Usually responds within 2 days
I am Irene, a retired vet and my husband, Greg a retired IT engineer. Our children are adults. We are building a self-sustaining little homestead, on a 1500m2 block, with ocean and mountain views, 2 cats and 4 dogs, all street rescues.
We are in need of some enthusiastic and energetic people to help us. The goal is to be living a sustainable, self-sufficient life in a few years.
We hope to be producing most of our own food in a few years, but there is still some building and infra structure to be done. So, most of the farming-like activities, typical of a homestead, have not yet begun.
Apart from my passion for sustainable living, I love thinking and exchanging ideas on Philosophy, Spirituality and the fundamental issues of The human existence.
Greg is a lot more lighthearted and prefers to deal with the funny side of life.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesLanguage practiceHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsFarmstay helpHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
We are in Paraty, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. (Look up on the net for more info on this place, it´s mainly protected areas, awesome beaches, world heritage - paraty dot com dot br). We live 2km from the beach, but it's not a leisure beach, we use it mainly to walk the dogs, as it is quite wild and muddy. But there are great beaches just 10 min by car from here.
Greg is Australian. I have 3 nationalities. Brazilian, Dutch and Australian and I speak the 3 languages fluently. We speak English at home.
Apart from Veterinary, I also have a degree in Biology / Nature Conservation / Organic Agriculture from Wageningen University, Holland.
Greg is very technical and loves talking about technical things. He has plans to start working with wood full time. We have just bought a CNC cutter in the near future, as he already helps my son Raoni, a naval engineer, who builds boats.
What we really, really wanted was to have people who know Paraty, love it, who share our sustainability views and are looking for a way to settle here. But, like they say, what you want is not what you usually get, So, we will welcome any energetic and friendly person willing to stay for at least 2 weeks
It should be an opportunity for you to feel what it is to live in Paraty and if it is something you would like to do for the long haul. Apart, of course, from helping us with the work at hand. That's why we prefer people to stay longer.
The jobs to be done are, in order of priority:
Inside the main house: there are some windows to finish, ceiling insulation,, lay tiles on the walls, painting, wood railings.
In the yard outside, we will be building a pond and an elevated flower bed, both out of stone, glass and beer cans.
We also need to break a few big stones, this is for the strong guys out there, willing to build up a good seat.
You need to be a fit and energetic person with no back problems.
In the distillery, we just need to put in a sink. The aim is to produce cassava rum (tiquira), banana wine and ginger beer. We have done a few trial runs and it's tasting pretty good so far...
We need to build a chicken house, set up the vegie-gardens and rotating compost bins.
Then, there's the maintenance of the lawns, trees and plants already growing. So, someone with experience with a whipper snipper (brush cutter) would be awesome, but enthusiasm to learn to use one is ok too. Again, you need to be a fit, relatively strong person. We use a 45 CC whipper snipper, I am 1,58 and 49 kg and it's too heavy for me.
And last but not least, the normal cleaning and cooking tasks of a (relatively big) house. Greg looks after all the animals.
I am actually, spending some time in Australia now and Greg is a meat eater, so vegetarians will have to sort things out with him. you can cook and Grge cook his meet afterwards, whatever...
What we do everyday, is often dictated by the weather. From end september to april there's a lot of rain. Those days we will be working mainly inside.
You need to be a true lover of animals. If you are someone who gets annoyed by cat hair or by excited dogs, this is really the wrong place for you. Our animals are our kids and we expect our guests to be as caring and loving towards them as we are.
Finally, we have had some experience with guests that have mental issues and although I sympathize with them and believe that work at some hosts might suit them, we believe that with our rather hectic schedule, it doesn't go well. So, if you have any known mental issues, this is another reason NOT to come.
Breakfast will be ready at 7:00hs in the morning and we start work at 8:00 and we work until 12:00, Monday-Friday, but we are flexible if you need to change the days now and then, as long as we get 20-24 hs of work/week.
In Brazil we have our main hot food at midday and at night just something light or leftovers from lunch.
If you are at home, you'll get 3 meals a day. If you go somewhere else during the day you take care of your own food. Alcohol and snacks are on you too.
We have 2 brand new bedrooms available.
The front, slightly bigger bedroom has 2 single beds that can be put together for a couple. Some of the windows open to the garage, in the front part of the house where the dogs stay. They are good most of the nights, but if some animal makes some noise in the surrounding bush, there might be some barking. One window has ocean and mountain views.
The other bedroom is more private, next to the toilet. Windows open to the laundry, back yard and ocean views.
There is an sofa that turns into a double bed.
The bedrooms share a bathroom and a toilet. The rest of the house is shared. We got a huge veranda on the second floor, where you can relax in a hammock, but from 20:00hs we'd like to keep it private.
We also do laundry every week. So, all clothes are washed together. If you need separate washing or washing outside regular times, you will have to look for a laundromat in town.
You will also need to buy some protective gear, such as gloves, gumboots and a hat.
What else ...
Paraty, has a 1000 things happening all year round. From Blues, Literary, Food, Sustainability and Film festivals to native peoples gatherings.
We are adjacent to the Bocaina National Park, if trekking is your thing, there's plenty of that you can do and there are plenty of beautiful beaches to relax.
We are about 20km away from town where all the hustle and bustle happens. There are plenty of buses and vans that come and go. But they stop at a certain time late at night. So if you want to stay later in town, you will have to get an uber or similar to come back.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
Maximum 8 hours a day, 3 days a week