UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 we are only able to accept a very limited number of Workawayers in 2022. We will only be accepting volunteers who are able to demonstrate adherence to Canadian government health and travel guidelines in effect at that time. Please free to contact us to discuss possibilities for 2022 and beyond.
We are Janice and David. We are in our upper 50’s. We own a small hobby farm of just over 4 acres in beautiful Fanny Bay, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Our three grown children live elsewhere in western Canada. Over the years we have traveled quite extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, but are now pretty tied to our hobby farm and business. We also have a bunch of chickens as well as 4 alpacas and 2 llamas that require lots of affection. We rescued two of the alpacas (Quia and Binky) about 4 years ago. They were very neglected and diseased, and we are so happy to have nursed them back to good health. They have since been joined by two healthy llamas (Pearl and Abby). In the spring of 2022 we welcomed alpacas Misty and Fizgig. And we have one cat, Simon, who came out of the woods and adopted us. He is the one who is really in charge of the whole place. We also own a dog and cat boarding business. Volunteers will have lots of opportunity to interact with the animals that are boarding with us.
IMPORTANT: When you message us, please answer the following questions. We do not respond to messages that only provide your name and when you want to come.
-What attracted you to our Workaway host profile?
-What are you most hoping for in a volunteer stay with us?
-How do you visualize being able to help us?
-What kind of experience have you had with animals, gardening, and landscaping?
-During COVID-19, how you are staying safe and reducing exposure?
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about life on rural Vancouver Island, taking care of llamas, alpacas, and chickens, and spending time on a quiet beautifully forested property. We look forward to welcoming volunteers into our home and sharing our lives with them, while also learning about them.
We keep busy on our property, but the pace in this part of Vancouver Island is slow. People stop and talk, especially when we’re walking the alpacas around the neighborhood.
We have made up a rather lengthy list of projects we would like help with. Some of these tasks can be accomplished in a day or less, while others are likely to take much longer.
Some of the larger projects include clearing and maintaining a walking trail in the forest around the perimeter of the property, various landscaping projects, and planting and maintaining a large garden.
Smaller projects include helping around the house, power-washing, painting, chopping and stacking wood, harvesting and processing lavender, berry picking, cleaning up after the animals, and general maintenance and carpentry around the property.
David really enjoys photographing the dogs and cats that board with us when time allows, and would like some assistance with this.
Janice enjoys working as a fibre artist: spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and is happy to share her knowledge.
Volunteers are expected to be friendly, honest, and respectful. While we are almost always on the property, but volunteers should be able to work independently. We also expect that volunteers be physically fit and able to take on a variety of tasks.
You also need to love animals and be comfortable with being kissed by alpacas.
We prefer volunteers to stay for a minimum of 2 weeks and to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. Longer stays are preferred.
We are able to accept 2-3 volunteers at a time.
We have two rooms available for volunteers. Depending upon the number of people staying with us it may be necessary to share one of the rooms. Our home only has one bath/shower, so that will be shared.
We provide groceries for 3 meals a day. If volunteers wish to have additional snacks between meals these will need to be purchased at your own expense. Volunteers are expected to prepare their own breakfast and lunch and to clean up after themselves. Dinner will be prepared and eaten together.
We are open to shared cooking and are happy to discuss what works best.
We do our best to accommodate dietary needs.
Bus service is available to our community from Nanaimo and Courtenay/Comox. The nearest bus stop to our place is in Buckley Bay. We would be happy to pick you up there.
A 5-minute walk from our property gets you to hiking trails, a refreshing creek, the ocean, or the Fanny Bay Inn, a historic pub. The Denman and Hornby Island ferry terminal is 3 km away at Buckley Bay. These islands offer beautiful beaches, many hiking trails, wineries, and unique locally made arts and crafts. Rosewall Creek Provincial Park is a 5 minute drive away and Horne Lake Caves are within a 30 minute drive. Victoria is about 2.5 hours drive south, Tofino is about 2.5 hours west. Mount Washington, about 40 minutes to the north, offers excellent skiing and snowshoeing in winter and great hiking in the summer. There is limited local bus service, with a stop a few minutes walk from our place, which gets you to Courtenay (30 minutes). Tofino Bus and Island Link Bus companies travel throughout Vancouver Island and can be accessed from Buckley Bay. Depending upon our availability, we may be able to provide some transportation to area attractions. (David loves hiking and exploring the backcountry).
Apart from the domestic animals that live with us, it is not uncommon to see eagles, deer, sea lions, seals, and whales in the area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
This host can provide space for campervans.
Maximum 25 hours a week
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