This year, we will be hosting Workawayers in July and the second half of August. Please don't contact us for other dates.
We have an old farmhouse in the countryside, 35 kms South of Toulouse, between Toulouse and the Pyrenees.
We're a split-up family of five and no-one is actually left living here full time. We take turns taking care of the house and fill it with friends and helpers while we're here. A break-up is the end of a chapter, not the end of the story. :)
I'm Patricia (52), French-German, freelance translator, I like to travel, to sing, to read and to spend evenings with lots of people around a big table.
My kids are 26, 23 and 22, they all live in Toulouse but only the eldest will be around over the summer.
We have a "gîte" (a "cottage"), which is rented out by the week and needs to be maintained. We are also maintaining the "big house" and can always use a hand. There is also lots of work in the garden, weeding and mowing mostly.
My main languages are French and German, but I'm also fluent in English.
The house is 4 kms from the town (10.000 inhabitants) and the railway station, you can borrow a bicycle or get a ride when someone drives into town.
I have travelled extensively and lived in Germany, France and Scotland. As a family we spent two years living in Dakar (Senegal).
We have three cats (Hutch, 18 years old, Arya & Shaolin, 5 years old) and several regular visitors with dogs.
We smoke, so we do of course accept smokers. But we don't want you to smoke in the bedrooms and not indoors at all during summer.
We'd rather not accept families with babies or toddlers, because our house is not adapted to accommodate young children, but we have no problem with hosting couples, groups of friends, families with older kids, cats, dogs (as long as they leave the cats alone), horses... We also have lots of space for camper-vans or tents, if you travel with those.
For us, Workaway is a cultural exchange above all. We are interested in getting to know you and we'll help you discover our area, take you with us when we go somewhere, help you arrange day-trips etc.
Things you should definitely know:
You can take the train into Toulouse and you can stay at our daughter's flatshare if you want to go out in the evening and spend the night there.
If you have your own car, you can have great day-trips in the area. You can also have day-trips by train (Albi, Carcassonne...), which I can help organise.
You are very welcome to spend your free days here and we will of course provide the food, spend some time with you and take you places if we're going somewhere!
We are not a traditional French family. We don't have 3-course meals twice a day and we're anything but "chic"... (Also we made our first workawayer eat horsemeat tartare :) - but he wanted to!)
I'll drive you to the station or into town and pick you up and I will do my best to try and speak French with you during the day if that's what you want. We can talk about French and world politics and economics and culture, I can explain (and diss!) the French school system, we can recommend French music and you will meet the people passing through our house...
Here are our current projects:
Summer (mid-June to early September):
You'll have to keep the swimming-pool clean, and open and close it every day (20-30 minutes total/day).
Garden work will mostly be weeding.
Help with cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing (you'll learn!)...
Please expect an average of 4 to 5 hours help for each volunteering day (5 days/week), outdoors and/or indoors, according to weather conditions of course. We are flexible with hours, if you want to go on trips over 2 or 3 days from here.
Help with setting and clearing the table, doing the dishes etc. is expected.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
I think you'd best read our feedback for this one. :)
You'll learn some French, that's for sure. You'll also learn some French cooking.
You might learn how to ride a lawnmower, you'll probably learn how to iron sheets...
We take our Workawayers to wherever we're going, which means: village fairs and concerts around the area, dinner invitations or parties we're invited to, day-trips, shopping... We will help arrange day-trips to Toulouse, Carcassonne, Albi, the Pyrenees etc. if you want, and we will try to also put you in touch with French people your age with similar interests.
Basically, we are interested in you, your life, your country and your culture and we expect you to be interested in ours.
According to what you know to do and how long you want to stay, we can provide tasks in gardening, cooking and/or house-cleaning. Weeding is a must in the summer. We don't expect lots of hours - lending a hand or completing a project in a given time is fine.
You can stay a few days or a couple of weeks, but experience has shown that 3 weeks is a maximum for us.
French, German, English, a little Italian (I'd love to get to practice that!) and very little Dutch
This is an old farm-house in the country. If you're alone, you will have a bedroom to yourself. If you're a couple, you will have a room with a double bed. If there are two or three or more of you, we'll have to talk about it. :) In any case, the bathroom is shared with our family.
There's Internet access in most of the house. We smoke in the house, but we don't allow smoking in the bedrooms, only in the living-room (and not indoors at all in summer). :)
Breakfast and lunch are on a help-yourself basis - I just munch on something while sitting at the computer. But there often are friends around to share lunch with. The fridge is at your disposal and is filled regularly.
I usually cook dinner every night. But if you like to cook, I will be happy to let you take over the kitchen, as part of your Workaway hours or not, as you prefer.
We eat meat and some fish but we can "handle" vegetarians - our son Adrien was a vegetarian for a long time.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
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