Help us create a community space out of an old ruin and overgrown park in Drahnsdorf, Germany



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    within 3 days


 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    I’m Amanda, a Thai-American (36) originally from California, and my husband, Daniel (35), is German. We met in Bolivia, where I created a women’s economic development project and social enterprise. It consisted of a hostel and community center and cafe that brought locals and foreigners together, as well as an entrepreneurial training space for local women.

    We’re currently working on bringing an old ruin of a country manor house back to life near Berlin to one day become another community space for things like summer camps for foster kids, live music and theater, artist residencies, etc. That’s many many years away given the state of the things now.

    It’s about 11,000sqm of truly magical, but mostly overgrown garden, parkland, and forest and about 300sqm x 2 floors of abandoned ruin. The structural stuff is in progress, but there’s so much little stuff to do that always takes more time. The garden is overgrown and needs care, the sheds need to be emptied, the old stage needs to be cleaned up, there’s a little hut on the corner that could use some love.

    We have wonderful neighbors and garden club friends, mostly from Berlin who are so friendly and helpful and we can also always practice German, if that’s preferred.

    There’s some shared living space and all the basics needed for comfortable enough living. Close by there is a train station with a direct train to Berlin as well as a small town with a Rewe and a Penny, as well as a few restaurants. There are also adorable little towns with artisan shops and homemade breads and organic cheeses, etc. for the foodies. It’s a wonderful area to bike around with all the rivers and woods everywhere and the famous Spreewald is only 20 minutes away by car. Spreewald kayaking and pickles are the best. Plus, everyone is very friendly and it’s culturally quite different, even ethnically, from the typical former East German areas.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Learning and practicing English and/or German. Exploring the culture of Spreewald and typical country life in Germany. Chatting with our friendly neighbors can really teach you a lot about real life in Germany. Daniel and I have both traveled extensively around the world, so we can always give ideas and tips. When I have time to cook, I cook international foods. Berlin is only about an hour train ride away for an easy day trip or weekend trip for people who want to explore the city. For those who like to stay in nature, there’s so much in the area to explore, including an artisan glass-blowing village or local factories and farms that give tours.

  • Help


    General handymxn help would be amazing. Restoring old wooden doors and windows, tiling floors and walls, working with drywall, fixing old furniture, etc.

    The garden has an overgrown stinging nettle problem that needs to be managed, there’s branches everywhere from a decade of neglect, making living hedges would be excellent, planting or maintaining the existing plant life there, maybe reviving an old pond, trimming trees, burning old wood, etc.

    For those who are artistically inclined, it would be lovely to have murals on the sheds or to generally paint the sheds a bit to bring some cheer. And for those who can cook, we could certainly have someone be in charge of this, should we be a larger group.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    Thai: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    Happy to teach and/or practice a bit of English, German, Spanish, or Thai!

  • Accommodation


    Very large shared room with shared bathroom. All rooms have great natural light. If we get the attic floor in soon, there could be an option for private rooms as well. There’s a basic kitchen and a functional bathroom, but it’s still a ruin really.

    There’s also WiFi, a cuddly dog, and 4 awkward Cameroonian and Barbadian sheep.

    In terms of food, I can either prepare the main meals or you can help with that. It’s pretty flexible. There would be at least one big hot meal a day.

    I am allergic to cigarette smoke, so non-smokers are preferred!

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We really can’t manage people with emotional regulation issues or people who have many particular needs or are very new to the practicalities of the real world. It would be ideal to have someone who is responsible, competent, easygoing, communicative, mature, curious, proactive, and a self-starter that can see that something needs to be done and doesn’t have a problem just starting it. It can be overwhelming to think of such a project and all it requires, but it just takes a determined and diligent chipping away at the tasks to keep it all from getting daunting. There’s so much to do and there’s so much good energy there. We would love to have someone who can feel that and wants to be part of this story of finding something that was neglected and abandoned and contributing our knowledge and experience to leaving it better than we found it.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We share our garden with friends in yurts, mini trailers, and vans on the weekend. There’s a compost toilet in the garden and a camper shower and provisional sink as well for those looking to sleep in a camper van in the middle of nature!

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We love dogs, but are allergic to cats. Depending on if it’s indoors or outdoors, we can discuss!

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 599573749334