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Hello, we are Rocco - father, Becky - mother, Elena who is 5 years old, Serena who is 3,5 and Adele, 1.5.
We (Rocco and Becky) are artists by profession but have put our practice on hold since becoming parents. After a short experience with the public preSchool system, we have recently set up an indoor-workshop-space next to our house, intended for handcraft and in the same time as a kind of "kindergarten" for the 2 eldest girls. We plan to let them spend time there every morning during cold weather, while we parents alternate in making handcrafts together with them there, and taking care of the youngest one while making domestic chores at home. On sunny days on the other hand we would let them join us in outdoor activities along the different mountain paths that are close to our town.
Starting in september 2021 our eldest daughter is supposed to start the obligatory primary school, but we have recently decided to make homeschooling with her at least for the next school-year.
We will be among very few families in our region to be directly involved in own children's instruction. That may be a further challenge for our family, therefore we look forward to get in touch with families or individual interested in homeschooling.
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.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
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!
If there is any hope of starting up again with our artistic activity, we imagine we will benefit from having someone to help out at home, spending time with the girls and sometimes helping with the domestic chores.
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 the children as much freedom 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!
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
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.
We have recently moved to Canolo Nuova, a village in the Aspromonte Natural Park, about 12 km away from our home town. We are renting a ground floor flat and a separate flat above ours, with a guest room with separate kitchen and bathroom for visitors and guests. The flat is not available from october to february, in that period we can offer a guest room with bathroom next door, but without electricity nor running water. There is no problems of parking in the area.
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, inlike along the coast. It can be very hot during the central hours of the day if under the sun, but it is lovely during the nighttime.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We're connected with the internet through fibre.
There is space to park on the front road and the back lane, both are public through-ways, the back lane is quieter, bur still a public road. For a stay longer than few days we would have to ask the neighbours for permission.
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week