My husband and I are a British couple in our 70’s, living in a remote spot in Sri Lanka’s beautiful mountains near Ella. We have a small band of locals like an extended family, helping us to run a guest house - a total of 8 rooms in 4 different buildings - in our 102 acre private nature reserve, much of which is rock and jungle. We have 4 labourers/domestic staff and 2 consultants: one for technical issues and the other for administration. We also have some retirees doing small jobs like sweeping etc.
We are great nature lovers and are trying to preserve one of the most beautiful spots on earth from becoming spoiled by over development, while at the same time encouraging responsible tourists to visit in small numbers at a time and enjoy the beauty of wild nature.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
As a tourist, you are ferried from one famous site to another and often learn little about the local way of life. Our small number of workers are local village people, mostly not highly educated. although often better at living in the jungle than so called sophisticated people. Our Workaways could gain insight into the completely different ways of life here and how events like birth, coming of age, marriage and death have a greater significance than they do for many Western families. It is also fascinating to find out how the young people are embracing the IT world and how it is changing some traditional practices. Those interested in alternative medicine can also learn from our workers - as we do - how to treat minor ailments with herbal remedies.
The jungle continually tries to take us over, so we could really benefit from a couple of enthusiastic extra pairs of hands to help keep things under control! Our Workaways should be strong and healthy and not averse to hard work! Their benefits would be staying in an incredibly beautiful landscape and learning about local culture and customs - and also, we have excellent cooks who prepare a variety of local and international dishes under my personal supervision as an enthusiastic cook! Ideally we would like people with experience in landscaping/gardening, as much of the work would be maintaining and beautifying jungle paths and planting/caring for new and existing garden areas. Also, experience of working with water conservation would be most useful. Anybody with experience in building bricklaying, plastering etc. would be very helpful. Also knowledge of plumbing would be excellent.
It is really important that Workaways who want to come here should have some qualifications and/or proven practical experience in the fields we need. We already know some enthusiastic local amateurs!
Obviously we would not expect female Workaways to do really “hard labour” as some Sri Lankan women do, but there are many regular tasks needed, such as removing and preventing persistent small ant trails in and around buildings (a hazard of country life!) and checking that all amenities in our 4 guest buildings are functioning well, including helping with repairs if necessary. We do not use any chemicals inside or on the land, so any practical experience of organic gardening and pest control would be welcomed. Although much of the work would be outside, excessively rainy periods could be used for jobs under shelter, such as making cement plant pots and preparing organic pest sprays.
We are not a place for Workaways who love parties with loud music - the only “night life” here is deer, wild boar and porcupines! However, we are definitely a place for those who love to be immersed in wild nature and see stunning birds and butterflies regularly! There are plenty of wild animals around and if you’re extremely lucky, you may even see a leopard in the distance - no promises!
Workaways would be housed in one of our standard guest rooms with en suite toilet and shower - depending on guests, it might not always be the same room. We are happy to take on either single Workaways or couples. If 2 unrelated Workaways were with us at the same time, they would have to share a room with single beds. Meals would be provided, sometimes in our bungalow (where the standard rooms are) and sometimes in our rooftop dining room with spectacular views. The venue would depend on how busy our cooks were and how many guests were in residence.
We are a strictly non smoking establishment and all drugs are prohibited. We don’t have a licence to serve alcohol, so if Workaways want beer and wine, they would have to buy it themselves and keep the receipts available in case there was a spot check by the Customs and Excise Department. No alcohol is permitted during working times, as this would set a bad example for our local workers.
In return for your hard work, we will do our best to make you feel part of our small community. There are a limited number local buses per day to take you to the nearest shopping centre about 30 minutes by road. There are also tuc tucs: 3 wheel taxis.We usually go to town twice a week and might sometimes be able to give you a lift in our van if times were suitable. We can give advice on nearby tourist sites or any other aspect of local life that might interest you for your free time.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week