorful than on the pictures, because it needs to be painted again. For most people, the months of October to April will be too cold. Wifi is probably not working in the van.
2. Attic of the barn:
You can also sleep on a couch in the attic of the isolated barn/shed (with some music instruments), where you can put on the diesel heater for a while, before you go to sleep. For most people, even with the diesel heater and lots of blankets, the months of November to March will be too cold.
During the day:
During your time off, you can hang out at our home or have some more privacy in the small van or the attic.
Of course you are welcome to have breakfast/lunch/dinner with us.
Breakfast and lunch will be typical Dutch: coffee/tea/milk, (brown) bread with butter and cheese/peanut butter and if you wish yogurt (with granola) or porridge. And often some fruit. So our lunch is very basic compared to the warm lunches in many countries. Should you wish to eat something you are more used to, you are free to prepare this in our kitchen.
Dinner will mostly be potatoes, meat and vegetables, but we regularly try something more exciting and will be happy to learn about the culinary art of your home country. Thanks to some Workawayers, we also love to eat vegan or vegetarian food. And once a week we eat fried potatoes with a snack (like many Dutch families do, so we don't have to cook). Unless you offer to cook something more healthy :-).
We are happy to buy you ingredients for your favorite food, but desserts, sweets, snacks and alcohol are not 'included'. We do enjoy those things occasionally and are more than happy to share them with you, but they are not part of our daily life.
The nearest airports (from closest to farthest) are Eindhoven (with many low budget European flights), Rotterdam The Hague, Amsterdam and Brussels. From there, you can travel to the train/bus stations of Breda or Tilburg. When travelling with international touring cars like Flixbus, you could check connections to Breda, Tilburg or Kaatsheuvel (Efteling). When travelling from Utrecht, it is cheapest and fastest to take a bus to Oosterhout Bus Station. We can pick you up from (and at the end of your stay bring you to) either Breda, Tilburg, Oosterhout or Kaatsheuvel.
Work will take 4-5 hours a day, 5 days per week. We are very flexible, so we can always discuss an 8-hour working day for example, compensated by an extra day off. Or 7 3-hour working days, with a lot of free time in the morning/afternoon.
During your time off, you can make nice walks around the house (45 min - 1h45 min) or use our bike to explore the surroundings (for example the National Parks of Drunense Duinen or Biesbosch or the famous amusement park De Efteling).
Unfortunately, you cannot borrow our car, even if you have the best insurance in the world :-).
To go somewhere by public transport, you will have to take our bike or walk 3,5 km to the nearest bus stop with frequent connections to Breda or Tilburg. Unfortunately, due to our busy schedules and sometimes limited energy, we cannot often give you a ride to the bus stop. From Breda or Tilburg, you could make day trips to, for example, the cities of Den Bosch, Antwerp (Belgium), Utrecht or Amsterdam.
You can also join one of us on long (preferably partly silent) walks, kayaking tours or ecstatic dance events.
We are non-smokers and find it very important (!!!) that you will not smoke in the house/van/barn and that our children (including the teenager) will never see you smoke! Unfortunately, this turns out to be more difficult than you would expect, because privacy and space are limited and most of the time there will be children around.
We also find it very important that a smart phone is not used while you are watching the children or during breakfast, dinner etc. And that your smartphone only makes sounds when you are receiving phone calls or important messages. So no beeps with each Whatsapp message arriving...
Since a vibrant urban life isn't around the corner, you will probably most feel at home if you enjoy nature more than cities and if you are mainly interested in sharing our simple daily life :-).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Generally our Wifi is working fine, but sometimes it is a little bit slow. We don't really have an office desk or something, so you will have to hang out eather in our living room, or in the barn.
If the van is not huge, you can park it in our garden or in front of the house.
A dog that gets along well with other dogs and that does't bark.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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