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Hello, we are Rocco - father, Becky - mother, Elena who is 4 years old, Serena who is 3 and Adele, 1.
We (Rocco and Becky) are artists by profession but have put our practice on hold since becoming parents. If there is any hope of starting up again, we imagine we will benefit from having someone to help out at home, spending time with the girls and sometimes helping Becky with the domestic chores as Rocco is often away working on our plot of land, 20 km downhill west of Canolo.
We are also interested in community and the idea of 'mutual help', so you are also welcome to contact us if you have one or more children. We love walking in the surrounding mountains and choir singing, but it is not always that simple with little children in tow, so if there is something we can do all together...the more hands the better!
Please note the mountain area has very limited cell-phone and internet signal, but we have got a landline at home, and a good internet connection through it.
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
A traveller staying with us for a long or short period or time can enjoy good local food, the very friendly, simple people around us, the chance of seaside trips within easy driving distance. There are famous waterfalls very quaint towns and beautiful mountain areas within cycling distance.
On our coasts are some of the most significant ancient greek archeological sites and museums, such as Lokri and Kaulon.
If you'd like to learn Italian, this is a great place to get it, everyone including ourselves will make their best effort to speak to you in correct italian, while if you already speak italian, here you have the chance to experience the southern-calabrian dialect, which is distinguished among other southern-italian dialects by a lot of ancient-greek influences, as well as french, sicilian and old latin.
We ourselves moved to Calabria 8 years ago from Germany where we both lived, though our origins are respectively Genovese and English, so we aren't the most typical inhabitants, we are also ourselves discovering the region bit by bit, and with the limits of having three little children to run around after!
We just about manage to keep up with household chores and a little bit of agricultural tasks but not much time/concentration is ever left over for other activities such as singing, studying and art. Becky also tries to meditate daily. The children, like most young children, can be quite a handful at times! So to have one or two people ready and willing to keep an eye on them for a couple of hours, supervising their games, taking them out, making them a snack, wiping their bottoms...whatever is needed basically...would be a great relief to us.
At other times we like to do activities together with our children and so it could be helpful if someone is willing to take over the household chores, cooking, washing-up, washing clothes or whatever needs doing from day to day.
Every person is different and there is no fixed schedule: we would like to spend a few days just getting to know you before we can decide together how we can "collaborate".
We try to give them as much fredom as possible in their games in order to let them learn from their own mistakes, and take responsability for themselves and each other, so we allow them a certain freedom to roam freely in the immediate neighbourhood.
Concerning this, we do have some rules, about food and children entertainment on a screen. We see the surrounding families with children following a very different approach regarding, on the one side, 'screen-devices' such as TV, smartphone and tablet, and on the other side processed food containing excessive sugar or salt. We struggle not only to communicate to our neighbours the long-term health risks of daily junk food consumption, but also to avoid that other adults in the neighbourhood offer sweets at every occasion to our children passing by. Instructing our children to refuse them seems at the moment still too unrealistic. The same with TV etc: our neighbours seem to use TV to keep their children quiet, especially after binging on sugar! We see a connection between TV and sugar-consumption, when what children really need is someone to tell them stories, they crave for stories, they love them, no matter if from a book, or from fantasy, or from real experience. We enjoy to be the story-tellers, but we can't do it all the time (in the past the role of tv was overtaken by an old member of the family, usually a grandparent). So the general rule is: as much story-telling and good food as possible to compensate for habits which should rather keep being exceptions!
In our home we speak Italian, but Becky speaks English with the children. We prefer to speak Italian with volunteers who are willing to learn, we do not on the other hand like to practice English with volunteers unless it is a necessity (if you only speak english and don't speak any italian yet). If you are very keen on learning english, perhaps we could agree on a 50-50 time share, so that we can also learn/practice your language.
It is not necessary that you speak English or Italian with the children, as they´re at the age where they´ll absorb anything, including sign language!
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
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We have recently moved from our house in Cittanova, at the foot of the Aspromonte mountains, to Canolo Nuova, a village in the Aspromonte Natural Park, about 12 km from our home town. We are renting a ground floor flat and a separate flat above ours, with a guest room and free use of separate kitchen and bathroom for visitors and guests. There is no problems of parking in the area.
At times we will possibly be at our home in Cittanova for one or more nights, and if you have your own means of transport or don't mind being squashed between two child seats in the back of a 35 year old Ford Fiesta, or you are not bothered by a 3 hours-walk through the Aspromonte, you can come with us. There we can offer you a double bed and a private bathroom. Alternatively you can stay in Canolo without us. That is something we can decide together on a moment to moment basis.
Our usual day rhythm: We get up around 7-8, the girls sometimes later. We tend to have a big breakfast, and a light lunch around 12-13.00. Dinner before sunset. We eat a bit of everything, with preference for local products including rye bread, home-grown or foraged vegetables fruits and nuts when possible, but also anything and everything from the local market!
We usually make our own bread, yoghurt, jam and liqueurs.
The area is renowned for its dairy and sheep products: ricotta, provola, scamorza, etc, as well as cured and fresh Black pork and beef. If you have specific habits concerning food, we are very glad to learn from them.
We live in a paradise on earth, where millions of people throughout history wished to migrate towards, but in the present time we are surrounded by people that cannot recognise neither the beauty of the nature and environment, nor the significant cultural heritage. An enthusiastic presence in that sense would help us to make our people aware of how lucky they are to live in this area.
Our accomodation in Canolo Nuova is in the middle of the small town, within a few minutes walking distance from 2 different pizzeria/restaurants, a bar and a grocery-shop. From Canolo nuova there is a public transport bus, usually three times a day that drives to Siderno marina, on the east coast, and back. The real good thing is for visitors the chance of exploring the surrounding mountains, which, according to geologists, show an incredible variety of minerals (we don't yet know ourselves much about all this). the Climate in Canolo nuova is not the same as you may be used to experience in Southern Italy: we have stopped heating with fire only at the end of april, and even in summer chilly days can occur. on the other hand, during the summer we can enjoy a very good climate, it can be very hot during the central hours of the day if under the sun, but it is lovely during the nighttime.
If you'd like to visit our home in Cittanova, you can spend time in the evening socializing with locals in the irish pub (5min walk) or in the cavallica ranch (10min walk), or in the daytime in one of several bars (the next to our house is at about 40 meters distance), in the villa, a public botanic park in italian style, where young and old people are use to meet around lunch-time and in late-afternoon (4 min. walk). If you are Christian, there are in the town three very beautiful catholic churches, and also a comunity of Evangelists (protestants). Throughout the year the Catholic community celebrates peculiar rituals through the streets of the town. With public transport you reach Cittanova by two different bus companies starting in Gioia Tauro. but none of them works on sunday, and they don't run very often in the afternoon. We have got a car, which may allow us to do some short-distance trip together, but the car is very old, and there is not legally space for another person (unless we find a bigger car in the meantime).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week