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We are a family of 4 from Amsterdam with a house in the Ardeche verde. Our boys are 20 month and 10 weeks old. We are looking for a duo to help us with the boys and the garden/construction work.
Experience has shown over the past months that our region is pretty isolated and we are so busy it's a better fit for couples, preferably with there own means of transportation. It's beautiful here to go for walks and there are some great places to visit though. :)
About our project.
Long story short, we really fell in love with the house and garden and ended up buying it even though it was in very very poor shape. Now 5 years later we have put in a lot of time, sweat and tears. We have multiple new concrete floors, 2 new roofs and a lot of comfortable (but not fancy) space.
The house is built around a courtyard and is an accumulation of 5 “buildings”. So far 3 of them were completely gutted and fixed with new roofs and floors. One is almost finished. This is the house we now live in with the boys.
The long house (as we call it) we have cleaned and fixed the essentials. This was our house before we finished the one we are in now. It has its own bathroom and kitchen and bedrooms. It's in poor condition but it's dry and the doors and windows can close. This will be the house you can stay in.
Now that we have 2 boy’s it is hard for me to do any work on the house. it's still a bit like a building site and not a playground, hahaha so we will try to fix some safe zones for kids to play. Generally we will need help looking after Boris (he will be 2 in October) an help work on the house :). Jeroen is currently working in the courtyard, building stone walls, laying foundations ect. Later this month there will be gravel put in the courtyard and then we're on to the next project. For instance, posing tiles on the new roof, mounting chestnut planks around the new roof/walls. putting up gutters. renovate some of the new bedrooms (plastering, flooring, electricity)
I love to cook so a lot of my time go’s into it. I make jams, preserves and pickles too. If you enjoy cooking you're more then welcome too. If not that’s also fine, you will still get to enjoy the food :). If you prefer some quiet time every once in a while you can also cook or eat alone, you will have enough private space to enjoy.
We are NOT native french speakers so if this is the main reason for you to visit we might not be the right family for you. If you want to improve your english (or dutch :) this is the place to be. We plan on raising the boys trilingual (dutch, french, english) but for the moment it’s been all dutch because he just started talking and we haven't been in France to much this year. Jeroen and I are fluent in English and Dutch and also speak some Spanish, German and obviously some French.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
We are a very creative couple. Wether it's building, gardening or cooking i'm sure you will find something inspiring to help us with. I love to cook on wood and make use of the produce we find around us. We always end up making tones of confiture and lemonades in summer. Also if you want to improve your conversational english we will be more then happy to help you with this.
As briefly explained above we will need help with keeping an eye on Boris and with our building projects. The house and garden are not suited for small children so someone needs to be with him all the time. We are completely rebuilding the house. right now we're working a lot with stones building walls in the courtyard but there are a tone of jobs that could be done. Painting, stripping, woodwork, garden work.
dutch, english, some french, german.
as described above you will have your own wing of the house with basic but very nice bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom.
we have a small dog named spook and some chickens. There is a bus stop in front of the house that can take you to the nearby villages, it just doesn't go very often so planing is key... If you arrive by train, Tain Hermitage is the best way to go. we can probably arrange to pick you up at the station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours a day (more if you want :))