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I suppose the first thing to discuss is COVID information. My mother is elderly, and I recently moved her into my current home. She and I have both had vaccines and boosters; however, I feel strongly that anyone staying here must also be vaccinated and take reasonable precautions when in public. Person County is not well-vaccinated or well-masked, so I do curbside pick-up when I can, mask up when I have to go inside a business, patronize restaurants with outdoor seating, and that sort of thing. If you are not vaccinated and/or not comfortable with this level of caution, a Workaway stay here won't be a good fit.
I have a lot going on and need some help organizing after the recent move, DIY projects, minor landscaping/gardening and natural building help. In exchange, I will provide you a room and bathroom of your own, good food, and a relaxed, fun, accepting atmosphere. Oh, and the frequent entertainment of my very silly dog, Rocky, a Bug (Boston Terrier-Pug mix).
From 2022 to 2024, I am building a natural home on a wooded 20-acre site in Person County, North Carolina, USA (approximately 45 minutes north of the Research Triangle - Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill). Spring and summer of 2022, I am working on gathering large rocks for the foundation and constructing a shed to dry timbers (recently cut by beavers) which will be used in the build. I expect to have my design complete by August of 2022. My build project includes a straw bale home, a workshop/studio for metal and wood art, a small goat barn, animal fencing, and some large art installations. Most of the build will take place in 2023 and 2024 via natural building workshops led by architect Sigi Koko.
I love meeting new people, so much so, that I traveled full-time in an RV for five years doing volunteer work across the US. I have visited all but three states in the US. My long-range goal is to live a natural life in a non-toxic home with dogs, goats, chickens, guineas, and rabbits. Maybe even a donkey.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
1. Learn about natural building and DIY projects: I have completed three courses in natural building, and I am working with a natural building architect with more than 20 years experience and a natural builder/instructor who also has significant experience. I also have a collection of books on natural building. I am an avid Do-It-Yourself-er -- I love power tools, and I know how to use them. 2. Learn to cook: I enjoy cooking food as much as eating it, and I am happy to share the kitchen with you. 3. Learn about nonprofit management and nonprofit organizational grant-seeking: I have a master's degree in Nonprofit Management (with honors) and certificates in Management and Leadership, as well as more than twenty years experience as a nonprofit executive and highly-successful grant-writer. I would love to share my knowledge and help you hone your skills. 4. Learn/refine your English language and writing skills: I am an experienced writer and editor. 5. Learn/practice/co-create art: I am an artist who enjoys many different mediums. I create animal portraits in watercolor and acrylic; I make found object art; I carve; I weave; I make jewelry; I knit; I build; and I would be delighted to teach you anything I know while encouraging your creative expression! 6. Have fun! I'm a happy, laid-back, peace-loving hippie-type who loves to laugh, learn, and create. I want positive energy in my life and in this project. Let's have some fun together! 7. I am a native of North Carolina, and I would LOVE to share the history, beauty, and culture of our state. I can be your NC tour guide.
DIY & Landscaping Project help: interior painting, removing overgrown bushes, planting, assembling an 8' x 12' storage building, creating a paver pathway, building (or assembling/installing) a chicken coop and run, building a simple firepit, and other projects.
Natural Building Project help: Building techniques will include straw bale, cob, and light clay straw (aka slip straw), with some scavenged/salvaged/reclaimed items along the way. Depending on the stage of the construction during your stay, workaway travelers may be gathering rocks/small boulders for the foundation, building sifting panels, digging or sifting sand and clay, making and building with cob (a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water), stacking straw bales, setting wooden posts, clay plastering walls, building a natural roof, laying an earthen floor, skinning logs, helping install fencing or shelters for goats, chickens, guineas, and rabbits, or anything else that needs to be done to complete the build.
This host offers a language exchange
As a professional writer, I can help you refine your English skills, and I would love to work on my Spanish. I know a few words and phrases in Spanish, but I want to practice and get better.
I currently live in a 4 bed/3 bath house I share with my mom. I can accommodate one to three people. If you prefer to tent camp or have a small, self-contained RV, you are welcome to enjoy the quiet solitude of the wooded 20-acre build site. I will provide all food and would appreciate your input on the menu and welcome your participation in meal preparation. I have a washer and dryer you may use. There is also internet, tv, and cell service.
If you are a smoker, do not apply. While you are here, feel free to enjoy hiking, camping, and fishing at the build site. There are also several beautiful lakes nearby. The town of Roxboro, three miles away, is small, but quaint and has an active historic uptown area including theatre, art, breweries, restaurants, bakeries, shopping, food trucks, and two farmers markets. The Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes away and has nearly anything you could want - art, culture, food, shopping, museums, historic sites, and a dozen colleges and universities (including NC State University, the University of North Carolina, and Duke University, all R-1 research universities). You are within four hours of beautiful beaches to the east and the Blue Ridge mountains to the west. If you don't have your own transportation, I am happy to take you to bus or train stations or RDU International Airport. For local trips, I am happy to drive you. I am accepting of all lifestyle choices and encourage you to be yourself in all your beautiful glory. I love music and laughter. I don't mind drinking, but I don't like drunks. I won't tolerate illegal drugs or mean/unhappy people.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
I have reliable, unlimited internet access at my home, but not at the build site. Cell phone reception is strong in this area.
If you have a small, self-contained RV, you can stay at the build site, although the driveway is long, winding, and hilly. I would not recommend a large RV there. I do not yet have electricity and water at the build site, but I can provide that at my current house if you want to park in my driveway. There is a sewer dump station within twenty miles.
Maybe. Friendly, house-trained dogs are a possibility, but only if I don't currently have a foster dog in addition to my dog Rocky. Let's discuss it.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week, but I also like to have fun.