Help restore a house using natural materials and traditional techniques in Călugărei, Romania

Country

Romania

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    24/09/2021

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  2021 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    2021 update:
    No hosting options :(

    Unfortunately, for the time being, this project is paused and I truly hope I will re-start working on the house and the land.
    Currently, I am waiting for the official papers and procedures to be finalized.
    Besides this, I realized that I should re-do the whole roof of the first house, which is expensive, but also needs skilled workers to do it - which are almost impossible to find around that area... :(
    I hope to resume this sometime soon and to be able to welcome as many eager volunteers as possible.

    Wishing you all the best and amazing travels through this amazing country ^_^
    ---
    Hello and Welcome home!

    My name is Bogdan(28) and after 3 years of travelling by hitchhiking and work-exchange in Europe, now I am going back to my roots and starting the 'Our countryside home' project.
    keywords/details/TL;DR
    renovation, earthhouse, construction site, outdoor shower, compost toilet, communal accommodation/tent, no prior experience needed, I am an ex-volunteer

    I have a full-time job, working online, and my schedule is from 12:00 to 20:00 (noon to 8 PM).
    I can do some minor jobs while I'm at work, but for a short amount of time.

    I will need help with cooking and with the restoration of the house.
    For the restoration, you'll work by yourself if you want to do it during my working hours.

    * due to the whole global pandemic situation, even though I would love to have volunteers over here, I'll be open for having people over AFTER local regulations are changing *

    minimum stay: 2 weeks

    'Our countryside home' is more than just a traditional house in a village.
    It's about creating a community, growing an idea, a family!

    This project aims to bring together the people who want to reconnect with the Earth, the nature and the simple life.
    What I wish is to revive the house in which I grew as an individual and to bring new energy and life in the village where the house is located.

    Basically what we will do is creating a community of people in order to bring a place back to life. That place starts with my grandparents’ houses, which I wouldn’t want to see becoming ruins, and it ends with the whole village.
    Also at the same time, we will help traditions stay alive by (re)discovering them, learning them and promoting them by sharing the knowledge with the others.

    I wish this place to be a semi-open space in which someone can live on a short or long-term basis(depending on what s/he wants and can). If there will be permanent residents, that will be awesome, but nobody is forced to do anything - only to respect the common sense rules and the ones of a harmonious cohabitation.
    This place could be either ”home” or ”the countryside house”.

    My wish is that through our presence, the community we’re creating, we will bring more value to the village and we will manage to raise the village’s wellbeing and help them as best as we can, through our presence over there and by bringing our knowledge, information and connections, while we’re learning from them the secrets of a simpler and closer to nature lifestyle.

    What I wish is to restore the houses together, using natural materials and traditional techniques and to start a nice place together.

    The utilities we have are: running water - there’s a pipe with a faucet in the front garden - sewage, to which one of the houses is connected to, electricity, internet, and there’s GPS coverage.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

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

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    By joining 'Our countryside home' you will have the chance to experience life in the rural side of Romania, in the South region, 50km away from a big city - Craiova.

    You will have the chance to see animals running free on the dirtroads, old ladies living their lives in the same way they lived since they were born, you will have the chance to be away from a city, in nature, close to a forrest.

    You'll have the chance to eat local food made by the villagers(neighbours) and find out recipies of flatbread that is baked on the woodstove or various other traditional foods.

    Coming over here you will experience the basic lifestyle that my parents and grandparends lived and get more in touch with nature.

    Also, you will get to learn how to make earth walls, out of cob, how to plaster using natural materials and to learn many other skills regarding building and maintenance of an eco-house.

  • Help

    Help

    This year, the restoration of the house, using traditional materials(cob) in order to revive the place, keeps happening.

    As this work is rudimentary there's no need for prior experience.

    I need some help on this tasks:

    - repairing the house's roof: replacing 2 beams, replacing all the wooden planks on which the tiles rest on, rearranging all the tiles;
    - this work will be done by people who have experience that I will hire - we will offer to help them with what we know.

    - finishing the indoor bathroom:
    - adding the last layer of earth plaster on the walls;
    - installing the pipes in the bathroom;
    - connecting and installing the shower, sink & toilet.

    - restoring the indoor walls:
    - we'll make cob: clay+sand+straw, which we then put in on the ceiling and walls.

    - repairing the earthen floor:
    - we will dig out the existing floor, level it and pour new cob on it.

    Besides these objectives, there are other minor things that can be done:
    - reupholstery of the existing beds, which were created by my granddad - this can be a fun project for anyone who wants to do it(and I guess it's not so difficult);
    - repairing and restoring windows and doors -> these might be replaced altogether if I will have money and the roof&walls are finished.
    - restoring an existing building so it can be used as a pantry/overground-cellar;
    - what you can find to be done and want to do;
    - and many more.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Romanian: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There are 2 houses on the property and one of them we will restore.

    The accommodation is in a shared room in the house we are not restoring. There are 3 double-beds in the same room which we will share.
    The house's condition is not that great - the plaster on the walls is not in good condition and the doors are old and 'rusty'

    There is plenty of land where you can instal your tent, if you have one and want to sleep in it, but I will have a tent available as well to accommodate 2 people in it.

    Please bring your own sleeping bag and towel with you!

    If you want to come with your car/van/campervan, there is space in front of the house, next to the dirt road, where you can park it.

    There is NOT YET hot water, only cold, drinkable, water.
    We have a compost toilet.
    And as for shower, we have a barrel with a hose and showerhead attached to it.

    I do ask volunteers to be mindful about what they bring on the land. I intend to keep it clean and chemical-free. If you are not prepared to take it back with you please don't bring it.
    Also, it would be great to bring natural cleaning products, soaps, shampoo, detergents.

    The food I/we will cook and provide will be vegan.
    I wish for us to either cook together or take turns with this task.

    It goes without saying it is our shared responsibility to clean after ourselves and keep the living quarters tidy.

    I love cooking and sharing food with friends and you are welcome and invited to help.
    I encourage everyone to cook and share their favourite dishes with us if you so wish.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The food will be vegan.

    In order to reach the village, there is a bus from Craiova.
    In case you will need a lift, I can pick you up from Craiova as well - but I need to schedule your pick-up.

    In your free time, you can roam around in the village and explore it, or go in the forest which is nearby.

    There are some hills around and fields of crops, and some are abandoned, which offer lots of space to go on walks, meditation or photo shootings if you are passionate about that.

    Only 30km away there is the Danube river where you can go for a swim.

    My desire is for us to have at least one of the meals together(ideally all of them), to start our day with a sharing circle and to finish the evening around candlelights or a small fire(if we find wood) talking, debating, singing, etc - if we're in the mood for that.

    I have a 'no drugs or alcohol' policy.

    During the summer I might go with my car to Cluj-Napoca for approx. 1 week.
    I could take you there or somewhere on my way if you want to, or you can stay at the house by yourself if you feel comfortable with that.

  • 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

  • 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: 474616148456