Help restore a house using natural materials and traditional techniques, in a village in the South of Romania

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Romania

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    Last activity

    30/08/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    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

    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 the houses have to be connected to, electricity, and the possibility of connecting to the internet, and there’s GPS coverage.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house

  • 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

    During this summer(Jun-Aug) we will restore one house using traditional materials(cob) in order to revive the place.

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

    What we'll do together is:
    - taking the existing plaster off the house, both on the inside and on the outside;
    - and we'll make new cob: clay+sand+straw, which we then put in and on the walls.
    - also, we will do some digging - a trench so we can connect the house to the water pipe and to instal the sewage system as well;
    - building a wall inside the house in order to create an indoor bathroom;
    - building a new compost toilet.

    My uncle will come over, sometime during the summer, and will redo the electrical part.

    Besides these objectives, if things will go ahead of the ”agenda” there will be lots of 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;
    - restoring an existing building so it can be used as a pantry/overground-cellar;
    - clearing the back garden;
    - what you can find to be done and want to do;
    - and many more.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    romanian, english, (just a little bit) of french

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

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

    There are 2 bedrooms in the one we'll restore, but only one available to accommodate. After the renovation on the rest of the house, we will move everything back in the restored room - so we can repair the other as well.

    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.
    There is the possibility of sleeping in the other house as well, if you want to, but its condition is not that great - there are beds, but the plaster on the walls is not in good condition and the doors are old and 'rusty'

    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 NO hot water, only cold, drinkable, water.
    We have an old 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.

    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 will go 2 or 3 times 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

  • 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

The Danube river, only 30km away. On the other side is Bulgaria!
Having dinner in the middle of the yard, enjoying the sunset's colors on the clouds
One of the places we can eat or chill, under the vines' shade
The surroundings - there are small hills and vast plains
The outdoor ”face&teeth washing station” :)
Enjoying some traditional food we got as a gift from the neighbours
A shot with the property(front and the front garden)
Me, taking off the plaster in one of the rooms, in 2018
This is the house we will revive
This is me, Bogdan
Host ref number: 474616148456