*we still need to update the profile reflecting the fact that we moved to a house in the Sacred Valley *
hello everyone! We are a family of four - with our two sweet girls (5yrs & 2.5yr) Mila and Quetzalli. While we come from the States (her) and Austria (him) we have lived in Perú now for almost seven years and are going strong. Our home is an open tale - continually growing and learning, mostly from all the lessons that the girls offer, daily. We have been active hosts (on the other websites) for the last 5 years (with a break here for the Coronas during 2020) and have grown to absolutely love that aspect of our life here. Offering our home to new folks, travelling spirits, and more ideas and stories, inspires us as parents and has made a profound mark on the growth of our eldest child (the little one is a little too little still). The amount of experience and wonder to which Mila has been introduced really does inspire us, as her parents, to keep alive the organic spirit of opening our home, sharing our meals, and inviting people into our hearts.
christian and I (steph) really love to engage in good conversation from anything in politics (especially!) to travel stories (we both were once wanderers!) or home traditions and recipes to the last good movie or concert you saw. We really felt, over the past few years of constant couchsurfers, how our home simply lit up with personalities and how it repainted our take on the day to day canvas - which has a tendency to become a bit too routine, perhaps.
some specs on how we live and who we are:
we have two new kittens - Apu and Hoja. they're cute cute cute!
we wake up early (05hr-05h30) and typically go to bed by 21hr. - but this is totally subject to change!
we speak fluent English, German, and Spanish... steph veut practiquer et reprendre son French !!!
we are non-smokers
we are usually happy to have a drink
we are intentional about our eating - working really hard to become a 100% vegetarian family, we have cut out some specific ingredients to be more conscientious consumers, and we really enjoy meal time as a space where the family can truly come together and share in cooking, serving, helping, talking about our days our gratitude and our ideas.
we are also working hard hard hard to become greener and greener as time comes and goes - all the little ideas we come up with, we tend to try and adopt as habit
also... we had a wonderful experience with a gal who stayed 2 months with us, and this was really an incredible time, if anyone out there is interested in spending a longer period of time with helping in mind, and kicking back in the Andes Mountains..... we are open to this idea - of course if it feels right between everyone.
Here in Calca (Sacred Valley), we have a variety of projects bubbling up in our existence:
1) Soon, we will break ground and begin work on building our new (adobe) home! It is a ten minute walk from where we live now, and Christian will likely be on site the majority of the time.
2) Since the girls haven't had any sort of chance to be with other schoolmates for the past year+ our big efforts right now are trying to gather a small group of friends together and offering space for some kids (ages: quetzalli -- 5 or 6) to come together and hang out, create, run, play, maybe even focusing on garden work etc.... it's still a very rough draft of an idea, but it could turn into something really really lovely.
3) In general, since Christian and I have been with the girls all throughout the quarantine a little bit of breathing room feels kinda necessary right now. I have a variety of projects I am starting to get kicked into gear and they need a lot more space than they are getting right now.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
The cultures and languages and ideas that are mixed in just our flat is enough to promise someone a weekend of learning! But, even on top of just our own cultures - where we both come from - seeing what that looks like when it is transplanted to a third country and culture - and furthermore, how it looks to raise children in that dynamic, is a rainbow of adventures! For instance, our toddler understands three languages perfectly - but almost strictly uses Spanish as her form of communication - it's cute, it's sweet, but both sets of grandparents would definitely have another opinion ;)
Besides what happens just inside our walls, we live in a neighborhood that is very alive with old culture of Lima, through architecture and stories as well as a new layer painted on via the art scene, writers, and musicians who continue to move to this area - full of galleries, cafes, museums, and outside opportunities to see it all - especially in the summertime.
And, at just a stone's throw away from our place, the city of Lima has a lot to offer for history enthusiasts (ruins and museums), civil rights/women's rights interests (LUM), surfers, foodies, or just good ol' Latin American adventures.
