We are Espen and Åse, a young couple living in Alta, Northern Norway. Espen is originally from Alta and Åse is from Stange in Southern Norway. We are living on a farm in a valley west of Alta, around 30 minute drive from Alta centrum. The valley is called Mathisdalen, and it´s a beautiful place!
Here we have a kennel with about 30 Alaskan husky, which we use for competing in dogsledding races during the winter. We also have puppies every spring/summer which makes the summer a busy period with a lot of dogs! We also run a farm with about 20 milking cows.
We live in a house that are separated in two, and on the other side Espen´s parents and sister lives.
During winter Norway is cold, as you might know already. Northern Norway is no exception, and the normal degrees variates between -10 to -35 degrees celsius from december until the end of march. Some months are colder than others, like january. In addition to this we have the dark period! From the end of november until end of january the sun does not go above the horizon. It does not mean that we live in complete darkness. It means that we get a few hours of daylight (and its a beautiful light!) during a day. So more hours of dark sky, means more hours to see the northern light!
Summer in Alta is quite short, but it can get hot! From May until July the sun does not go below the horizon (midnightsun), so the days are long and we get a lot of work done!
To get to Alta and Mathisdalen, it´s best by plane. From Oslo it takes about 2 hours, and we will pick you up at the airport. To drive up to Alta is a long way! The country itself, from south to north is over 2500km! Hitchhiking in Norway is safe, and the country is beautiful, so if you have the time it´s a very nice trip! Busses are also a possibility, but it´s often cheaper with plane.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Since you will be living together on our farm there will be a good chance for you to ask about whatever you are wondering about. And we will try to answer! Our English is rather good and we are social people. We will love to teach you what we know. You will learn about how to run a kennel, how to train the dogs and what is so special about the Alaskan Husky. If you are interested you can also learn how to milk cows and help out with the daily work in the barn. Here you also have a great opportunity to experience some beautiful nature, as the valley is perfect for hiking. In summer we have the midnight sun, in winter we have northern light!
There is always a lot to do on a farm like this.
We need someone to do the daily rutines in the kennel. The daily routines in the kennel is to see that every dog gets water, preparing food and feeding, training, scooping poop, cleaning the dog yard, cuddling, walking and playing with puppies. In addition to this we sometimes need to clean and fix doghouses, brush the dogs, build new doghouses, fix fences (that goes for the cow fences as well), and so on!
There is also a lot to maintain in the barn and around the farm. Fencing, cleaning, fixing broken stuff is some of the tasks you could be given.
First of all we want someone that have some sort of relevant experience. Either with working in cold temperatures, dogsledding, farm work or carpentry.
If you want to apply, some of these qualities are what we are looking for (you should be able to have at least 7 of these):
- Over 18-years old
- Experience with working on a farm or kennel (bigger group of dogs).
- Motivated to work hard and get your hands dirty
- In good physical shape and good health.
- Have some carpenter skills
- Consider yourself a solution oriented person, that is able to see work that needs to be done (both outside, AND inside the house)
- Are eager to learn new things
- Can easily communicate
- Independent (you will be doing some work alone)
- Can work outside in cold temperatures (goes for winter).
- Have a sense of humour and are positive
- You can not be allergic to dogs or cows.
- Not a vegeterian or vegan.
In addition to the kennel we need help with maintaining the house and making dinner/other meals. Winter is busy, and we are out training a lot. So it helps if you know how to cook a meal, but don´t worry, we eat almost everything!
The cabin contains a bunk bed, so it's possible for us to host two helpers at the same time. We would recomend you to know each other well, though, since the cabin is quite small.
Norwegian and English
You will have your own cabin at the farm beside the dogyard. The cabin has electricity, with toilet in a outhouse. You use our bathroom inside. The cabin has a small kitchen, but we eat some meals together inside, at least dinner, but sometime breakfast or lunch as well.
There is available WI-FI inside the house that you can use.
If you have a drivers licence it is no problem that you borrow some of our cars. But normally we, or someone else, drive up and down to Alta all the time.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week