Help with building and traditional life with an international family in the Black Forest, Germany

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Germany

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    24/08/2019

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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.
  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    Hello! We are an international family, Johannes (German) and Fei (Chinese) with two young daughters and a black cat. We live a pretty traditional black-forest-lifestyle in a big, ca. 250 years old farm house. We have a big garden with a natural brook running through some chicken and ducks. The house is located right on the famous St. James's Path the Road to Santiago at the edge of the beautiful Black Forest Natural Park, between Horb am Neckar and Freudenstadt in the south of Germany.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help in the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The region we live in is beautiful and peaceful, even though we are at the edge of the Black Forest. It is a place for quite country life, for returning back to the nature, for being true to yourself and enjoy each peaceful moment. The famous "Road to Santiago" (Jacobsway or St. James' Way) is right at our door step. We enjoy greeting pilgrims from our balcony now and then.

    As we are a multicultural family, German, English and Chinese are spoken languages in our family. Chinese is now rarely used and understood as Fei is the only Chinese speaker and recently mostly out of house for her Job.
    The main communication with the workawayers is normally in English.
    Different Cultural traditions meet in our house (Schwäbisch vs. Chinese), and eating habits (European vs. Asian). Living with us can be a lot of fun and also a lot challenges to experience. We would certainly love to share our international relationship tips with you if you are interested.

    We love traveling and we have traveled intensively before our children were born. We met in a tiny Tibetan village called Shangri-La in the Himalayas region of south China. There are many interesting stories to share with you. Fei enjoys cooking and loves to exchange recipes, but since she works again she is only on weekends at home.

    All in all, we believe that the right helper will come to us at the right time, so that we can share a part of our life journey together. This could help enrich all involved in this. We are thankful that this workaway platform makes this possible. So write to us and we will always reply ( within three days), and hopefully to greet you at our beloved countryside home! ^_^

  • Help

    Help

    Most recent update:
    We do now the traditional wall building with clay.

    Our highest need is help on the building site. In the moment the biggest part of the house is under construction and our family lives since one year in one room. It is essential for us to finish the building till latest end of September. In the moment we are still far away to reach this aim, that is why we work under time pressure. That is also the reason that we have very little "luxury -room" for our workawayers and same time surge so urgently for help.
    Please, please help us!!!!
    We desperately need people who are used to work with his or her hands efficiently (fast and good result) and love to move their body. You do not need to be physically very strong or specifically trained , but practically minded, learning fast new skills with your hands, and willing to get things finished in a reasonable time. You also need to be able to keep on a task with durance and concentration.

    We realized that the impression of the work in our place is very different by the different background of the workawayers. Likely workawayers from cities are confronted with an completely unknown “museum-like” simple life stile and world. By that, at least to them, the most works are completely new and need to be learned from the base. We also realized that people who are used to work with their hands and who come from the daily farm life despite they come from completely different cultures and places of the world, feel extremely easy to adjust to our daily works and life.
    Most workawayers are from cities and we of cause welcome them here, but we want them to know that the first 1-2 weeks likely will be challenging as they need to adjust to an unknown, an new old world. By experience, after 2 weeks of stay people get often used to the place, life stile and jobs and feel mostly that it has a great and peaceful impact to their soul. People who stay longer than 2 weeks with us often leave as different person as they arrived but describe that they had reached an inner envelopment or self awareness here.
    Don't worry if you come from the city and want to really learn about and take part in the traditional country life of the region, but please plan a long stay and be aware that the first two weeks could be challenging and adventurous to you.
    Think of the rather cold temperatures and bring warm cloth and mostly shoes for work.
    The most needed helps are all to do with physical or at least with work with your hands, but of cause we have here and there some things need to be done on paper or computer, too.

    In general, we need supports on various aspects of our busy life in and outside of our house.
    Here some examples:
    preserving vegetables or fruits for the winter, landscaping and gardening (both for vegetables and for beauty), repairing the very old sandstone walls of our house. Sanding old furniture and of cause supporting Johannes on the big building site.
    Some of the works are only seasonal and dependent on weather conditions or on their urgency.