We will be getting into summer break (mid january2020 - march2020) here in the southern hemisphere and we wanted our daughters to have something of a different experience for their summer break (from preschool). We made this amazing decision to do WorkAway for the first time last summer(jan2020) and LOVED our experience. We still talk about the prints these folks left on our lives (how to cook potatoes like Dominique!) and even visited our dear dear Annika in our last trip to Austria! it was really an experience that positively affected not only our family, but also our closest friends here in our community.
Helping us would be with both girls in the morning hours (it gets too hot here by midday to be outside).
Essentially - and each day can/will change some and we are super open to ideas and change and growth - the idea is that you help us for 3 - 4 hours in the morning with the girls, outside of the house. After eating breakfast in the morning (something before 08hr) the idea would be to head to the park with them - and their stuff (blanket, futbol, etc). We live just a block from a big park, two blocks from a bigger park and a playground with geese. Or, as we live along the boardwalk of Barranco, even just walking or taking the bike out and ending up at a small park along there is also an option.
Babysitting - pretty much that. We are open to both couples as well as individuals, we just ask that you know thy own self well enough to know if you can hang with the both of them at a park without going crazy (they are well behaved little ones, and the oldest is mostly an awesome big sister.... mostly.) We are very open to small families - while the stay would be tight, having other kids here is absolutely an option. And, we would really prefer that the girls hear as much German or English in this time, so we will be looking for native speakers in those two languages. If this profile fits you, or interests you - this could be great! When it comes to stuff around the house, our expectations are simply that you become part of the family and part of the home and help around where you see there may be a hand: in picking up extra toys, clearing the dishes from the table, washing the dishes after dinner, etc... just things that everyone does in a home to help take care of the basics.
Of course, you will be taking care of our babies - so other expectations definitely involve not going out all night long during the week and displaying a certain level of common sense, respect, and that you have some experience already with taking care of children - either your own, or someone else's.
edited a year later: our sweet, sweet 3 yr old is now going to be 4 in January and has grown in a lot of ways. She remains a soft soul, empathetic and connected, and at the same time strong willed, determined, and creative and seeking her freedom and individuality - already! who wants to wait until the teenage years for that!? :) anyhow, this note is just an ad for the strong of heart and those of you who have had real experience with children in the past. Be it having taught them, worked with them in some capacity, or having your own... as our toddler is definitely in a real place of growth and change. here at home we practice a respectful and conscientious parenting pattern giving them space to create and to feel, but also drawing some limits - though i admit, our limits are wider than what our parents would consider "limited" but we have conscientiously chosen this and have worked hard to give our children their own space to grow and learn and stumble and talk about it and then learn again... it has been in this practice that we ourselves have learned and learned and learned to grow and stumble and grow some more, even as 40 yr olds. the folks who will best fit in this role with us, will be people of patience, love, creativity, and a working knowledge of those toddler years, plus some extra patience and love. ;)
our flat has all of our living space (sleeping, eating, etc) up front with a looong hallway that goes to one back room and an extra bathroom - that would be yours. That room has a bed that would comfortably fit two people and we have some extra space for clothes. If you are a family we also have an extra mattress we could put back there for you.
The rest of the place is open to everyone. We have a small terrace out the front of our flat with a table - during the summer we dry our clothes outside, and have lots of plants/herbs. The living room and dining area and kitchen are all open spaces and apply to everyone.
We see food like this:
we are more than happy to provide breakfast for everyone. We also sit down and eat a full breakfast together in the morning - you are welcome to that. Or, you could have free range of the kitchen to create your own breakfast - oatmeal instead of eggs, eggs instead of yogurt&granola, etc. Lunch we also have every day sitting together, and you can either choose to be around and hang out with us or to be gone. We're also happy to share meal prep and really enjoy having folks eat with us or share their own recipes. But, we want you to feel free to stay and eat or leave and find your own thing.
We usually have a stash of alcohol, chocolate, cheese, nuts in the house that are all on the pricey side here in Perú. While we are happy to share those things - they aren't really up for grabs whenever you fancy a cocktail or stashing away trail mix for the next 15 hour bus ride. But, in general, we are super generous and want folks to feel at home - as long as the energies are shared and respected - it can be really amicable and symbiotic staying with us!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week