THE PROJECT: I have more yard and house work than I can manage alone. I could use some help while showing ecologic systems I developed over years in part based on permaculture. This place is beautiful and I'd like to share its peace and serenity with you.
THE PROPERTY: This is a large private residence, most of which is landscaped yard. The house is constructed of earth material known as adobe. It is oriented in a position to maximize solar energy for heating water.
We live on the outskirts of a small town, in a subdivision fringing between urban and rural lands. One neighbor grazes his milk cows behind our house in a pasture. Because of the size of our town, the center can be reached by bicycle in 20 minutes. There is a good sized ornimental fish pond (a good place to meditate), a greenhouse for our organics and a detached recreation area with an outdoor kitchen and a large bathing pool. The entire yard and structures were designed and constructed based on ecological principles.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Brazilians and all foreign travelers. Qualquer duvida, pode me comunicar.
WEATHER: Much more pleasant than Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. On the warmest of summer/winter days the temperature is rarely not more than 30 degrees C. And on the coldest of winter mornings, 8 degrees C. All in all, the weather is generally very pleasant in which to work and live.
ANTICIPATED NOTICE: Generally at least one week, but you can try otherwise.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN ANY ONE VISIT: Two individuals, a single person or a couple.
TIME OF VISIT: All year, with certain dates blocked out.
WORK DOCUMENTS: Not necessary as this is a private, non-commercial arrangement.
DURATION OF ANY ONE VISIT: Generally one week. If there is a need at the house (usually there is) and you like the visit, there is a possibility for an extended stay. We are not looking for long term arrangements.
TASKS: My intention is to work side by side with you. Each day there are different things to do. We will work in the greenhouse, care for the yard and/or do maintenance (like painting) on the house. Sometimes we will make homemade pickles, saurcraut or carrot juice, and visit the municipal market where we will supplement food for our meals. I like my time at home so much that sometimes I don’t go into town for days.
COMPENSATION FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION: At least two full prepared meals during working days (5 days a week) - breakfast and lunch. If we go out on weekends, you would pay your part at a restaurant. We are not vegetarians per se, but your meals can be. If you have interest, you also may have a say in preparation of the food. You will have your own private room and bathroom, one that could be shared with a travelling companion if that is the case. In some rare cases when we need the room for our friends or family, we may alternatively offer a 3-man tent set up in the yard.
There are also recreational activities which mostly during the weekend could be hiking to waterfalls and/or camping, not to mention that we live in a historic region and visits to ours and other nearby towns can be interesting. Most likely during the week you could accompany me into town and stay on your own (if you like) to try your skills communicating with locals and seeing how they live. There is also a spring-fed community swimming pool nearby for lap swimming. At the house there is a heated bathing pool to refresh in, and you can go off alone to be in the yard or your room. We have wifi, but please don’t isolate yourself using it.
HOSTS' BACKGROUND : My wife is a speech therapist and for many years owned and operated a small bed and breakfast in the nearby historic town before I met her. I am a retired environmental geologist who moved here to introduce organic waste recycling using community gardens for it application. Since that experience we bought our land to build an ecological house and raise organic fruits and vegetables for a small box scheme. That lasted a few years before I turned to landscaping the property, trying to utilize environmentally friendly techniques. To this day I manage all our wastes including sewage. Because of my hands on experience with adobe blocks in New Mexico, I was able to fabricate thousands of adobes and build our house and surrounding walls. Since, I was invited to give a short course at the architecture school of our local university on the subject of bio-construction. I am the principle gardner at home, and from time to time hire local talent to give me a hand. My work is very diverse and for that reason, I loosely call myself a domestic engineer. Included in my resume are food preservation and gastronomy.
HOUSE RULES: Use good sense. Please don't loose this experience spending excessive time on the internet.
AND: Oh yes, we have a very well behaved boxer dog.
DIY and building projects
Travellers can have eye-opening experiences that only off "The road most travelled" can offer. Those that escape mainstream tourism can have unique opportunities living among locals, and learning what they won't find travelling with new friends they met in a hostel . They won't have to pay for touristic activities when non-touristic ones can be more satisfying and gradifying. At the same time they can find a routine that long term travel does not normally have and the traveler can economize, affording more time on their overall travels.
Work consists of primarily gardening, home maintence and possibly bioconstruction. Tasks vary and no previously related experience is necessary - though welcomed. Most important are a positive attitude to work, share and learn, as well as a physical condition to do the work. Workdays start at 7 am, with breakfast at 6. This is our routine and its always fresher weather in the morning on a sunny day. Besides the work will end earlier when started earlier. Still there can be some flexibity. Overall, the help/compensation trade is intended to be a fair reciprocation.
You can stay in a private room in our family house with hot shower except when needing to relocate to a 3 man tent mounted in our yard. Food would include a minimum of 2 nutritious meals during work days and shared costs when eating out on the weekend. We are not vegetarian, but you can be. We try to eat light foods. Breakfast is essential. Lunch is our main meal. Dinner for us is very light. Most Brazilians live that way.
After help hours you can relax, enjoy the heated bathing pool, meditate or reflect on your experiences while sitting by the pond , ride a bicycle to the town center (15-20 minutes away), take a bus, go to a nearby spring fed swiming pool to swim laps, or read a book lying in a hammock enjoying the beauty of our space.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours Monday through Friday. Work is generally light.