We are Cristi and Adriana, a couple in our 30s. Cristi is a former constructions engineer turned web developer and Adriana, among many other things, is a very good cook :) We are nice, well-traveled people, looking for alternative ways of living. One of the things that we learned from our travels is that we don't need much to be happy.
For the last two years we traveled and used WorkAway projects in Malaysia and Turkey. Now, that we are back home, we would like to build a small and cheap straw bale house in a village 5 km away from Bucharest, this time using WorkAway as hosts.
We want to make it clear from the beginning that we are looking for help, not for free workers. We are going to dig, build and paint together with you all the time.
Our initial plan was to organize the place by the and of April and by the end of May we should have had the foundation - frost protected shallow foundation. The next step is the wooden structure and the roof. At the end of June the wheat is harvested and we want to be ready to build the walls.
We are not professionals and there are already some delays in implementing our plan. We are still working to make things comfortable for volunteers and us while working on the project.
Current status of project:
- we have a shaded garden pavillion, on outdoors shower and an outhouse toilet
- we have started work on the house foundation
- updated: 17th of June
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
What we need?
We need people with experience in building with wood and straw bale. Though anyone willing to help and learn will be welcome.
People who want to learn together with us how to build a small straw bale house (we are learning at the same time as you, so we need you to be flexible). If you already have some experience we're definitely interested in your opinion.
People who understand that it will be a hard working job. We want to make sure that you understand what this project means for us. It is a dear project and it is an effort for us to make it come true.
People who can respect the schedule. As we mentioned before, we already used the WorkAway system and we know that some hosts actually expect more hours then they say in there profile. This will not be the case. Maybe we will need to work 8 hours one day, but we will make sure that you'll going to have your free time to enjoy the city and the nice pubs in the old city center.
We would much rather have people who can stay with us a minimum of 2 weeks.
What we offer?
The accommodation is very basic. Tents and a pavilion at the construction place (5 km away from city limits, 7 km away from the last metro stop - public buses available by day only). The area use to be a agricultural field now turning into a villa neighborhood so the are no big trees or natural shade. You will have to protect yourself from heat and sunburns. Still we love the place. We consider it a nice place were we usually spend time with family and friends. Cristi's father has a very small organic vegetable garden, young fruit trees and many beautiful flowers.
It's a little chilly by night in May, should be nice in June and hot in August.
We only have an outdoor toilet, a basic pavillion, a concrete garage and a well on the construction site right now. In the next 2 to 3 weeks we plan to organize the place. We also want to make a shed with a kitchen area. We have o bonfire place/grill, a gas stove and a hopefully a small fridge. We'll do our best to make your stay comfortable and pleasant, but you have to understand that you will live in a construction place/yard.
We can provide lunches - home-made traditional delicious food. For breakfast and diner you can have cheese, eggs and organic (very cheap) vegetables that you can buy from our neighbors. We welcome vegetarians also; fasting Romanian food is something that you're going to fall in love with.
We can provide the sheets, pillows and towels and we can do the laundry for you.
We can be your personal guides to Bucharest. We are both born and raised here and we know our city very well.
We can offer you information about the other places that you can visit in the country and if you want you can also stay for a few days in our countryside house, in a small Czech mountain village. It is quite far from Bucharest, close to the border with Serbia, but open to everyone who wants to visit.
We are very flexible in general so if this project sounds interesting for you, do contact us to discuss the details through messages/emails and also on Skype.
Since the village is a little outside the city limits, public transport is available, but not very well developed. Anyway, the city metro system is very good and the last station is 7 km away from the village. Hitchhiking is common. Maybe we can provide a bike for you.
The project is taking place in one of the villages 5 km away from the city (Comuna Berceni, Ilfov). Bucharest is a large and pretty crowded city and, even though we have night buses, going to pubs and clubs is a little difficult getting back. Especially when you need to get home outside the city limits. You need a taxi and if the taxi driver sees that you're a foreigner, it's possible he might try to overcharge you. The last metro station is 7 km away from the village, just before the city limits and the area is not the best for taking a walk as it is an industrial/out in the field/heavy traffic road. I am saying all of this because you probably know that Bucharest has an incredible night life I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy, but you have to know the small details that can ruin the fun. So unless you are willing to party until sunrise, better not party at all. We are not party people anymore but we can give you some tips.
What exactly we need you to do?
We expect 4-5 hours of work per day, free weekends. This includes help with digging the foundation of the house, and all the other difficult or fun parts of the project. If we need you to work more then 5 hours in one day, we will make sure that you take a day off in exchange. We are going to dig, build and paint together with you all the time.
Water the vegetable garden and help Cristi's father to maintain the garden clean and tidy when needed. In our part of land we started a small permaculture high-density food forest experiment.
Take care of the things that we have on the property. Is not much, but they have personal value for us.
We can accommodate 3-4 people at the same time, may be more if you are comfortable sleeping in tent. We'll do all our best to make your stay enjoyable and provide good sleeping conditions, but we should discuss in advance. If there will be many people in the same time, probably you will need to brig your own tent.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week