Hello, my name is Bianca. I am 38 years old and I have just made my dream come true by buying a house in a rural area of Transylvania, for my dog, Kira, a 8 years old Great Dane. I have spent half of my life in Sibiu, my hometown and the other half in Bucharest, where I studied Economy and Communication. My summer holidays as a child, however were spent in the countryside, with my grandparents, in a village called Slimnic. It is there that I chose to move 8 years ago, with a strong wish to start living in the countryside and to begin my downshifting journey.
I am part of a peasant association fighting for the peasants rights to land, seeds and market opportunities, based in Cluj-Napoca. In my free time I volunteer in an after-school project based in Sibiu, that helps children coming from disadvantaged families stay in school. I have started being a migrant worker in agriculture, 7 years ago. I work in a vineyard during the winter, somewhere in the south of France. I love my work and the people I work with.
The idea of buying a house of my own started 7 years ago. I have saved up for this reason and looked for a house that would allow me to be far from the city, in a community of people that still cherish human relationships above all. I have found it in 2018, in August, in the village of Craciunelu de Sus. The village is a bit remote, with no asphalt road, no sewer system and beautiful vineyards and forests surrounding it.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
I am a curious type of person and love learning new things. I have a high level of energy, most of the days. I wake up early and go to bed early. I have traveled a bit through Europe, visited the US and Canada, as a student, and love learning languages. I travel in my self-converted VW Sharan nowadays, together with Kira, the Great Dane.
I like to bake, knit and read. I have some knowledge about homesteading, cooking, preserve making, fermenting, soap making, cosmetics making. I would like to learn more about using (power) tools, construction, mushroom picking, beer making, gardening and permaculture, nonviolent communication and conflict management, music and dancing.
I wish to start this journey in good company and make real connections to people that will come and visit as the years pass by. I would like to keep my habit of making friends and sharing the joy of life. I need a bit of push to go out and explore the surroundings of the village more. I love the forest and hope to get to know the one nearby much better.
I am a patient teacher and have some experience in practicing languages. I would be happy to share my knowledge and time.
The household I found has two houses, a big barn, a wood shed, a well and, most importantly, a 2000 square meter garden. One of the houses needs some attention and restoration – specially for the main room facing the street. And the garden needs planting and caring. For this reason I will be here for the summer and autumn, working on the house and the garden.
I would appreciate some good company and some help, when needed. I have a little bit of experience with the restoration of a house, using traditional materials. I have a bit of experience with gardening, compost making and preserve making. I am passionate about agroecology and I want to try some ‘no-dig gardening’ and respect some permaculture principles that I have found out about.
The ‘let’s not make a plan but try to accomplish’ for 2021 is:
- Making a rainwater harvesting system out of 1000l reservoirs
- Laying a brick floor in the summer kitchen
- Building the main compost toilet
- Building new 'no-dig' garden beds and planting the vegetable garden
- Cleaning and maintaining the rest of the garden surface: grass cutting, trees pruning, replanting the edible bushes, general design.
- Designing and planting of the grey water pond
- Turning the old stable into a guest bedroom
- Restoring and repainting some of the old furniture found in the house
- Reinforcing the barn structure pillars
- Checking and replacing the electrical system of the big house, as to make it reliable. I will have a specialist who will assess the situation and advise.
Whether you master some specific skill or have work experience is not really important as long as you have a willingness to adapt and learn the homesteading ways.
I believe that any person can be useful and any skill can bring contribution to the life we live together.
We just have to take the time to communicate our needs and understand each other.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
The small house of the household is hosting me and Kira, the Great Dane, at the moment.
The big house of the homestead has one room ready to receive guests this summer. It has a double bed.
There is plenty of space to put hammocks in the barn and enough green grass to set tents in the garden behind the barn.
We have managed to clean the barn and transform the upper part into a sleeping space as well.
There will be a compost toilet and a solar shower available. Possibility to use the washing machine if necessary. No fridge available in the summer kitchen. We use the cellar as a cool space in summer.
We can cook and share food, learn about each other’s favorite meals, keep is simple and nutritious.
There is limited (Orange network only) mobile phone signal in the village. But we now have wi-fi in the small house.
As this are the first years that I am a host, there are no set 'rules' yet.
However, here is some general information on our habits:
- I am having a vegetarian (towards vegan) diet and Kira, the Great Dane, has a very strict (only kibble) diet, due to her allergy.
- I am stupidly and highly allergic to cats and get asthma attacks when exposed to cat hair, dust and some more.
- I am a bit crazy about keeping things in order. I clean as I go and keep all spaces as clean as possible, without dedicating special moments for cleaning. I try to exercise tolerance and empathy, any occasion given.
- Kira, the Great Dane, is not really great with other dogs (not at all with other female dogs) but she, too, tries to exercise tolerance, any occasion given.
The village is set in the very heart of Transylvania, in an old and well-known wine region.
The nearby village, Cetatea de Balta prides itself with the newly restored Jidvei Castle.
Kindly note that there is no store in the village. I try to make a habit of going to the peasant market in Blaj, every Thusday.
The closest towns where you can find supermarkets are Blaj and Medias, tiny medieval towns, perfect for short walks and second-hand shopping.
My hometown, Sibiu is less than 70 km away and so is the famous medieval citadel, Sighisoara.
As I have one available car, at all times, we can organize ourselves and make trips upon request.
Hitch-hiking is also a good option for such small distances, in the area. However, read more about hitchhiking in Romania, before you decide to try it.
Public transport is not great, to say the least. Buses are rather scarce.
The closest train station is Valea Lungă. However, Mediaș and Blaj might have better connections both by train and bus. I can pick you up from there upon my availability.
Nearest airport is in Sibiu.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
There is finally wi-fi in the small house and the yard, due to the optic fiber in the village. Sounds crazy considering the no-asphalt road in front of the house. But it is true and it is working. I use it already for the online afterschool classes.
The garden has a back-entry 'mud road' mud free in July and August, when it is dry for longer periods of time. It gives access to the garden which is still mostly grass, with a side line of plum trees and apple trees. deppending on how high the vehicle is, it is a possible opption.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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