- From April 2020 on (before that time it will most probably be too cold to be comfortably accommodated in the van or barn)
We are a family with a 3 year old boy, a 14 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, 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.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
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 :-).
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 toddler 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):
1. 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.
One of us works full time and the other one works part time and studies to become an elementary school teacher. So it would be very helpful if you could spend some time with the toddler (born February 2016) and the baby girl (born September 2018).
The 3 year old boy loves to play outside, chat (a lot!), dance together, read books, play with Duplo, tractors, clay dough etc.. The baby girl just likes to be cuddled a lot and be encouraged in her attempts to speak and walk. 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).
And ideal week for us would be like this:
Monday: 4 hours of babysitting,
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: vacuum cleaning/mobbing/filling and emptying dishwasher/washing pans/some cleaning/cooking
Friday: whatever you like to do most
Saturday: whatever you like to do most
Sunday: 4 hours of babysitting
We find it important that you mainly do the things you like to do most, so if you want to cook every day for example, combined with some other tasks, be our guest! 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 14 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.
Dutch, English, German, Russian, a little French and Spanish
You can choose from 2 basic accommodations:
We will all share the bathroom in the house (with a toilet and a shower).
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. To get to the attic by the way, you first have to climb on a chair and then on a wonky but safely attached ladder :-). Wifi is not always working properly.
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/meat/peanut butter or chocolate paste and/or 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 :-).
The nearest airports (from closest to farthest) are Eindhoven (with many affordable 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.
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. 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
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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