Join our family and help us to restore our Dutch farmhouse in Lutjewinkel, Netherlands

Country

Netherlands

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    Host rating

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    36  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    21/09/2022

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    within 3 days

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  2022 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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  • Description

    Description

    We are a family of three (mother with adult daughter and son) following our dream having bought a 170 year old traditional Dutch farmhouse (stolp). We immediately fell in love with the place. The house is at the end of a road and surrounded by fields. Peace and quiet and privacy all around. It's one of the few places in Holland where it is dark at night and you can actually see the stars!
    After buying the house we discovered there were a lot more problems than we were initially aware of: the roof leaked in several places, there were rotten floors, and we have had to deal with tons and tons of junk and unexpected amounts of asbestos.
    We have worked really hard and many friends have helped us but this project is far from being finished. We started a little vegetable garden and have some happy chickens who provide us with eggs every day.
    Soon after we moved in our husband and father died unexpectedly. He loved looking after the garden and the chickens. We are trying to move on but miss him a lot!
    At the weekends we are all at home, but during the week we are often away at work. That means we need you to be trustworthy and to be able to work independently. It also means there are days when you get to enjoy our beautiful house all on your own.
    There is limited public transport but we can pick you up at the station on arrival and there are bikes you can use.
    We live a quiet life and welcome like-minded people.

    Unfortunately we find we are unable to cater for special diets, so although we applaud the concept of veganism and sympathise with those with food allergies we cannot offer you a place to stay if you are vegan or have a food allergy.

    Besides Dutch we also speak fluent English and French and some German.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We speak French and English so conversation should be easy. We are good cooks (largely vegetarian).
    If you are interested in learning about tree pruning/gardening/growing vegetables/beekeeping Ioanna would be glad to pass her skills on to you.
    We have four lovely cats, so sorry no dogs allowed.

  • Help

    Help

    A contractor is helping us with structural tasks, but we are doing the finishing touches ourselves and are grateful for all kinds of help.
    Anyone skilled in carpentry, (basic) plumbing, gardening, painting and decorating is welcome.
    We could use help in the garden, digging, weeding, harvesting and mowing, laying garden tiles etc.
    We could use help with painting, both inside and outside, wood and stone.
    We would love some help with the bathrooms; they have basic plumbing but the toilets and showers need updating. Ideally we would like to finish the bathroom with natural clay plaster - so we would love to learn this from someone who has experience with clay plastering.
    The entire first floor was originally empty. Here we have started building and insulating bedrooms and could use help with finishing these off.
    There is enough to do ;-) we would like to discuss what your skills are and what our ideas are.

    We generally expect our volunteers to help for an average of 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, and in addition to take care of their own room and contribute to keeping general areas tidy. In return we provide sleeping accommodation and 3 meals a day 7 days a week.
    We are flexible about how our volunteers fit in their working hours. So if you prefer to work in the weekend and take your free time on weekdays, or if you want to extend your weekend over the friday and/or monday and put in some extra hours on the other days, we are fine with that - as long as we know about it a few days in advance.
    Similarly there may be projects which have to be finished before a certain deadline, then we may ask you to work a little longer than usual and take some extra time off on another day.

    Volunteers generally help themselves to breakfast and lunch and we usually share the evening meal together (we take turns to cook - so if you like cooking you are welcome to share your talents!).
    Everybody washes their own clothes (there is a washing machine for general use) and washes their own dishes after eating. After dinner we all clean up the kitchen together.

    We expect our volunteers to leave their room clean when they go; this means getting rid of any rubbish, taking the used bedclothes and towels to the washroom, cleaning the washbasin, bath and toilet and vacuuming the room.

    We are dedicated cat lovers - so we are not a suitable project for people who don't like cats or who are allergic to them.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Intermediate

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There is a double room in the farmhouse with an en-suite bathroom (that still needs some renovation). There is a second spacious room next to it. If there are more workawayer volunteers staying at the same time, you may have to share the bathroom with them.
    It is also possible to come with a camper/tent.
    We usually agree on a two week trial to see if we match well.

    It works best for us if our volunteers are socially independent and able to fill their own free time.
    We think we are fairly friendly people😊 but we also we also value our personal space and need our private chill-time because we work hard, and are often tired in the evenings. So although we enjoy socialising with our volunteers, we appreciate if we can have our living room to ourselves after the evening meal. Our guest rooms are fairly spacious and volunteers are welcome to use the garden, so there is plenty of recreational space.

    We have a no smoking policy indoors.
    We do not allow drug use or excessive alcohol use.
    And one essential rule: our cats are very important to us. Our volunteers have to be kind to our cats!!!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Schagen is a very nice city only 35 min bike ride away, from Schagen there are trains to Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Den Helder. There is also a direct bus from the village to Alkmaar - the bus stop is easily reachable by bike.
    From Den Helder there is a ferry to the island Texel.
    We have a few bicycles our volunteers can use for getting around and exploring the countryside which is quite attractive.
    Bikes do get stolen, so please use the locks provided.
    The coastal villages and beaches of Petten, Callantsoog and Schoorl are also just a bike-ride away (1 hour) to the west, and to the east are the historical fishing towns of Enkhuizen and Medemblik. Hoorn is also a very nice harbour city.

    If you like clubbing and pubbing we are not the right place for you - there is no local night life and public transport to the city stops in the evening. If you like peace and quiet, you will enjoy our home.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Plenty of room around the house for a camper/tent

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Our volunteers generally help 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, normally from 9.00 am to 15.30 (with a couple of breaks for coffee and lunch).

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Host ref number: 357554889933