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My name is Rainer and I am a well-known german writer (in the early fifties) of novels, travel-literature and short stories. In 2003 I came to Flores the first time as a travel-writer and did some stories for several newspapers and magazines about the Azores. Flores is magic and very special – still "off the beaten track" and very authentic. I felt in love with the island in the moment I saw its steep cliffs and lush green emerging from the horizon. I arrived on one of the regular ferries which connect the Acores islands during summer. My first impression was: This looks like the Marquesas and I thought wow! a South Pacific Island in Europa (even on it's most western edge). I have travelled in the South Pacific for one year and wrote a book about it. Had always and still have a passion for islands. As I left Flores after seven weeks I knew that I would come back soon.
Which I did: Some years later I made Flores to my writing-place. I spent many winters on the west-coast of the island in Faja Grande, doing "cat-sitting" and wrote three of my novels there. The island is perfect for writing! It's perfect for making every kind of art – for being creative.
Since 2016 I am a resident. In Faja Grande I bought a huge and beautiful piece of land (around 5000 qm), which builds up behind the village – divided into terraces – like an ocean wave with stunning views over the Atlantic and to the steep cliffs with its lush green and the many waterfalls – the complete grande panorama of the most western village of Europe, Faja Grande.
My place – the former owner used it as a pasture for his cows – becomes more and more a beautiful seaside garden. My writing and living space is also home to creative workshops (myself I offer two Creative Writing events per year and I am open for other artists and their workshops too) and cultural events – readings, concerts, exhibitions, etc. For more than two years a monthly (every first sunday) jamsession with local musicans & guests takes place. The idea is that my writing and living space – from where you can see the most western point of Europe: Monchique – becomes a meeting-place, refuge (with studios and camping-possibilities) and co-working space for artists and travellers on Europe's most western island. And this started already... Many things happen here in my writing and living space on this magical island in the middle of the Atlantic – and you can be part of the story!!!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Computers/ Internet
This is a place to be creative. A place to "ground" yourself in a way, a place for well-being and a place to be and to live in the moment – what we should do all the time, don't we!?
My minimalistic, "off grid" and near to nature and ocean lifestyle in my writing and living space teaches you: Less is more. It is a good and very interesting experience when you suddenly realize that you don't need all the things you are normally used too.
As I am a well-known artist myself – being a writer is my main occupation but I am also a journalist, photographer, creative writing teacher and musician – there can be an interesting exchange between us. Especially if you work, just got started or want to work as an artist yourself or just have an interest about it.
What I am not interested and what is pretty boring for me are these kind of "wannabe artists" – people who can tell you the whole day how fantastic they are and how fantastic their creative ideas and projects (which they never make) are. I am a professional artist and too long in this "business" already to listen to these kind of stories. So let's make it simple and bring it to the point: An artist is not someone who thinks it is cool to be an artist. An artist makes art. Art is work. Hard work. A passion, a way of life, a journey. If you agree to that we will have a great time together :-)
If I have one of my Hike & Write Tours or a Creative Writing afternoons you are welcome to join. You can also join the cultural events too (like the monthly jamsessions) and meet there other interesting people from the island or visitors.
Together with a friend we have a project exploring old and forgotten paths on Flores. Workawayers who are interested can join. These hikes – mostly every sunday – bring you to places and spots on the island no tourist will ever see and it is a very special experience. To get lost sometimes somewhere in the "jungle" too :-)
Workawayers can also be part of private gatherings and events around the island, as they happen. So as long as you are here you will be part of the "family" if you want. I am also a good source for any information about Flores: History, daily life, activities, people, politics, gossip, etc.
I look for people who want to be part of the story of this place. That means people who appreciate its unique setting, its magic, its tranquility and very special power. And also the minimalistic and "off grid" lifestyle here which means you have to get off your comfort zone a bit. For people who are not open for that and don't want to experience this and only look for a place to stay my writing and living space on Flores is not the right place.
There is always help needed in the garden: Cleaning, planting, weeding, harvesting. Also landscaping: Build little walls, plattforms and wooden constructions to structure some hills and the borders of my land. I look also for workawayers who are good with wood and can build small greenhouses and coldframes for growing and having fresh vegetable during the whole year. Eating well is always a big thing here so it is always very nice to have creative chefs in the kitchen. Creative and practical help is also needed to tell the story (fotos, films, social-media, etc.) create PR and a kind of Marketing for myself and my place. Of course it would be great too (but it is not a must!) if you are a creative person yourself, maybe play an instrument to be part of the jamsessions, or write, paint, dance, make music, fotos, films, sculptures or what ever...
Important for me is that you can work at my place independently and really have an idea what you are doing. Whether you have already some experience or you are open to learn by doing. Of course I help and will show and teach you in the beginning what I know. But I look for people who can then work here on their own for a couple of hours in the morning and give me the chance and the space to work on my novels and write some pages during this time. As I am a writer who is in the market and busy working and publishing this is very important for me and a big help!!
I have a new built wooden shelter (for one or two persons) surrounded by some banana-plants on a lower terrace in the garden with seaview and privacy. In normal weather conditions (from spring to autumn) you can just put your sleeping bag in there. During bad conditions (winter) I have a little tent you can put up in there. Optional you can also bring your own tent and find your favourite spot in the garden! There is a small building with a (dry) toilet – the most western compost toilet of Europe! A (mostly hot) shower and a small but well equipped kitchen is located in the "Studio" where I live. There is a unique and comfortable "Espaco Criativo" and some other little terraces, spots and hammocks in the garden to use and to be and enjoy . There is electricity (solar), water too and internet-access. Meals are offered – during the summer with a lot of fresh stuff from the garden. Dinners come with great sunsets!
Faja Grande is located on the wild and stunning west coast of Flores and it is of course – you will know it already – the place to be on this island!! :-) The village (about 100 people) has two shops, some restaurants, some houses to rent out for tourists (not so many), one or two guesthouses and no hotel (yet). From here you can do great hiking. You can take a swim in the ocean or in the pools of waterfalls. There are buses (not many) which bring you to Santa Cruz (the main town of Flores where the airport is) and Lajes (there is the harbour & some good supermarkets too). Faja Grande has a nice camping-ground (free of charge!) too with hot showers. In Faja Grande and around the island are some other places who have helpers and volonteers too. We all know each other and have contact – Flores has a very lively communitiy with locals & expats...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
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Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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