We live on 3 acres of forested land about 40 minutes west of Victoria. Will is a professor at one of the universities in town and Eileen also works there teaching on contract. But as most of the courses at our university are on-line, we are mainly based at home. We currently have 5 dogs and 3 horses (all rescues). The dogs will quickly come to love you and the horses are very friendly.
Eileen was born in England and Will was born in Canada. We met in England and have lived in Australia (Tasmania) for a year and in New Zealand for 10 years. Because of our work and love of travel, we have visited over 40 countries. Our sons (Jamie and Kieran) are early/mid-20s and both live in Victoria. They sometimes come out for a visit with the dogs and for dinner.
Our house is large and comfortable, on a very quiet street next to 100 acres of parkland with hiking trails. We are a short drive to the ocean and to a recreational lake, and also 5 minutes drive from the "village" with a small local shop, a restaurant, an artisan bakery and a coffee shop. Victoria is about 40 minutes drive away with lots of cultural and sightseeing opportunities .
DIY and building projects
We are very widely traveled and love to share our experiences with other like-minded people. If you have an interest in horses but limited experience, you can learn more about their care and their personalities. If you have some experience in riding, there is the opportunity to go an an accompanied ride in the beautiful forest next to our house.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have many projects we would like help with, as you will see below, to match your interests and abilities. We would like 4-5 hours per day for 5 days per week.
On a daily basis there is cleaning up the horse areas and feeding, as well as an opportunity to walk the dogs in the forest.
Other jobs include:
- a construction job - framing in walls for a storage room, installing windows, laying flooring, insulating
- fencing to expand the horse paddocks, and hanging gates
- clearing undergrowth and dead wood to provide a fire break around the house
- cutting firewood
- building raised planting beds, preparing and tending existing vegetable gardens
- painting (sheds and eaves under a covered deck)
- planting grass
- spreading earth and gravel for new paths and other landscaping
- general home maintenance such as clearing gutters, washing windows, cleaning roof
We have a very large bedroom (with a king-sized bed which could be switched for two single beds) on the ground floor of our house with a bathroom across the hall for your private use. Also across the hall is the laundry room. The kitchen/diner and living room are also on the ground floor and separated by a door to the hallway. You will have access to the kitchen where we will share some meals and provide food for you to create some of your own meals. We are predominantly vegetarian but do eat the occasional organic fish or chicken meal. We love to cook and to eat well, particularly Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern and Asian!
We are ardent non-smokers, so no smoking in the house.
Our local area has lots of recreation possibilities - hiking and forest walks right outside the door, and swimming in the ocean or lakes nearby. There is wonderful cycling possibilities but be warned that it is very hilly where we are! The main city (Victoria) is about 40 minutes drive from us - it is a beautiful place with lots of restaurants, coffee shops, shopping and festivals. Unfortunately there isn't a local bus nearby but we can offer use of an older farm pickup truck for qualified drivers to explore the city.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week