Hello, we are Anita and Chris. Anita was born and raised in Kenya and Chris is English. We have travelled together extensively, and we are returned to Europe after 30 years in Los Angeles. Between us we speak English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Kiswahili. I am a pianist and teach and Chris is a sound mixer for major motion pictures.
Three years ago we moved to France, to a beautiful old Mas, originally a monastery and then a silk mill just outside Ales, on a hilltop with a magnificent view and access to all amenities. We love to have people in our home work with us on the renovation of the Mas and it's garden and also to afford them an experience in a most beautiful part of France, exploring the magnificent Cevennes mountains, the nearby historical cities of Nimes, Montpellier and Avignon. Ales has a train station with great connections.
We very much enjoy having guests in our home and so far we have had sixteen Workawayers and I think it says a whole lot about the experience of staying and working here that four of those are people who were here for a second, third or even fourth time.
We have a very affectionate dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback mix, who loves people.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We are located just outside the Southern French town of Alès in the department of the Gard. We are on the edge of the Cevennes Mountains which offer some wonderful walks and hikes, rivers, gorges and grottos and river swimming. The history of the area is rich and complicated, as with most of Europe!! The Occitane was a stronghold of both French resistance to German occupation in WW2 and of Protestant resistance during the various French religious wars over centuries. Alès is a cultural centre itself but we are also close to the Roman city of Nimes, the Mediaeval and very picturesque town of Uzès , Montpellier and Avignon. The Mediterranean is an hour to the South with beaches and seaside towns and the wild beauty of the Carmargue with its wild bulls, horses and flamingoes. We are also in the heart of a wine growing region, so much to explore.
We are looking for help with renovating the house and improving the grounds. There is a lot of varied work including redecorating, plumbing, electrical, masonry, carpentry, insulation, drywalling, pathways, decks, flower, shrub and vegetable beds, mowing, brush clearing etc. Chris is competent in pretty much all of these but could use some help and a second pair of hands. Specific skills are always welcome too though. In the summer its is too hot to work in the middle of the day so work would normally be between 8am and noon and 5pm and 7pm.
Swahili (Kiswahili): Fluent
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 ground floor is given over for the use of guests. There are three bedrooms: two large and one smaller one, each opening onto the extensive garden. The shower and toilets are shared, but there is an additional wash room. The largest room also has its own kitchen.
We would encourage having lunch and dinner together over conversation and good wine. Chris is an excellent cook, but we would also enjoy experiencing other cuisine from those who like to cook. Breakfast is help yourself’. We would provide the food and there is always plenty of wine or beer, plus Chris has a specialty in making his own tonic water for gin and tonics by the pool.
We would encourage anyone with a musical instrument to bring it. I play classical music and would love to have some chamber music partners, Chris plays more rock n roll piano, but all music is encouraged in our large living room which used to be where Yehudi Menuhin led the Cevennes chamber orchestra.
We have one hectare of land so there is plenty of nice outside space, a swimming pool and ping pong table.
Alès itself has a lot of bars and restaurants and there are concerts and theatre. It is easy to walk into the old town and wander its alleyways with its myriad of interesting shops.
Alès also has a regular and efficient train station which connects you to the TGV from Nimes, which is only 1/2 hour away. Montpellier is about 45 minutes. Paris is 4hrs, Marseilles 2hrs, Barcelona 4hrs. We are generally available to drop you and pick you up at the train station.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have space to work in and pretty decent Wifi. We have hosted a couple who ran an internet based marketing and graphic design company. They were here for five months.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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