Hello, I am Konswan with sons Odin and Mitra, 9 and 7 years old. I am an organic 👩🏻🌾farmer doing Regenerative Agriculture, a registered artisan fiber artist, a trained massage therapist and a Jane-of-all-trades.
I studied English Literature and Marine Biology, Bioengineering and Microbiology, but I did not finish my undergraduate degree. Instead went to Massage Therapy school, and decided to go ⛵️sailing with my husband at the time. We shipwrecked and decided to live on land, and start a new sustainable living project. My goal is to do things with a small carbon footprint. I have eleven years experience living off grid, doing an independent living project with my ex-husband. Now I am a single mother with two boys and have 7 days with boys, and 7 days they are with their father.
This month and December, I need help PLANTING TREES for a windbreak, FIREWOOD HAULING, JUNGLE CLEARING AND TREE CUTTING. If you can operate a grass cutter, I love you already. 😆 I may need you to play a game of UNO with my sons or to play legos.
Work exchange with me means that you will have a 🛌bed of your own, help about four days (total of 25 hours a week), have three days off, have all meals provided ON HELP DAYS, all housing provided, and you will be integrated as a family member. You will be treated with respect and dignity, as a nephew or niece who travels to stay with an aunt who has two kids to play with. I love to cook, to entertain, to have fun, and to get to know people and share life stories.
Essentially, I love to host! I live on a beautiful island, a photographer's delight, a nature reserve full of waterfalls, natural swimming pools both saltwater and freshwater, two beaches, nature parks, camping spots, epic hikes, whale watching, spear fishing, and snorkeling. Flores Island, Azores is a forager's paradise with the forests full of flowers and edibles, mushrooms in the right season, blackberries in the summer, saltwater fish in the ocean, trout in the fresh waters. The local people are kind, generous, and love to help foreigners.
There are traditional folk festivals from May to October, blending traditional music and dances to rock concerts and a lot of socializing. I am an event planning specialist and make special dinners every few weeks. I invite people who are wonderful and interesting and kind. I am not possessive, if you meet someone and want to visit and work with them for a day or two, please communicate that to me. There is large expatriate community of French, Spanish, German, Belgian, American, and Chinese. (I am from Laos and my boys have an American/British father.)
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
As a guest you would benefit from this exchange in multiple ways. And you will learn many things, if you apply yourself and pay attention. I speak both English and Portuguese, some French, and an exchange here means you can at least improve your English speaking skills. I am mediocre at Portuguese, and read French better than speak it. I come from an ☯️Asian background so you will learn about Asian foods, some ⚛️philosophy, and just have someone who is ☮️easy to talk to and someone who treats you with 🕉️respect. I am a trained massage therapist, so on hard farm work days, you may even get the benefit of a shoulder or back rub. You can learn farming techniques, plant biology, and organic farming. The longer you stay, the more chances you have to learn things, because each month and each season is different. Ask me questions. The more you ask, the more you learn. Read that sentence again. But please don't ask me questions just to fill in the quiet. 🎍Quiet must be respected too. You are intelligent and have social skills and emotional intelligence, you go with the flow, you value time spent with others and you are adaptable. If you are not, then we will have some rough interactions. I am very honest and direct and don't take rubbish.
