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Hello from Provence! My 11 year old son and I, we live in a charming old townhouse in a beautiful hilltop village in the South of France. We also have a very talkative cat Krakette.
We are very international in our family. I was born and raised in Russia, I spent several years in Los Angeles, my son was born in London, and then we came to live in the South of France.
My son and I speak English, French and Russian.
The downside of being so international is that the families are away, and I find myself alone with my son during a week.
Other then being a single parent most of the time , I just started working in a hotel, I run a small business renting the studio apartment on the ground floor of the house to tourists, and I am working on music projects. I love black, acoustic and folklore music, and I sing in a band.
I love people, communication, exchange, singing, dancing and yoga.
We are not vegetarian and we eat fish, however we don't have meat in the house, and most of our everyday meals are vegetarian.
My son Maxim is used to switch between the 3 languages, he is curious pretty much about everything - from the way the body works to building a space shuttle. He may be a little bit bossy (we work on that! :)) but the positive side of it is that your mistakes in French will be scrutinised and hopefully it will help you to speak a better French or to learn it if this is one of your objectives. A bit hyperactive, diagnosed also as a"gifted", Maxim needs to be challenged physically and intellectually, so I may use extra hands/ feet and head to do it.
We are friendly and funny (so people say), so there is no way to get bored around us. I am a very calm, open and laid-back person, however I tend to be hectic in my everyday routine, I am not very well organised yet responsible person. I may find my mobile phone in the fridge at times but don't worry I will not forget to meet you at the airport.
Even though it may not seem to be as meaningful as helping to build children’s orphanage (workaway proposes some amazing experiences!) my family will greatly appreciate your help. The workawayers help so far allowed me to pursue my dream : I just have had the first concert with my new band thanks to the free evenings. I can say that I manage my chronical fatigue much better now with much less “down time’ then before the workaway help as I feel physically and emotionally supported. I even started practicing sport knowing that there is someone who “has my back” and on whom I may rely to take care of Maxim while I swing those boxing gloves. I have also noticed that my son on whose socialising skills I had to work a lot in the past has now become much more social and articulate thanks to workaway.
I learned a great deal from people we hosted, and so did my son. Each time we are discovering another person's world without leaving our home, and this is an amazing adventure!
Ideally I am looking for a person available for at least 4 month (ideally, for the entire school year)
My son's father is here one week per month during which I don't need your help, so if you have any travel projects and would like to use this week to discover Provence or other places around it is great, but if you want to stay in the area during this week "off" we will take care of it for you. We may find a paying arrangement. Please contact me for more details.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
You will live in our 300 year old townhouse with original floors, and huge Provençal fireplace, on a pedestrian street paved with old stones, in a gorgeous small quiet village build on the hill under the ruins of the old castle of queen Jeanne.
The house is only a short bus ride away from a vibrant student city of Aix-en-Provence, known for its arts scene, festivals, theaters etc.
You will live in a typical residential village. You will wake up to the sound of church bells, and the beginning and the end of your day will be marked by the sound of opening and closing wooden shutters of old townhouses all around, and you will smell the wood burning in fireplaces in winter.
I will give you the information on the places to visit, and if we are going places ourselves we'll be happy to take you along... I will introduce you to the best bread in the city (and according to me - in the world!). I can assist you in whatever project that may interest you while you are here. Just please let me know in advance so that I have time to prepare.
There are places to jog, to walk, to do yoga or to cycle all around as we live in the countryside. The tennis courts, basketball ground, skatepark, stadium are within several minutes walk.
You will be a part of a Russian-French-English speaking family, you will learn how to manage seasonal rentals studio, you will learn a lot about precocious kids hanging out with my son. If you wish to have a regular French-English exchange with the locals, I will intoduce you to the language exchange group of our town.
I would like to find a person motivated to stay longer so will be happy to offer some basic monetary compensation after the "trial" period. Please feel free to contact me for more details.
This host offers accommodation and payment.
There are various things I need help with depending when you come, and where I am at with all my projects.
Ideally I am looking for a native English or German-speaking volunteer who can encourage my son to speak English or German, prepare him breakfast in the morning, accompany him to and from the bus stop, babysit while I am away.
I am looking for female workawayers as our gorgeous :) ancient house has only one bathroom and wc and I would prefer to share it with girls - sorry, guys.
I would appreciate a well-organised and proactive person to help me organise different corners of the house as well as to help with cleaning and cooking. I also run a seasonal rentals studio with vaulted ceiling which is located on the ground floor of the house , maybe you may help with checking the tourists in and out, and cleaning it between the reservations.
LONG TERM COMMITMENT
Ideally I am looking for the person available for at least for 4 months (or during the entire school year)
My son's father is here one week per month during which I don't need your help, so if you have any travel projects and would like to use this week to discover Provence or other places around it is great, if you require accommodation during this week we will take care of it. I expect both of us to give one another an advance notice (at least 1 month) if things change because I am really counting on long term commitment...
BABYSITTING and SPEAKING German and/or English to my son
I will be working Tue - Saturday, I must leave the house at 6.15 in te morning. So Tue-Fri you and Max need to wake up at 6:15, have breakfast, and make sure to be at the bus stop (8 minute walk down the hill) by 6:55. On Wednesdays I will ask you to prepare a simple lunch as well because Maxim gets back from school at 1 pm.
On Saturday you may get up a bit later, and spend time with Maxim till I get back from work, prepare breakfast and lunch.
I am obviously looking forward to spending time with you and hanging out together, but I may need few evenings out for rehearsals and concerts. This won't be regular, but there will be occasional evening babysitting / dinner preparation (all within the regular amount of hours that we agree upon)
HELP in the house and with seasonal rentals
I would like you to be available between 11.00 and 15.00 Tuesday-Saturday to help with eventual cleaning (takes 2 hours max) and check-ins. Normally, 1-3 times per week.
On the days when you are not working in the studio I would ask you to help me around the house for a couple of hours max.
If you have an afternoon work or study project outside of the house, your schedule may easily accommodate it. We may arrange it for you to be out and about starting 3 pm.
Your days off will be Monday, Sunday and also Saturday afternoons. You will also have free afternoons and most of evenings Tuesday-Saturday for the exception of the evenings when I must be out.
English, French, Russian
You will have your own air-conditioned/heated bedroom with the best view in the house, double bed, the desk and the clothing rack, the shower and toilet will be shared with us.
There is really so much that you can do with your time off that I would prefer to hear what is it that you like to do to give you further information on that.
There are plenty of sports that you have access to if you walk for 10 minutes up the hill, such as tennis, stadium, outdoor gym. You can practice yoga near a medieval mill 5 min walk away from the house, you may do sketches of the streets of the traditional Provençal village, you may discover the foundation of the ancient settlement, enjoy the panoramic views of the region and mountain Sainte Victoire walking through the Mediterranean forest up the hill. You may take a bus to the centre of Aix-en-Provence, a vibrant city of students, fountains and art.
If you are an English speaker I will introduce you to our local language exchange group. You may meet friendly locals and improve your French through the language practice.
You will love it here if you appreciate peace, quiet and nature.
If you want to discover Aix en Provence and its region and appreciate lively environments I hope you won't mind hopping on a bus and travelling on your own. I obviously will be happy to give you a lift if I am going somewhere too, and to include you in our weekend program if possible, even though between work and other activities I will be extremely busy and would prefer to host a person who is independent and enjoys her own space and time, and making friends in the new place.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week