Help with daily life and animal care in Oberarnbach, Germany



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    Update July 17th: I am out of the hospital and back home - we are now looking for a single person who would like to stay with us anytime in July / August.

    Hi Everyone!

    My name is Pia (30 yrs old - she/her) and I am a German and American citizen living in a small village in Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, with my 5 pets! My mother and father are also in the process of moving back to Germany (from the US) and we have just rented a big house together in Oberarnbach, RP, Germany - this is where we will be able to host you! So, at the moment, we are looking to host 1 person in the house but we can also host 1 - 2 vans outside the house.

    We mostly need help with unpacking from the move (which was in June) housekeeping/cleaning, animal care, errands, and gardening/garden maintenance - but we also have a few specialty DIY projects we'd like to work on and love arts and crafts. It is important to understand that furnishings in the new house will be sparse for the first few months but the house has all the basic amenities - more on accommodations below.

    Next, let me introduce you to your would-be housemates / my mini "zoo":
    Milo is an almost two-year-old Australian Shepherd and Service dog in training - he's a high-energy, crazy, smart, stubborn, loving doggo - in a bit of a rebellious phase at the moment but very sweet. Benny is a 12-year-old pug, he was rescued at age 5 from a bad breeding mill and is disabled but he is still living his best life - he just needs a bit of help doing so. Then there are the spice cats - Cinnamon, Pumpkin, and Nutmeg, rescued together about two years ago, these orange Persians came from a hoarding situation. They are still quite shy having been through such a terrible situation so it takes a while for them to warm up to people - well, at least it takes the girls Nutmeg and Pumpkin a while - Mr. Cinnamon can be a bit more adventurous/feisty.

    One of the main reasons for the move into the new house with my parents is my health. I am disabled and have been struggling a bit to live on my own as my illness gets worse. I have limited energy on a daily basis and I'd like to be able to spend that energy on things that bring me joy rather than burning out trying to keep the house clean, so that is a big reason why we'd love some help. I do not need any help with personal care or anything like that, just around the house and with the animals.

    I want to say straight away that my house is LGBTQ+ friendly and I believe in BLM. I am fully vaccinated, as is my mother, I am also immune-compromised and on a chemotherapy treatment so we expect you to be fully vaccinated and safe (regardless of what regulations are in place). We do expect you to take a self-test before coming (they are cheap / sometimes free here in Germany) and we wear masks when at the store/mall or anywhere super crowded and indoors (not at home though). I care about equality and want this to be a safe space. Open and honest communication is important to me - I'd rather try and over-communicate something than under-communicate and I don't believe in "beating around the bush" it's better to be direct than be misunderstood (though we always strive to be kind in this house and also believe in the rule of treating others how you wish to be treated). There are a few house rules, always be kind and respectful to all, including the animals - we do not do negative reinforcement in this house, and the cats are not allowed outside so be mindful of closing doors behind you. My animals are my world, if you mistreat them in any way you will be asked to leave though I'm sure this won't be an issue :D Parties are also not allowed in the house (small gatherings are fine if discussed beforehand), and neither is excessive drinking. In general, we do expect you to be mostly sober, on most days (I mean you can go out and party on your days off just be respectful of the house / your housemates / the animals, and please take precautions against covid). Smoking is only allowed outside, away from the animals, and with any cigarette butts properly disposed of. Littering is not ok :)

    Obviously, I love animals - because I have so many I probably can't take any more on but if you are traveling with just 1 animal we could discuss it - cats are probably a no-go because it would cause mine a lot of stress (unless you are in a van that has temperature control) but dogs and other animals might be alright... especially for a shorter stay. We are home a lot, and prefer to have a quiet/peaceful home.

    There is no set daily schedule here and that includes no set work schedule - we don't usually rush in this house (unless we are late to appointments - which does happen a bit because ADHD), and I think in general we are pretty laid back about things - we'd just discuss what needs to be done and work things out - basically family life with chores and errands :)

    For entertainment in the house we currently only have one TV but we do have Netflix, Prime, and Disney, along with a PS3 and a PS4 - I enjoy watching TV/movies, reading, writing, and sometimes playing games (card games, board games, tabletop, PC, and PS4), I also sometimes like to craft. I enjoy the theater, LARP, and fantasy/fiction in general. I like hiking when my body lets me. I love to swim and we have some great pools and lakes nearby, and scuba dive (though I'll admit I've never been diving in Germany). Hmm, what else, I have a BA in Anthropology and a minor in creative writing. I have a TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and I am a self-published author of two children's books and a book of poetry and illustration. I have worked as a barista, and in the hospitality industry for a big hotel chain. I currently work as a freelancer for a digital nomad site. I've lived in 3 different countries (US, UK, and DE) and I've traveled to over 18 (my favorite was Thailand). I'm happy to share life stories.

