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Update: due to the COVID-19 situation, we're currently only accepting volunteers who're already in the country, i.e. have spent at least two weeks in Bulgaria before coming to us, and who are sharing our cautious, responsible approach.
Are you interested in permaculture, gardening in harmony with nature? Do you have knowledge and experience, or do you want to learn the practical skills?
We've bought a house with 2 decares of land which we will gradually turn into a permaculture project. We're in the blessed situation of having a 'blank canvas' to start with - a sunny plot with healthy, fertile soil, a permaculturist's dream.
We've started planting 'food forest' (polyculture orchard with plums, apricots, peaches, cherries, sour cherries, pomegranates, apples, pears, quince, persimmon, walnuts, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, aronia, goji berries, tayberries, jostaberries, gooseberries and more... surrounded by a flowering/fruiting diversity hedge that will provide food for us, attract bees, and shelter wild birds. Do you want to help us with this?
You don't need to have previous permaculture or gardening experience (though if you have, great!) because we can train you. However, you have to be willing to do physical work, e.g. turn the compost heap and dig planting trenches.
Some of your work will be in the house. There's always a lot of cleaning and tidying to do.
If you have special skills, we'll be happy to allocate you relevant tasks. For example, you may be able to build s composting toilet, solar energy shower or rainwater harvesting system, do small repairs around the house, paint walls, restore old wooden furniture, teach us yoga and tai chi, groom and train our dogs, do some social media posting, cook (mostly vegetarian) meals, make jams and fruit preserves, give us physiotherapy or create a mosaic from collected ceramics shards.
If you're a couple, you can divide the tasks between you, e.g. one does the gardening and the other the housework.
I'm a writer, and will often sit at my desk to work on a book while you get on with your work in the kitchen or the orchard.
It's quiet and peaceful here. The main sounds you'll hear are birdsong, the humming of bees, the chirping of crickets, the 'clapclapclap' of storks' beaks in early summer, the 'toctoctoc' of woodpecker's beaks in the winter, the moo of cows and the meeh of sheep, interspersed with goat bells and dogs barking. The location is rural and ecologically fairly clean (though some rubbish gets irresponsibly dumped). The village economy is based on sunflower-growing and solar energy harvesting.
If you like, we can introduce you to the people in the village, who are really friendly and helpful, though they don't speak English.
We have hosted many volunteers over the years (not just through WorkAway) and are quite good hosts to work for ... but we won't tolerate dishonesty of any kind.
Does this sound like you? If yes, tell us what interests you about this placement and what skills you can contribute. Please be honest about yours kills and everything else. We look forward to hearing from you.
---- PS: We can host in the winter months, but most of the work during this time will be indoors (housework and cleaning) rather than gardening. We can't plant trees when the ground is frozen. Do you want to give our home a thorough clean? :-)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
We'll be happy to tell you about Bulgarian life and culture, introduce you to local people and practice German or English with you. We can train you in practical permaculture and gardening skills (depending on the season).
Gardening (planting, landscaping, digging, weeding... depending on the season), DiY/building/construction/home improvements (depending on your skills), cleaning, tidying, cooking, shopping, dog training
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
Please contact them directly for more information.
We have a nice comfortable guest room with a large bed, suitable for a couple. There's a shared bathroom.
If you want to live in your own tent or camper van , there's space to set it up or park it.
There are several buses daily to the towns of Elhovo and Yambol, but the bus stop is 2km away. Taxis are cheap, and I'll pay your taxi fares where needed (e.g. to bring home shopping).
The village itself has three shops (including a good one), and a small cafe/pub.
The landscape around the village is mostly flat with some hills, with a river and small lake nearby. We're not far from the Black Sea and the Turkish border, so you can go on excursions there.
Internet is overall good with occasional outages. The upload speed is slow (too slow for uploading videos, but fine for photos and everyday communications).
The assignment would best suit a couple. It's great for a single, too, as long as you like the quiet life, are content to be alone much of the time and don't require entertainment. If you're a group, you would need to be willing to 'rough' it for the accommodation, i.e. bring your own tent or sleep on the floor in the house.
If you travel with a dog, that should work out fine, as long as he stays outside and doesn't harangue my cats. My own dogs are companionable with other dogs if I introduce them.
Please don't apply if you dislike, or are allergic to, cats or dogs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
If you plan to work on your own projects as a digital nomad, that's fine - but remember that you owe me 20-25 hours work per week. Doing both may not leave you with much spare time for sightseeing and leisure. --- I'm a writer, writing books. -- WiFi is good, but the upload speed isn't great. It's ok for text files and photos, but too slow to upload videos.
I have space for a campervan, but it's not a dedicated campsite with facilities. Also bear in mind that Bulgaria is very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.
If your cat or dog is used to travelling and at ease in new surroundings, and gets on well with other cats and dogs (mine), I'm willing to consider them. The dog will have to stay outside, not allowed into the house.
25 hours per week, flexible schedule
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