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[Due to the Corona virus, things are a bit different this year as I'm sure you can understand.
Depending on which country you are travelling to Romania from and how long you have been there, you may be required to go into quarantine upon your arrival.
You can go to the 'CNSCBT' website ('Centrul Național de Supraveghere şi Control al Bolilor Transmisibile') for Romania (.ro). Then click on the green link on the menu to the right entitled 'Liste zone afectate COVID-19'. Then click on the 'descarca' button at the top of the list to get the latest list of 'green' countries you can travel from without getting quarantined if you have spent more than 14 days in them collectively].
The elderly in these parts have miserable pensions and many when they become widows are left with little assistance. To help, we a Canadian-Romanian family are building a charity home for the aged townsfolk without families to support them. The building will also serve as a community centre, and eventually an organic farm will be started too.
A video log of Lisa and our project was done by an Australian family of 5 who came here as Workawayers. They have their own vlog project and website called Ten Feet Travels. At the same time that the family was here, we received a group of about 25 cyclists that were brought here to help by other workawayers. They were featured in the video and were called 'The Green Riders'. You can find the video on the web (we are unable to link to it here).
[Please note that the town of 'Lisa' where the project is situated, is the 'Lisa' in Teleorman County, NOT the town of 'Lisa' hundreds of kilometres north in Brașov County, in the Făgăraș area!]
[Please note that this project may be more suitable for more mature minded volunteers, or volunteers that have had experience being exposed to different cultural behaviors as a foreigner, and then adapting their behavior accordingly.]
[We are always looking for people to do long term house-sitting for the period or within the period from November to April, or if deemed suitable, to take over the onsite administration/management of the project for a longer period of volunteering]
> Hosting Location <
[On EuroVelo 6 cycle route]
Lisa is a small farming community in the far southern Romanian county (Judet) of Teleorman, close to the Bulgarian border and the Danube river. The project in Lisa is a relaxing place and is on the very edge of town where it is very quite and peaceful, apart from when the local dogs are maybe performing their last session of barking in the evening! The property where the building takes place consists of the big new building for the project, two old buildings (now practically derelict), a small orchard, and quite a large meadow with an abundance of fruit trees.
> Fund raising / Bicycle Tourers <
During spring through to autumn, the property serves as a camping spot or basic accommodation for bicycle tourers cycling along the Eurovelo 6 route. The cycle route goes from France to the Black Sea. This is one of (if not 'the') most popular bicycle route in Europe, and the route passes right through Lisa! In exchange for accommodating them, the guests make donations to the charity project. Some great times can be had with the tourists that come to stay!
> People of the Project <
The family are most of the time at home in Bucharest, a home which also serves as a bed & breakfast business that funds the project.
Currently at the property there is an ongoing volunteer called Sam (41) from England, a very lovely and relaxed chap. He has a few years experience teaching English abroad, a lot of the time to small kids but I'm sure he could be good for you if you want to practice English or are not so good at it.
Most likely Sam will receive you and help you at the property. Infact, he is often looking to have someone take over his house sitting / onsite management role for a little while so he can get away for a bit. So if you are comfortable enough with the idea, you can have the place to yourself, if none of the family are due to come down and do a bit of work. The only time other than this that you would be disturbed, would be when bicycle tourers come to stay.
> GETTING TO THE PROJECT <
[Free accommodation at our Bed & Breakfast (Vila 11) in Bucharest, if needed on your travels to the project]
- - Getting a lift from Bucharest - -
Sometimes trips are made from our Bed & Breakfast in Bucharest to the project in the countryside. If someone is soon due to make a journey, you can hitch a lift and stay at our B&B until then.
- - Travelling from airport in Bucharest - -
If you're arriving in Bucharest by air, and want to save money by getting a bus rather than a taxi, you can get a 780 Express bus from the airport to the North Train Station ('Gara de Nord').
From the North Train Station you can either come to our B&B, which is in easy walking distance from Gara de Nord, or, you can get a 96 trolley bus to the 'International Bus Station Rahova', where you can then get a bus to our project in the countryside town of Lisa.
Getting the 780 from the airport to the North Train Station not only gets you close to our B&B, but is also a stop on the most direct route to continue on to the International Bus Station Rahova with the 96 Trolley Bus.
If your flight arrives at a time that prevents you from getting a connecting bus to out project in the countryside, but you eventually want to get to our project on your own via bus, you can come and stay at our B&B.
