UPDATE AS OF FEBRUARY 2020: We have 2 workawayers staying with us from March to September so we will not have availability until October. Feel free to contact us if you are looking for a placement from October 2020 +
We (Fiona & Keith) are a married couple who are (well, mostly Fiona) working on improving a 90-year-old home in the heart of cool Carytown in Richmond, Virginia. So that Fiona can head off on humanitarian missions without worrying about repairs and maintenance on the house, we are looking for workawayers who will also enjoy the exchange. Our house is a lovely 2-story brick home built in the 1920s. We are looking for help with upgrades and improvements, and with the garden and yard. Fiona also needs help organizing and culling her stuff now that the kids have grown up and live on their own. Other tasks we need help with are general help around the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry and errands. We're kool with the 4-5 hour daily maximum, and whether you take the weekends off or a couple of weekdays would be up to you because I work 7 days a week and can adjust accordingly. We will not ask you to do anything you don't feel comfortable with or that you prefer not to do.
Fiona: I am a transplant from Australia and enjoy helping the local community or going on international humanitarian trips. I have traveled extensively and very much enjoy engaging with different cultures from all parts of the world, and revel in learning from them. I find I work more productively when someone else is around and enjoy being able to discuss ideas I have in mind for various projects—and I have LOTS of them—with others. (I am the ideas/pie-in-the-sky member of the family; Keith is our rock. So ... one of us has ideas that shoot for the stars and one who keeps the other one from flying too close to the sun.)
Keith: Keith is a local Richmonder who is an accountant. He enjoys playing golf and attending VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) basketball games. Keith appreciates the diverse individuals, backgrounds and cultural experiences Fiona brings to the mix.
We have two adult children who are independent and live on their own.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
You will be in the capital of the South and heart of Civil War and Revolutionary War territory—so a lot of RICH history, including battlefield sites not for the American Civil War and for the American War of Independence. Washington, DC, is 2 hours away and is a FANTASTIC city to visit. The Smithsonian Institute's exhibits are FREE to wander in and out of all day, every day. Historic Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg (the colonial capital until American independence when Washington, DC, was established as the fledgling nation's capital) are fascinating places to visit if you're into history. In Richmond, you will experience a cross section of "Northern" and "Southern" mentality and principles—something that is rare in most cities—along with a growing multi-cultural demographic. We are located in a "university town" with Virginia Commonwealth University a 25-minute walk away. Richmond is located on the banks of the James River, so there's tubing down the James, swimming spots, and "Rock City," a local hangout where people bask on the big rocks/boulders like lizards in the sun and who then cool off in the pools created when the river overflows its banks during high-water periods. In the winter, there are 2 ski resorts that are both about 2 hours away where they also have snow tubing. So if you don't ski or snowboard, you can always go snow tubing. For hikers/outdoor lovers, check out the famous Appalachian Trail that runs all the way from Maine to Georgia! We are only about 1.5 hours' drive from the Virginia section of the trail.
We live in Carytown, the hippest part of Richmond with some of the cool local restaurants and shops. There is a store that sells home-made ice cream immediately behind us, and a VERY cool movie theater built during the silent movie era that shows current movies for $4. We are just off of I-95, the major north-south interstate that runs from Maine to Florida. Richmond is also on I-64—an east-west interstate highway. Because of this intersection of 2 major federal highways and the historical significance of Richmond, it is a stop for interstate buses and trains. We are 2 hours south of Washington, DC; 1 hour from Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown (site of the first permanent English Colony in 1607); 1.5 hours from Thomas Jefferson's home Monticello, and the Jefferson Wine Trail; we are 2 hours from Virginia beach. Because we're centrally located, day trips are easy. The Greater Richmond metropolitan area has about a million residents. There are big city conveniences, but a small-town atmosphere—especially in Carytown!
FIONA SAYS: Ideally, you would be experienced—or at least comfortable—with using power tools. Still also looking for help with general household tasks (cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc.) if that's more to your liking. I also need help planning a solar system and water catchment configuration. We are happy to host those with massage and physical therapy experience. If you sew, I've got drapery fabric that's waiting to be made into curtains. We would be grateful for pretty much any kind of help in the full spectrum of items related to the upkeep and maintenance of a house. On top of that, I am more productive when I have someone to work with.
I have too many creative ideas for one lifetime, so that when I get called away due to a more important or urgent project, I often let the in-progress projects (minor repairs, prep for construction/improvements, sewing projects) settle into areas of the house. I'd love help with thinking projects through and then implementing them if it works out, and regular cleaning and organizing (it's not bad, but enough to be frustrating). I need help with manual labor for smaller construction projects. Cooking for us will be a HUGE help because after I've researched and worked on projects, I have little time or mental and physical energy left to even THINK about what's for dinner.
English (native), Spanish (fluent), Persian (conversational)
You will have a private bedroom with a small fridge, coffee maker, TV and fireplace. The bedroom is immediately next to the shared bathroom. There is a 1/2 bath (toilet/WC and sink) on the first floor. There's a washing machine and dryer conveniently located on the 2nd floor next to the shared bathroom which has a shower and a deep claw foot soaking tub. We have fast internet, streaming media and cable/optical fiber TV. Our home is heated and air conditioned. We are HALF a block away from a very cool retail neighborhood with quirky shops and local bus routes. We also have bicycles you can use to explore the area. We will include what you like to eat when we buy groceries so you won't go hungry if you can grab something to eat. I rarely cook these days so that could be one of your tasks. I always have plenty to drink and something on hand to snack on—fruit, veggies, drinks, popcorn, nutrition bars, tea, coffee, hot cocoa). In addition to providing sheets and towels, we have plenty of toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc.) so don't worry about bringing them with you if it makes traveling easier for you.
SO many interesting places to visit during your time off, several of which are within walking distance. Shops, restaurants and bars on the next street. Lots of outdoor parks. There are walking and bike trails within walking distance. We also have a spare bicycle or two you can use to get around the city. Ask us about anything you might have questions about.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4–5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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