I am looking for mature and hardworking individuals, of average to high 💡intelligence, kind and thoughtful, who can be self motivated, because I prefer not to micromanage. The main help I need is gardening, planting, weeding, tilling, hauling things like manure and compost. Experience is a plus, but I can teach the skills. I need some help doing general house maintenance, so a strong pair of hands that can do small repairs would be ideal. Also farm tasks require some strength and stamina, so I need 💪🏼strong women and strong men, THOUGHTFUL AND SELF-MOTIVATED who like to help hard and play hard, the HELP IS THE PRIORITY. I will need some help preparing meals or setting table 🍽️ and washing dishes (normal stuff you do already for your parents!), and I need some help playing with the kids. Most of the childcare will be playing with them while I make a meal, like playing ☠️pirates, painting, bamboo-stick fighting, and ninja training. The childcare will be ~1.5 hours of the day, ~4 hours of farm help, ~1.5 hours preparing meals, clean up, general housework. Each day will be different, so I need you to be flexible and go with the flow. Depending on the task load and my work week, I may need a little bit more help with my sons, playing legos with them, kicking a ⚽️ Around with them, ar any sport 🏐🏸, 📚reading them a book, painting or drawing with them, or sitting with them during a movie. They also live to play instruments 🎸🎹🥁. I try not to ask for more than two hours with my kids because I need to connect with them as the primary care provider.
You will help four days, have three days off. But this is flexible depending on what is going on, school schedule, doctor appointments, whether my boys are with me or with their father, whether I am working or have the week at home/on farm. ALso, if there are birthdays or social events that we get invited to, we accommodate those things and make up for the help time lost. And if you want to go 🚤 boating one day or 🐋whale watching, we just rearrange the volunteering schedule. If it ☔️rains like mad, we adapt our schedule or our task load and do indoor stuff, like cleaning house or something useful. Just communicate and be considerate and respectful. It is HELP EXCHANGE, and I want you to enjoy your time here. If ever you feel things are not fair, I am asking too much of you, you are 😟🤢😥suffering, or whatever 😳ails you, just communicate and we will find a solution🤔. I am very reasonable, but I will not tolerate bad behaviour, complaints, and general grumbling and negativity.🤦🏻♀️ Take your unsettled personal issues, depression, alcoholism, and victim attitude somewhere else. I'm just saying..🤷🏻♀️ None of this is good for the team and feelings of cohesiveness.
NOTE: If you kill my plants or trees, even by accident, I expect you to replace them and pay for them. Fruit trees take time to grow and are a cost of ⏳time to grow and 💰money to buy them. Please, if in doubt, DO NOT PULL IT OUT. You will break my 💔heart when you kill a wanted tree, bush, flower, or plant!😭
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.
I have a house with a spare bedroom you will share with two others. Ample room for anyone. If you want to bring a ⛺️tent so you can do weekend camping, there is room for that. I have full plumbing, hot 🚿showers, kitchen. There is electricity💡. Internet access is a ten minute walk from the house for extended use. I have a washing machine for your dirty clothes, BUT I WILL OPERATE IT and push the buttons. Line drying in summertime, indoor drying for wintertime or spring or any rainy day!
On help days, meals are provided by me. It's 🙏🏼nice if you volunteer to cook sometimes. But your days off are also my days off, so if you are around the house you will eat on my schedule, heat up leftovers, or cook your own food....or if you go off property, you will pay for your own meals. I am not paying for your restaurant meals or anywhere off property. If you are going hiking you can pack a meal from the farm raised veggies and farm products, but I ask you to buy your own containers or use/reuse plastic baggies. LUXURY ITEMS SUCH AS 🧀CHEESE, 🍫CHOCOLATES, ☕️CAFFEINE, SUGAR, JUICE, IMPORTED FRUITS AND ALL 🍷🍸ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE UP TO YOU TO BUY.
I am a conscientious omnivore, but I also cook 🥕🍆🍠vegetarian, and 🐟🍣🍤pescatarian. I have spent many years catering food, so providing tasty and atttractive food is no problem for me. All food is seasonal and mostly local. I do not provide a lot of imported exotic fruits, or even "normal" fruits, so you would have to buy that for yourself, like 🍇grapes, 🍊oranges, and 🍑peaches. I repeat, buy them from your traveling budget. 🥜🍪🍫Snacks and cookies, 🍩sweet things and fruit juice, are on your own, YOU BUY THEM with your pocket change....I WILL NOT BUY THEM FOR YOU. THEY ARE LUXURY ITEMS.
