DIY projects for our family in the small village of Heerde, the Netherlands



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    How nice that you found my profile page. My name is Silvia and I'm 63 years old. I live in a large land house in the countryside. I have two grown-up daughters (28, 35) and twin boys grandchildren of two years old that visit me regularly. Also part of the family is a cat, a dog, and two Icelandic horses.

    I live in the middle of a nature area. West of Heerde we have woods and heather, called De Veluwe. East of Heerde there is a river landscape with flooded areas, called De Uiterwaarden.

    Last year I lost my husband to cancer. Now I live here alone in a big house with lots of land around it. As you can imagine, many small and large chores have to be done to maintain the premise. This is the main reason why I'm joining work away - the vision for what I want with the house and land is there, but I need some extra strength and expertise to carry it out.

    An excellent side effect of work away is the companionship, which I very much look forward to. Important to me is that the people who come to stay, are really looking for cultural exchange and companionship, in addition to food and lodging.

    I am a very independent person. I like to draw a plan and work on a particular task on my own for a while. But next to that, I enjoy the company and good kitchen-table conversations. My interest is broadly spread I enjoy topics like politics, sustainability, permaculture, health, and nutrition. But just as much I like to get to know about people and cultures.

    I am a violin teacher and am involved in politics in the municipality. At this moment I am not active as a violinteacher. I choose to be an active member of the citycouncil of Heerde. This means that I am regularly occupied with meetings in the evening hours and preparing for that.

    In my free time I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible to tend to the garden. Being creative is a real passion of mine - whether this is in music, on paper, or simply finding cool new solutions for things. I come from a musical family. I play the violin and there is a Piano. Let me know if you like to play an instrument you could bring one, or make use of our piano. Meanwhile, I too am hooked to the necessary Netflix and apple tv in the evening so if watching TV is your thing, then I can provide good company in that;)

    I expect 5 hours of help a day, from Monday to Friday, so you are free for the weekend. If you would like to arrange things differently for a particular week, that's fine as well. I see meal preparation/laying the table, washing up, and keeping shared spaces tidy, as a shared responsibility. I presume around half an hour of your free time a day to do some of these normal "team-work" activities.

    I love people who are healthily motivated. It is important that you can have fun at work and that there is a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere in the house. You will never be left alone to figure out a task, and you can always ask questions or request my help. Enjoying the time and learning from each other is central to me.

    As I wrote earlier, we have two Icelandic horses. If you are into horses just let me know. The horses are always available for care and attention. The horses are ridden but suitable only for experienced riders. For those with a lot of experience with horses there is the possibility for training or horseback riding.

    If you are interested please just send me an email. If we seem to be a good match I can tell you more about me and answer your questions by mail or by phone.

    I speak Dutch and English fluently. My German is not bad, but a bit rusty.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    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 live in the middle of a nature area. The surroundings is therefor excellent for people that love hiking, cycling, horse riding and enjoying the nature in general.

    Close by there is a lake, called the "Heerder strand", which translates to Heerdes beach. It is in the middle of the forest, and is great in hot summer to take a dive.

    If you are interested in typical dutch architectue I would recommend visiting some cute little old towns, called "Hanze steden" nearby like; Hattem, Zwolle, Kampen en Deventer.

    The town Heerde is 10 min walk away or a bike ride of less then 5 minutes. Heerde is a cute little place for a nice cup of coffee or an ice cream. On Friday morning there is small farmers market, where you can local products such our haring, cheese and candy.
    There is a buss nearby that connects you to bigger towns such as Zwolle en Apeldoorn.

    A visit of Amsterdam is possible in one day. However it would be 2 hours traveling with public transport. By car it is 1 hour and 15 minutes. The Netherlands is a small country, you can reach bigger cities and different parts of the Netherlands nature wise within a few hours.

    Together we can learn a lot about DIY projects. I have been delving into permaculture for a few years now. I like to tell you about the things I've learned and I applied so far.

    I'm a violin teacher, so if you are interested in some lessons just let me know.

    Trip and vacation planning is a small passion of mine so I would love to help you find, select and plan exciting trips in the area for when you are staying with me. Together we could develop an initial plan before you travel so you can make the most out of your free time here in one of the most beautiful areas of the Netherlands!

    Above all, I offer a lot of sociability. If you like watching TV, doing crafts, making music, I'm often happy to join you or keep you company. Via traveling I came in contact with many countries and cultures. I really enjoy meeting new people and talking about different nations, philosophies, and perspectives. But I just as much like to watch series or movies on Netflix and apple tv.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

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

  • Help


    As I described above, I mainly need help with chores around the house.

    You can think of tasks such as:
    * painting, sanding, carpentry, grouting
    * electricity chores
    * jobs around the house
    * gardening (permaculture)
    * bigger and smaller cleaning and tidying up jobs in the house
    * taking care of the animals
    Anyway, occasionally I wouldn't mind if someone would cook for me or take over some other household tasks.

    Any specialised or handy men or woman are more then welcome. A few big project that come to mind are finishing and repairing the electricity connections in the house, repairing woodwork and lots of painting jobs.

    About every 6 weeks my daughter from Switzerland and her two twin sons of 2,5 years old come to stay with me.
    During these weeks we really need all the help we can get with looking after them and cooking, shopping and other household tasks.

    The next times will be (around):
    13th of June - 4th of July
    14th of August - 5th of September

    Please note, I am only looking for help with housework and the kids when my daughter is around. The rest of the time it's really about support with construction, building and house maintenance!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Intermediate

    This host offers a language exchange
    If you are daring, I could teach or help you practice Dutch. Be warned Dutch is a difficult language.

  • Accommodation


    I have a beautiful big house with garden in the countryside. I live in a village called Heerde which lies on the edge of the nature park "de Veluwe". For people who love the outdoors, this place is ideal. Within a few minutes you are in the middle of the forest or on the heath, where you can walk or cycle endlessly.

    I have a large garden (and herb garden) that you are welcome to use. The garden is romantic and very inviting to spend your free time chilling in the sun. A lot of the flowers are blooming in spring and summer. There are mullbery, apple and pear trees in you seek shade on hot days. For those people that like doing yoga or meditation think about moving your practice outside! Since a few years we have a large pond with fishes behind the house where it is idyllic to sit and read or relax.

    You will get your own room upstairs with a shared bathroom (in case there are more guests). You are welcome to make use of the kitchen or to join me in the living room. Since recently we have optical fiber for internet, so it is also suited for people that depend on using the internet a lot.

    I could teach you about cooking especially according to the Whals, Keto and Paleo diet. I would love to let you taste our local products and tell you about our culture.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Cultural exchange: (5.0)

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Host ref number: 719828123416