- - Bus from Bucharest to the project - -
At the International Bus Station Rahova in the south west of Bucharest, get the bus to Traian, which stops in the town of Lisa where our project is. The bus leaves at 10am and 4pm on every day but Sunday. If the driver does not notice you are foreign and are going to Lisa, let him know, and he should make a point of remembering to stop at Lisa without you actively requesting it, then advise you to get off.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
As the town of Lisa is a small town, everybody will be curious of you and want to know about you. There will be an opportunity to mix with the (emotional, loud talking but) friendly neighbours and towns people, and even get/buy various different food produce off them.
You will get a glimpse of what Western Europe would have been like significantly more than 50 years ago, with many people mainly living off their land and using a horse and cart to get around.
Many people find the houses, life style and properties here to be quite beautiful.
It is a relaxed environment here, and ideally we like to leave helpers as much as possible to manage themselves, depending on the work. A lot of the time what work you do is dictated by how hot or wet the weather is, or what needs doing at the time.
> Warmer months: March to November <
Important things that we need help with, are the things that need doing every day or frequently such as:
Weeding / watering the grass.
Seeing to the cats
Preparing and cleaning guest rooms (vacuuming, washing bedding)
Receiving and helping guests
General cleaning, maintaining, tidying of the house
Or, there just being someone else here to receive guests if they turn up unannounced
In addition to the above , we need help with:
Onsite managing of the project.
Painting walls and floors,
Oiling and varnishing doors
Landscaping and ground maintenence,
Loads of other big and small jobs impossible to list here!
> Colder Months: November to March <
During the colder months we are limited to the number of people we can have here because our electricity supply restricts the amount of electricity we can use for heating. It also gets very cold, wet and sometimes snowy here during the winter, so it is restricted as to what work can be done, if any. Or at least you need to be hardy to the cold to get things done.
For this period, when the touring cyclists stop coming, we mainly look for people who can stay long term in more of a housesitting role where the work is more reactive than proactive, and you may be or could decide to be the only person/s on site. For this period we mainly just need people to be here, and the only work, unless you choose otherwise, is to cope with the winter.
If you are staying here for an extended period during the colder months, and we receive applications from people to volunteer during this time, it will be up to you to decide if you want them to come, then for you to choose and supervise what work they do.
> The Future <
Later on when the property is functioning as a care home there will be a need for caregivers to the elderly occupants.
Most likely you will have a room of your own, on the top floor of the building away from the traffic of the middle floor.
If it gets really busy, it maybe necessary to share a room with someone else, but this has never been necessary before.
> HOUSE FACILITIES <
The house currently has the following facilities:
2 x bathrooms with a toilet, sink and shower
Temporary kitchen with gas stove and fridge with freezer
Running hot water
A washing machine
Quite a big TV (with cable once the cable is connected!)
PlayStation with Netflix
A nice little music system for 'cranking out some beats'
The two bathrooms are on the middle floor. One has a bath (with shower), the other has a shower.
The water comes from a well in the basement, and this is the water we filter to make it more than fit for drinking.
The temporary kitchen is on the middle floor, the sink in the yet to be finished toilet next to the kitchen serves as 'the kitchen sink'
> CLIMATE & HOUSE TEMPERATURE <
Please note that during early spring and late autumn, it can be quite cold in Romania and the house. During winter, very cold. The house does not yet have central heating, just electric radiators and gas heaters that can be used, with the amount of current able to be used restricted because of the supply. Only parts of the house can be heated at any one time.
> FOOD <
There is a water filter on site that can provide all the drinking and cooking water you will need.
- - Warmer Months - -
During the warmer months, as the family spends most of its time in Bucharest, you are largely left to provide food for yourself unless your situation or the current situation and number of volunteers requires something else. Please feel free to adjust the work you contribute to account for what you think is fair with regards to supplied food. When possible, the family will drop off some food supplies when a visit is made to the project. Often a big sack of potatoes and onions can be provided, and maybe extra stuff.
Please excuse the vagueness and variablility of the information given below. As you would expect we want to get as many volunteers here as possible to help with the charity, and have the ability to accommodate quite a few volunteers as we have a lot of spare rooms, but we must be vary careful with spending money on food as we do not have so much money available. We would rather you did less work, and paid for your food; than did more work and cost us money on food. It costs us very little to no money to have you stay here if we are not buying you food, and it is unlikely that you would be taking up space in the building that another volunteer or guest might want to use by staying at the project..