Sometimes I cook a 🍰dessert, and that is always for anyone living in my home, but please remember my kids love that stuff too and share well! There is fruit to harvest during their seasons, and plenty of it foraged. I do a 🍕pizza party every two weeks for my boys and invite friends. We go to friend's homes and do 🔥🍔🍗🌭cookouts and there is plenty of 🥗🥔🍌food for everyone!
I do NOT provide 🍺alcohol and encourage moderation during the workweek. The weekends are yours and I am not your momma about it! However if your vices get out of hand, it will impair your ability to be an effective part of the team. I reserve the right to ask you to leave at anytime if your 🍻drinking or other consumptions get out of control and impair your professionalism and kindness. I ALSO RESERVE THE RIGHT TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE IF WE ARE NOT GETTING ALONG WELL, but I am very reasonable and we just have to
On your time off you have so many choices, depending on your personality type. Nature lovers would be happiest here, with all the hiking and trails available. There are waterfalls, river, streams, natural swimming pools filled with rain water-filled streams or waterfalls. There is fishing, both saltwater and freshwater. Depending on the season and your courage, you could go snorkeling, spearfishing, bodyboarding, horseback riding, canyoning, on a guided boat fishing trip. You can lounge on the 🏖️beach and soak up the 🌞sun, meet interesting people, make an improvised dinner party, fall in love for a week with another traveler. As mentioned, I have no car. I walk, hitchhike, or take the bus. You will too. There is a 🚎bus system that can take you from one part of the island to the other. If you need a night life, discotechs, raves, then this is not the island for you.
All within ten minute walk are three cafes where you can get a cold 🍺beer, a coffe, or a 🍔sandwich while using their free wifi. There is the harbor where you can see the ⛵️sailboats and maybe catch a ferry ⛴️ ride to another island or go fishing with one of the locals if you make friends fast. You can spearfish there or fish from the pier. There are two good restaurants if you want to have a posh night out and spend 20 euros for dinner and wine. You can 🏊♀️ swim at the sand beach next to the harbor. You can take a bus to the west side, Fajã Grande, and 🏄🏻surf, 🌊bodyboard, or 🏊♀️swim there in the natural pools, hike to the waterfall, and then go to the cafe for a quick and cheap 🌭🍕🍟 snack. You can also take a bus to Santa Cruz and go to the natural swimming pools there, make a day of it, pack a picnic in advance, or buy 🥖bread, 🧀cheese and 🍖ham on the run and have an improvised picnic. One of the best hikes on the whole island has its start point twenty minutes away from my home. There are old ⛪️churches to explore. The are 🏛️museums in Santa Cruz, history, 🏭whaling, and environmental museums. Sometimes they get a wonderful exhibit and dinosaur fossils on display, with no glass to impede your observation and exploration of cool sciences. (There is a 🏨health center and Pharmacy if you need.)
I enjoy seeing people have fun and have good positive experiences. I love to take people to festivals and social gatherings and get you to meet other travelers, other locals, or expatriates and you take it from there. Spring and summer involves a lot of festivals and I make a point of attending because my kids are young and I want them to experience everything in life and on my island and I want them to have wonderful memories of growing up. If you want some quiet time, you can have that too, I have plenty of 📚books, 📽️movies, and activities for introverted activities. You can draw, 🎨paint, do woodwork, carve wood, make jewelry, do anything creative that you can dream up. If you want to learn yoga or hula dance there are affordable classes you can take.
If you travel with instrument and like to play 🎼, I encourage that and have friends who do jam sessions with 🥁drums, 🎸guitars, ukuleles, 🎻 violin, harmonicas, nose flutes, etc. Just be cool, be kind, responsible, and communicate with me about what you would like to do or experience. I am very amenable and want you to have a fantastic work/travel experience!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
In winter no. there are no ferries. in summer yes. ask about details.
Maximum 6 hours a day, 4 days a week (maximum 25 hours/week)