    My mother is awesome / very welcoming and kind, my friends all think she's the "cool mom" but for real. She grew up in Germany and married an American (hence my dual citizenship). She enjoys hiking, swimming, and ballooning. She's a pretty good cook (can teach you some German recipes) and can teach you a lot about growing up in Germany / life in Germany and what it's like to be an immigrant in the US. She works as a secretary but has also worked in the automotive, hospitality, and construction business. She speaks German and English like me.

    My dad is currently in the US but will likely join us around the end of August.

    We'd love to learn more about gardening, foraging (the house is right next to the woods), and cooking (especially about veggie / anti-inflammatory diets). We both like to bake occasionally. Mostly a veggie household but we do sometimes eat poultry and fish. My pups occasionally get meat treats.

    For now, we have one car and one bike. We are in a very small village but there are busses and trains nearby.
    If you are looking for the city life, this isn't it - we occasionally go into Kaiserslautern which is a bigger city, but it's still not huge. This area is great for hiking, biking, and swimming (lakes and pools and saunas), and there are few castle ruins and historical landmarks. There is a mall about 15 minutes away in downtown Kaiserslautern (along with a bunch of other shops, some bars, restaurants, clubs, etc) and we have a movie theater with English and German movies.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    I speak English, and German and have dabbled in a few other languages. I am a TEFL teacher, author, and researcher. I'll be happy to explore/introduce some of the local areas with you or exchange travel stories - I've traveled through a lot of Europe, and a few other places. I've lived in Scotland, Germany, and the US before. We'll be moving in right next to the woods so great for hiking/walking/foraging. There are pools, castles, and lakes nearby. There is a big American community here too because of the Air Base nearby. You can learn more about (mostly) German family life/language practice. We can also visit my German family near Heidelberg for a more traditional German family experience (rather than mixed German / American lol) and can check out Heidelberg castle/downtown if you wish. In general, we don't mind showing you around the area (though gas prices are very high right now so depending on budget).

  • Help


    As mentioned above its mainly housekeeping and animal care that you'd be doing and I would expect the general arrangement to be that you'd help out 5 days a week - I think you can finish all the tasks in around 3 hours most days - here are some examples of things I need help with:

    - Daily cleaning (vacuuming or sweeping daily or every other day - mopping as needed, usually once a week or so - as you can (maybe) imagine 5 pets means lots of shedding...

    - Dishes (mostly gathering dishes from around the house and loading/unloading the dishwasher but there are a few hand wash items from time to time too).

    - Keeping the kitchen clean.

    - Laundry.

    - General tidying

    - Helping unpack and organize as we've just moved into the house last month

    - dog walkies with Milo and playing with Milo is probably also in the cards lol I don't think he'd be very happy with a housemate that didn't want to play with him lol We would also like to do group outings to lakes and things (just having an extra set of hands/eyes is helpful so that I can enjoy myself a bit more)

    - 3 cat litter boxes need to be cleaned up every other day - deep cleaning every 3 months

    - cleaning / refilling pet water bowls every other day - cleaning food bowls every few days -

    - cooking occasionally

    - help here and there feeding the pets (though I can usually manage this on my own)

    - help with groceries and other errands

    - help with Benny from time to time which usually involves carrying him somewhere or giving him a bath or something

    - window cleaning (not sure how often but occasionally)

    - some yard maintenance - moving the lawn, collecting leaves (seasonally of course), picking up dog poo, etc.

    Other things may pop up now and again tbd but that is the basics.

    Special Projects:

    - Looking to build a catio - so carpenter/woodworking skills are welcome!
    - Looking to do some painting potentailly
    - Gardening / decorating the sunroom / Wintergarden.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I speak English and German - I have a TEFL certification and have experience teaching English and tutoring spoken German (not German grammar). I am interested in learning French, Chinese, and Japanese.

  • Accommodation


    I've recently uploaded a photo of the (unfinished) bedroom - by the time you get here the vacuum and other random items... like the sword on the mattress lol... will be removed, the room cleaned and the bed made. Still, as you can see it is a rather limited setup furniture-wise - the mattress is on the floor but is pretty comfortable, with a mattress topper. It is a private bedroom, near the front door, and there is a shared bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Things to do:
    - hiking/walking in the woods/fields
    - biking/skating
    - swimming (pools and lakes)
    - a downtown area nearby with shops, a mall, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs, markets, etc.
    - movie theater (English and German movies)
    - historical sites (castles, ruins, etc.)

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Yes, we have fast and reliable internet. There is also a home phone and you can make free calls within Germany and to the USA.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We've got space for 1 or 2 vans outside the house but no special hookups.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This is more of a maybe - it can be discussed - obviously they would need to get along with other pets as well, no cats in the house I'm afraid as I already have 3.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 437648238469