    Even though we have children, we do not need support for them, so childcare would not be a workawayer task. As we don't have many animals, the care for them is only a little job.

    in the winter, we would also be happy to have people who are good at needlework. Recycling big amounts of fabrics by patch work and creating cloth for the children or repairing old cloths could be possible tasks to do.

    Musicians would also be very, very welcomed as we do not have a TV. After working time, we would love to enjoy live music and if wished and joyful to all, we offer to free the musicians from other works for their time of playing music for all.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    German, English, Chinese (Mandarin)

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We have one double room for guests in a separate private part of the house and it is nicely renovated with exposed timbers, which are filled with natural clay. The room has a water basin.
    In addition we offer the possibility to stay on a mattress in attic, half-ready rooms, or in the barn. Sometimes workawayers decide to share the workawayer room all together like a dormitory. If you bring a tent you of cause are always invited to camp in our garden.
    Unfortunately at the moment we only have one functioning toilet and shower, so we have to share. Keep it clean and tidy is very important for all of us. For example, we would like men to sit down for peeing.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There is a lot to do and to see in our region. There are many hiking paths through a number of mid aged ancient towns. A ruined castle can be seen from our house and many small farms including a bio buffalo farm, an outdoor swimming pool, a barefoot park, a climbing park (for all ages), a number of museums, traditional guesthouses, various sizes gardens, etc.

    If one day you want to dive into city life, the nearby little cities are Horb am Neckar and Freudenstadt, both about 20 minutes away by car. From Horb, there is direct express trains and highway (A81) to Stuttgart. There are local buses from our little town to the nearby big towns, i.e. Sulz and Freudenstadt, but unfortunately they are not that frequent, especially during the holiday time as in every other remote region. You can always borrow a bicycle from us, if you are really fit. Because we are in the black forest means a lot of valleys and steep hills. The challenge for fitness and nice view on the way, however, are for sure guaranteed! ^_^


    We are very committed to be a good host and we are searching for similar committed Workawayers. Please only apply if you:

    - take the responsibility of your own words, e.g., if you say: "I will come!" then you really do come. So, please NO LAST MINUTES CANCELATIONS.
    - be open minded and willing to adjust to our family and house rules and the regional culture and mindset.
    - accept that as soon as someone feels uncomfortable with the stay, then the stay can be ended any moment from host or workawayers
    - are ok to take part in the cleaning of the household you share with us, as we are clear that we do not want to end up having more housework by having workawayers. Help to keep the shared household area running would be on top of the 4 hours work that you have to do. So the housework would normally take me (the host) one hour and you might do it faster or slower. For example, doing the dishes and cleaning the floor.

    Other informations are:
    1. we do not write invitation letters for Visa applications. These letters come with responsibilities, which we do not want to get in.
    2. In the time from the 24.December till the 1. January we do not host any workawayers as we need in that period the space for our family.
    3. If you arrive by train in Freudenstadt be aware if we should collect you at Stadtbahnhof Freudenstadt or Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) Freudenstadt. and which station you are.
    4. if you are not very, very familiar or even professional with the work on building and gardening you need to speak and understand English or German very well in order to understand the explanations about the work.
    5. Most of the work will be done in very dusty conditions (we provide face masks for the dust) and the house can also be quite dusty in the winter because we heat with wood, so if you have any problems/allergies with dust it may not be the best fit.

    Thank you for your understanding and we are looking forward to welcoming you at our home!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 hours a day, 5 days a week. In addition shared household tasks are daily duties of the workawayers.

Filling up the gaps of the stone wall is another existing task, it requires no hard physical work but a lot of patience and persistence.
Restoring the old furniture is one of the existing tasks.
Vegetable garden in summer 2017
Family in 2017
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Cultural exchange: (5.0)

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Host ref number: 391733198225