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We live in a residential property on a small, beautiful forested island (Bowen Island, population 3500) at the mouth of a fjord in British Columbia. We are a professional couple (university professor/instructors in psychology and conservation) with an outgoing 7 year old daughter. We live on a smallish property with animals and a small garden and we would like help just making the household run. We have 2 rabbits, 7 chickens, 3 ducks a quail and fish and a garden. It feels quite rural, but you are very close to both Vancouver (20 minute ferry and 25 minute bus) and also Whistler (1.5 hour drive) and local downhill/cross-country ski hills (15-20 minute drive). There is tons of hiking in the area and Vancouver is a great place for foodies. Our house is located a 7 minute walk from the ferry and cafes, 8 minute walk to beaches, 10 minute walk to groceries and a 5 minute walk to a forested trail. There is a waterfall/river/lagoon on one side of our property that you can canoe on to spot bats and beavers.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Bowen Island has its own unique culture. I am of Japanese ancestry and my partner is Jewish from Montreal and we are both Canadian. Our place might be interesting for people who live in urban environments to see what it is like to live in a place with farm animals. It feels rural, but we are also just a 7 minute walk away from the ferry terminal (that would get you into Vancouver). We know this area and especially the nature around this area very well and could recommend hikes and outdoor activities. If you would like, we often go on hikes on the weekends that you could join us on. Our friends are quite multi-cultural and so you would meet "Canadians" but perhaps a very diverse group of Canadians. Both of us have travelled extensively, I have studied about 7 languages (Japanese, French, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Ladakhi, Mandarin) at some point in my life and have conducted research/lived in in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Mexico, South America, UK and Australia and so we are generally comfortable with different ways of being. Culturally we are left-leaning-west-coast-outdoorsy-composting-mostly-vegetarian-health-conscious-environmentalist-educated-inclusive and social-justice advocate-types. You don't have to share all these same values, but there are aspects of our house-hold that reflect these values (we don't eat meat, we don't have a television [though we have internet], we recycle, try not to waste thing, spend a lot of time outdoors, attend social justice events, and try to participate as little as we can with consumer culture). We are excited to have the opportunity to meet people from different cultures and especially excited for you to enrich our daughter's world.
We are looking for help with our animals, our daughter (there are times when we need some help just with pick-up or drop-off of our daughter at school) and general cleaning around the house and sorting out our recycling. We have a garden and there is lots of weeding that needs to be done. We also need help with cooking as well on some days. If you speak Japanese or Spanish and are willing to spend some time speaking to our daughter in that language, that would be a huge asset. If you have academic skills, I could use some help with my research (conservation research), or editing drafts of manuscripts for typos but this would be a bonus and not all necessary. If you are able to use tools and fix things there are lots of fences and gates that could use some care.
Mostly, the ideal person would love to work with kids and enjoy animals and gardening and have some competency in the kitchen. Our daughter is very outgoing and would love to show you around the island.
English and Japanese (my daughter and I), English and French (my partner)...we both also speak some rudimentary Spanish
We have a small bedroom inside the house for you.The room is across from the kitchen so it is very central in the house. The room is the warmest room in the house, but it also means that it can potentially be more noisy than other rooms in the house because it is centrally located. The single bed is comfortable (though a bit short...It might be too short if you are taller than 5'10). Our house is not huge and so this work-away (and this room!) will only work for a single person.
We have 2 rabbits who live inside the house in a pen and so if you have rabbit allergies, this probably isn't a good option for you. They are contained but their fur travels. We usually order our groceries online. We could eat dinner together and breakfast together. Lunch you could fix something on your own with the food we have. We could take turns making dinner. Everyone in our family eats a different type of breakfast but we are usually in the same room together.
There is no typical work week, but our daughter's schedule would be that she wakes up at about 7:30 am, has breakfast and practices her violin and then walks to school (through the forest, with someone) for 8:30 am. It is a 10 minute walk. She gets off school at about 3 pm. Twice a week she has violin lessons that are also walking distance from our house. On months that I am working from home, I am typically away in Squamish about 7 days a month and on the other days I work from home. On months that I am teaching, I am up at the university leaving on the 8:30 am ferry and returning on the 5:50 or 6:50 pm ferry. There might be some nights when I will be away (like 5 nights a month).
We don't have a television but the wireless is good enough for you to watch things on your laptop in your room.
This is our first time doing a work-away but I have lived in many communal living conditions. Our household is generally quite quiet. We work from home a lot. There aren't a lot of parties or anything as our daughter's bedtime is about 8:30 pm. When we are at home we are usually hanging out together in the garden with our animals or doing work on our computers. We also have small groups of friends over for dinner. We go for walks a lot as there is a beautiful forest/lake just a 5 minute walk from our house. There are also beaches just an 8 minute walk away and so in the summer we go for little dips in the ocean or just go down to the beach to look for rocks. If it is sunny we are hiking or going for bike rides or going snowshoeing. On rainy weekend days we often head to the city and go see friends or do urban things like go to art or music events or just go out to eat Asian food. Our daughter is learning violin and so everyday on the weekdays she will usually be practicing violin from 7:45-8:15 am (she is not a beginner though and so you don't have to worry about it sounding awful, it generally sounds beautiful but it is early in the morning).
On your time off, you can go for walks in this area. You can go up to Squamish (I work in Squamish) and go for a hike, or you can take public transportation to Vancouver and there is public transportation on Bowen as well. On Bowen Island there is a library, pub, coffee shops and yoga studios but it is fairly rural. Bowen is located at the mouth of Howe Sound (the southern most fjord in the world). It is technically part of West Vancouver. The ferry takes 20 minutes to get to West Vancouver.
Mostly we are looking for someone who is conscientious, efficient, hard-working, detail-oriented and considerate. We also need someone who will be relatively quiet in the evenings. I'm sorry but no-smokers and no heavy drinkers (we don't drink at all, but if you want to drink a glass of wine over dinner that is fine). This is suitable for a single person (with no pets).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
2-5 hours a day, 5 days a week