We're an easy going Flemish-American family living in a self-built wooden house on a quarter hectare of land. We have a small family business organizing scything and (green and dry) woodworking workshops. Peter works mostly from home for the business and Christina helps him and also works full-time for the Belgian Railroad.
We're involved in volunteering and social and transition initiatives in our region.
We try to live relatively simply: for example we usually eat mostly local-organic-non-industrial, we don't like plastic so generally avoid it and have mostly wooden and metal utensils and tools, we avoid electrical gadgets and generally try to use manual ones instead, we recuperate and fix things a lot, we try to limit the use of the car by hitchhiking and not being too persnickety if we're low on this or that, we have an all-purpose Rayburn wood stove for cooking and baking and heating water (which requires a little getting used to) in conjunction with our solar water-heater and radiators, we use only a compost toilet, we don't use a fridge (just our cool cellar), we do our dishes by hand (a lovely meditative activity for those who can appreciate it 🙂 ). At the same time, everything is relative: we have a quite comfortable and cozy (albeit it unfinished!) house with a washing machine, a shower and bathtub, as well as internet access, and a car. Oh the contrasts of neo-rurals!
It's rather safe to assume there's some inspiration from all the Flintstones we both watched as children. :D
We unschooled our children, who are now grown (92, 95, 99: that's when they were born of course, not their ages!) and (in and) out of the house!
We're rather down-to-Earth, but we do enjoy discussing ethics, philosophy, social issues, psychology, as well as many other subjects, whether ideological, practical... We're also fun-loving and easy going and fair give-and-take works well with us. 🙂
We have another Workaway project entitled "Help fix up an old house in Hotton in the lovely Province of Luxembourg!" so you have more options depending on your preferences. :)
If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you!
* Christina, from California
* Peter, from Antwerp
* Cole, a deep dude born in 92, who's studying philosophy at the University of Liège while living at home and who likes to question pretty much everything :D
* Elena, our sweet, gentle and very refined Spanish greyhound who doesn't bark, bite, drool, chew, impose herself or smell bad: practically prefect in every way! :D
And once in awhile (because they're studying abroad):
* Emile, a quiet, analytical and groovy dude born in 99, who plays his guitar and writes music as much as he finds time to, and studies music in Rotterdam
* Michelle, a wise and insightful young lady born in 95, who is very creative and loves making things and playing music, and studies theatre in London
Please note that we can only take in Workawayers who have their own means of transport (or who are a bit sportive and are happy to cycle nearly an hour each way to travel between our two projects on the work days, in which case cycling time would also count as work hours), and here's why. Since Cole is going to university while living at home, we keep the house quiet when he’s here so he can concentrate on studying, so we don’t have people over often. Workawayers can therefore stay in the 20m2 room in the back of the garden of the house in Hotton (our other project), and they need their own means of transport to come to our house to do most of the work hours here while Cole is at classes. The house in Hotton is a 15-minute drive from our house. The driving time will be counted in the hours of course, and we’ll count off some time as compensation for fuel, or pay to fill up the tank, as you prefer.
During this very busy period for our family business, we cannot spend much time with Workawayers and therefore need helpers who are quite happy to be on their own outside of work hours (and also often during).
We’re looking for Workawayers who would enjoy
- Cooking nice meals for all of us, as well as the dog's meals 🙂
- Washing dishes by hand
- Some cleaning
- Hanging clothes out to dry and taking them down and folding them
- Various other jobs around the house, inside and outside, and possibly for our business
- Some help with works on the project in Hotton (quite limited for the moment because the house is still drying from the floods)
- Some shopping
Based on Cole's current schedule, you could work full days on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and have 4 days a week free to travel, go on excursions, hikes, etc.
We have a lovely collection of board games you can borrow for fun and relaxing time in the evenings.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Opportunities to practice French, English or Dutch, and to learn a little about scything, woodworking, gardening, and various other things like making washing liquid with Marseille soap and living without lots of gadgets (which can be somewhat exotic if you're used to lots of modern conveniences!).
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
In exchange for food and stay, we ask for approximately 25 hours a week and we are totally flexible about the distribution of the hours, as long as you are ok with either working with us if needed, or alone if we're unavailable to work with you. We can always use help keeping up with everyday household chores (cooking, tidying up, light cleaning, etc.), as well as general maintenance of the house and the garden depending on the season (tidying up, trimming, organic gardening, etc.). Between the end of October and early March, depending on the weather, it's cold here and most of the work is cooking, dishes and cleaning. We always have a running list of jobs that need to be done beyond basic daily chores and Workawayers can choose what they feel most like doing. We feel it's important that people spend their time doing things they enjoy.
There is no minimum stay and we can only guarantee a stay of a few days at a time (starting with a 4-day maximum test period) depending on our current situation and activities, so it's best to have a possible alternate plan. If however we need lots of help in a given period, the stay could possibly be extended up to several weeks or more. Also, once you're here, if for whatever reason you choose to leave early, that's also fine. We like people to feel at home and relaxed with us.
Please indicate you've read our entire profile in your message.
We are not offended by last-minute cancellations, as long as you let us know.
Also, we take the time to answer all requests (sometimes with some delay if we're very busy). Please be so kind as to follow up on our answer so we are not left in suspense and can organize ourselves accordingly.
This host offers a language exchange
We speak English, French and Dutch.
A simple but cozy furnished 20m2 room at our other project (see explanations above)
Aside from some modern houses right around us, we live in a nice region with meadows and woods and there are lots of nice hiking trails within walking distance and in the area in general.
The train station is 6 km away, we have a car, and hitchhiking works. It doesn't take very long to get to cities by train (<1 hour to Liège, just over 2 hours to Brussels, a bit more to Antwerp or Ghent and around 3 hours to the North Sea coast). Tip for taking the train cheaply in Belgium if you're under 26: get a Youth ticket for only 6.60€, you have a one-way ticket anywhere in the country! If you're 26 or over, we can advise you depending on your train travel plans within the country.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Basic wifi connection
This host can provide space for campervans.
Check with us, as it depends on the particulars of the individual stay.
More than two
Approximately 25 hours a week (we are totally flexible about the distribution of the hours), in line with Workaway guidelines: see Information for Hosts