If you are in real need of being provided with food in order to volunteer, and there are other volunteers here with a similiar need, or who would be needed to be treated equally, then it could be possible to provide food for a basic diet.
If food for a basic diet is provided, it may only be from what is locally available. This would include:
Dry Beans (for boiling, not tinned)
Eggs (if available from shops or neighbours)
Cheese (if available from the neighbours)
Canned pate - poultry, pork, soya
Processed meats - poultry, pork
Vegetables available locally at time (onions always seem to be available)
Herbs and spices that are sold locally
Apples (+ all the naturally growing fruit on and around the property)
+ things like: sugar, salt, pepper, cooking oil, garlic, vinegar
If you really would like something more fancy and really don't have the finances for it, maybe Sam the long term volunteer can provide you with this extra stuff in return for you making meals. Again, this could depend on the current situation of other volunteers at the project. Sam does like to cook, but is often so obsessed and busy with working he never gets around to cooking or eating properly, and just eats little bits here a there 'on the fly'. He could also do with using the saved time for other things as he is often very busy.
- - Colder moths - -
If you are volunteering in a more of a housesitting role during the colder months, then foodwise you will be largely providing for yourself. Though as with the warmer months, when possible, the family will drop off some food supplies if a visit is made to the project.
> RULES <
The project aims to be a very informal, laid back easy going place, and most of the time (unless otherwise needed) with as little enforced structure as possible. The overwhelming majority of people that come here, have no need to be asked to abide by the below rules, and they can be relied on to use their own knowledge of what is good behavior. However, there will be a few whose stay here for themselves and for others will be a lot better if only for a little bit of clarification of what we consider sensible, sociable and considerate behavior.
Please note and abide by the following rules listed below:
- No overly excessive drinking, or drinking at inappropriate times that noticeably affects your behavior or ability to function normally.
- Visiting any of the local bars in the area is not permitted, unless otherwise agreed.
- Visiting any properties, or attending any social occassions, particularly if alcohol is involved, is not permitted unless otherwise agreed.
- Wash and clean up immediately after use of the kitchen/sink and plates, pots, mugs etc if used personally, unless agreed otherwise.
- You are expected to help maintain and keep the house clean as you go a long for the day to day things, as you would in any shared house.
- If you prepare some food, ask others if they would like to contribute to its contents, preperation, and, especially if using communal food; its consumption.
- - Alcohol Consumption - -
Any excess drinking that causes you to be any kind of liability, may lead to you being asked to leave the project, and any stay you have previously arranged to have at the Vila 11 Bed & Breakfast will be forfeitted. The fact that the locals encouraged you to drink, or bought or gave you alcohol will not be accepted as an excuse. You may get one warning, or you may not.
For some, it is difficult to find a way to occupy themselves in their free time here, due to the lack of familiar entertainment opportunitiues that rural Romania has to offer. In these circumstances the temptation of extremely cheap or free alcholic drinks in abundance is too much of a temptation.
If you get into a condition where you cannot be confidently trusted to look after yourself, or even stand on your own two feet or walk up steps without falling over, you will be asked to leave without hesitation. This is for your own well being as in this condition the general environment of the property and town could be of significant danger to you.
Consider that during spring through to autumn the property serves as a de facto hostel / accommodation location in exchange for guests donating if this is what they want to do. Senior guests or families with young children could turn up at any time announced, and it is not good for them to be received or to be amongst people who are significantly under the influence of alcohol when they first arrive here. When guests are here, or it is possible they will turn up here, at these times it is considered to be (but not the only times) inappropriate for you to be noticeably under the influence of alcohol.
- - Everyday House Maintenance & Food - -
The project for the moment, is essentially a shared house when there is more than one volunteer here. We must all help to make the house as plesant a stay as possible for guests so they may have the best experience possible and want to donate to the project more. If you see something that could use a quick clean/wash/mop/sweep to signifiuantly improve how clean something looks, please do it.
Everyday cleaning tasks will no be considered as your volunteer work unless you are doing an excessive amount of cleaning, a very specific cleaning task, or something has be otherwise aggreed.
The above also applies to food preparation.
The River Danube is quite close (8Km), it is possible to go swimming at the water reservoir, take the bus to Alexandria for the day or go further to visit in the country for a day or two.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. If winter housesitting, you just have to be here!
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