Gardening, kids, dogs, and home with French and American science and literature lovers just outside Paris, France




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  • Description



    Welcome to The Cute House and the Sister House! We're a 5-member family of readers, animal lovers, and science fanatics with two horses, and three dogs in a little country house 60 km to the east of Paris. We've taken on a crazy house renovation project, combining two adjoining houses (built 40 years apart) into one house with an adjoining guest area. The guest area will often be used as a writer's retreat once the renovations are finished. As a fiction writer and journalist, I'm excited about hosting some retreats here in our beautiful village on the Canal de l'Ourcq that leads into Paris.

    The renovations on the Cute House are essentially finished. Those on the Sister House are more or less on hold, but with the help of previous Workawayers, we have made great progress!

    We happily received dozens of Workawayers between 2017 and 2019. Our former Workawayers are our family!!

    Now that the pandemic is more or less under control, we're reaching out to Workawayers again--in particular with regard to an exciting project in Fall 2022.

    Christa is a science journalist specializing in horse topics, and she's taking on an exciting new endeavor, traveling from northern France to northern Italy with her two horses for a documentary project.

    Thirteen-year-old Liam, though, will be missing his mother. And our dogs will want lots of company. Can you help?

    Our two oldest daughters will be away from home most of the time. Leslie is 23 and finishing up vet school in the south of France. Louisa is 18 and has just started out her vet school program in Paris's Latin Quarter, as of September 2022.

    Nicolas will continue to work at the Observatory of Paris, learning more about the stars and planets and solar system every day. :) He's eager to share what he knows with and offer exclusive visits to Workawayers!

    Here's what we're looking for:

    --People who love sensitive young teens.
    --Responsible drivers who can take a young teen to after-school programs like karate and rock climbing in a ***stick-shift*** car.
    --Dog-lovers who can keep our three pups happy. (PLEASE SEE NOTE BELOW ABOUT THESE "SPECIAL NEED" DOGS)
    --Cooks who like to try out new dishes for a dad and teen and any other workawayers. :)
    --Folks who like to CLEAN, organize, and/or garden.

    There *might* also be opportunities to do renovation work, since the Sister House is not yet finished. But it's not really priority right now.

    The priority at the moment is just keeping the house clean and organized, to be honest. It's hard for Nicolas to keep up with all the housework while Christa is gone. The other priorities are keeping Liam company and taking care of the dogs.

    Artists and musicians are especially welcome, as we enjoy guitar, keyboard, piano, and ukulele time in the evenings, and each of us has a form of visual art in the family.

    Depending on the tasks and the number of workawayers we have, we often take turns cooking evening meals. It's always fun to discover new tastes and dishes from around the world!

    We like to have a nice blend of workawayers, because that makes it more fun for everyone. :) We try to vary the nationalities so that workawayers can meet new people from around the world at The Cute House.

    We're happy to teach you what we know and learn what you have to teach us.

    We can offer you a beautiful room to stay in, in a peaceful home (no TV noise) that's a 40-minute train ride away from Paris. We live in the quiet outskirts of a cute village, where there are ample opportunities to discover the natural beauty of the area. We can also offer very interesting cultural discussions!

    Please note we are a bilingual French/American family. While we usually speak English at home, the main home language in Fall 2022 will be French because Christa and the older sisters will be gone. So Nicolas (who is French) and Liam will mostly speak French with each other. But they are both bilingual!

    Also, our home is under renovation and in a dusty area, so it's likely you'll be exposed to dust at some point. This workaway experience is not suitable to people with dust allergies or animal allergies.

    IMPORTANT NOTE about the dogs: All three of the dogs have some sort of trauma and have behavior consequences. Laika is terrified of everyone at first (but then becomes super sweet and cuddly). Love is actually fairly aggressive to newcomers but also becomes super sweet after a few hours. (She'll be on a muzzle when people first arrive.) Oslo the Weimaraner LOVES new people and CAN'T WAIT to meet you. But he has to stay behind a fence because he'll run into cars.

    We're very curious and enjoy meeting new people and hearing your stories!

    We'd love to hear from you!

    ***LAST MINUTE WORKAWAYERS*** We are looking for ONE workawayer ASAP. We have one already, but it's always more fun with two! It seems that there are a lot of workawayers traveling in duos, which is great! But we would like just one more workawayer who can stay starting early October or even in the last days of September, so please contact us if interested!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Babysitting and creative play
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We're in a beautiful village less than an hour away from Paris, France. You can learn about French culture and language, visit the sights of Paris, and talk science and especially astronomy and animal science for hours.... all while perfecting your homemaking skills!

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    Liam is a delightful boy who just need someone to pay attention to him and come up with creative activities for him while Mom travels and Dad works in Paris or at home.*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️Please note the car has a manual transmission, so it's important to specify if you can only drive an automatic!*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️

    Our oldest daughter is 23 and lives at her school in Toulouse during the school year. Our second daughters is 18 and is just starting an intense pre-vet program in Paris. They won't be home with us very often except for summer holidays, unfortunately! But when they're here, it's even more fun.

    Anyone who loves to cook and do grocery shopping is especially welcome! We'd love to have a cook. I can cook and teach you French, American Southern, and Tex-Mex cooking. But I like having days off from cooking, too.

    Because Christa will be gone, the guys (Nicolas and Liam) will need basic housekeeping help: cleaning and organizing.

    We can't wait to hear from you!

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    You can have a bedroom in our 1932 meuliere stone house or the 1967 "Sister House" with full access to the house and large garden with fruit trees and a vegetable garden, although the yard needs help! We usually have dinner together as one big family in the evenings.

    We frequently host more than one workawayer at a time--which can be fun for the volunteers, too, to get to know each other! Please let us know if you agree to a shared room (separate beds) with another volunteer of about the same age, or if you prefer to have your own room.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Work times and days are flexible, depending on our needs. So you can take some time to discover Paris or the Feline Conservation Park or even Disneyland, or follow the many hiking paths nearby or go on long bike rides to discover this pretty region along the Marne river. This is also a major WWI and WWII history site, and there are museums, monuments, and military cemeteries all around.

  • 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

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    20 hours/week

Host ref number: 667829834577