Welcome to the magical peninsula of Istria! I live in a safe, peaceful village surrounded by forest, 20 minutes drive away from Poreč and its beautiful beaches. I'm a single Mom and I have an energetic boyo (4 years old) while my parents stay in the house next to us. There's also our village dog, some chickens and a garden. Sometimes, I'm lucky to "drag" some animals back home and help them, e.g. we raised a baby deer last summer <3<3<3
Having you here is our way to travel while living in one place. It's an incredible experience to see my son learning something new or when he makes a good laugh with a person from the other side of the world that doesn't speak his language. As I'm in a lifelong learning mode, traveling or hosting travelers is the best way to sparkle that feeling when you're an adult:).
You'd be someone who stays here as part of the family, with the respect to WA recommendations (explained further).
It helps if you have initiative and clear communication skills, sense of humour and if you're acting ecological and sustainable towards the house and the environment. It also helps if you have time management skills (I'm building mine, hard work in progress:P).
I travelled, couchsurfed, volunteered and workawayed myself a lot in Europe and in Asia and I worked a lot so I expect someone who is willing to volunteer for 20, 25 hours per week (washing the dishes or preparing the food not included, sorry:) .
There are things to do apart from sharing our cultures and teaching me or my boyo: sustainable cooking and helping in the house, helping with preparing a house for tourists (rarely after the summer). Yes, helping around the house, refurbishing chairs or making paintings that sooth the soul can also be your reason to come so that's how people who don't enjoy children so much come in our focus too:).
We try to be happy and always have the carpe diem atittude but things do get quite flexible due to me freelancing or because my son gets sick.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
The litttle ones teach us best! My baby (3), my nieces (5 and 7) who also stay around are the best teachers in the world.
I lived, studied and worked in Zagreb, India and Greece. I lived and worked in India with my toddler for six months so I can share about that. I can teach you some basic yoga, speak Spanish with you (poorly:), teach you Photoshop, English and all the local things that you cannot find in a tourist guide.
I like to meet people that stay with me and take them where I go (ok, sometimes I need time off), introduce friends when we meet or show around sights, depending on my child's schedule. In the summer we looove going to the beach.
My family grows food so you can also learn about that or even join in the fieldwork;). You can pick fresh vegetables and fruits and we can pick some wild herbs if the season allows. I am also very interested in healthy food, vegetarian, low carb diet. Actually I am all about food since I need to feed my little one who's a fussy eater but that's not in my focus now. I get very excited when I get someone who writes me he's a nutritionist, a chef but it's frustrating as I cannot experiment much so I let it be. If I don't find the time for cooking, cudoos to you if you enjoy cooking
(not mandatory, we can live on salads, fruits and unhealthy raw food:).
I did a lot of photography before, now my baby is in the focus (even in front of camera:) but we can film, make documentaries or photo sessions. I can teach you about Photoshop. We can talk about social media, digital marketing, women empowerment, share music. You can learn about/participate in renovation, indoor decoration, setting up a place for tourists as an old house is being renovated here.
You can also share our vine with my father or my neighbour that has a professional vine cellar.
You can learn about local NGO from my sister and join her in Astronomic observatory tours that are very educational, romantic and nice (it's only 2 kilometers away). Small medieval Istrian towns on hills are also here and there are many cycle paths and forest trails among small villages, Parenzana cycling path is nearby. Keep in mind, the area can get hilly around the village due to river Mirna that lies in the valley, it will make you do a proper exercise if you go in that direction, some didn't make it to come back:). You can also run in the nearby forest, there is a nice clean path (we don't have any dangerous animals apart from snakes which are not poisonous over here). It gets hot in here in the summer, it's not for people who cannot live without AC.
Normally, work away with kids is not for those faint hearted in the morning as kids get up early, but, guess what:):
My son now goes to the kindergarten at 7.30 am, sometimes later. I'll do everything before the kindergarten. Feel free to come and be the example of a well dressed person that loves cleaning ears, brushing teeth and eating breakfasT, kids learn by the example if you want to. If my child is sick and you don't have a day off, I appreciate that you help entertain him in the morning from 8, 9 am.
During the day I work and cannot interact unless on specific occasions, you're free to do stuff we agree on or just make meals or have time off.
After the kindergarten, we can pick it up together or you can do something else - he stays there until 4 p,, it is great if you prepare certain "workshops" (depends what's your forte) and teach him. You can play games with him, play music, play with legos, throw balls, enjoy swings, trampoline, chase him or just take him for a walk to see the animals and enjoy nature, picking fruits etc.
I love learning about psychology and parenting and I try to respect and observe my son as a little human (maintaining a certain level of routines so I don't go mad:). I talk to him and I try to explain him stuff. We weaned off naturally, I carried him a lot in the past (you don't need to but you can show him affection as much as you're both comfortable with) and I let him explore the world within the limits of safety, he's my little climber. I don't hit my child and I try not to scream at him even when he's on the active side and has a lot of energy keeps me up on my feet:). Please include the word "gentle love" in your message so I know you read this, thank you. It's great if you're someone who understands what is gentle parenting and wouldn't ignore the child while he cries.
Other things to do apart from the child care if that's not your forte
- Turning my English into level "incredible" if you're a native speaker (point out on my writing and speaking mistakes)
- Teaching me Italian (I'm B1)
- Refurbishing the old furniture for the old house
- Hand made whatever you know, I always start but never finish my "projects" so it's nice to see other people's idea
- Sawing - on "to do" list for a long time, if you know how to saw, I have plenty to learn and plenty to do:)
- Play music if you come during some special occasion
- Talking, joking...
- Something else we need help with at that particular moment
- Use your free time: if you have your free days, feel free to go and comeback afterwards, I'll pick you from Porec or Pazin. I go to Pula once a week usually, I'm not sure for the summer but this you can go with us.
- Washing dishes or preparing meals for you/I or both of us
(I consider as normal life, not volunteering, I don't know about you:)
It is nice if we share meals, food and cooking with local ingredients and food that grows here. We're not vegetarians but we (my son is eating it more often) rarely eat meat. If you have special needs, depends on the situation, you could consider buying some stuff for yourself, especially if it's more expensive, e.g. gluten free, vegan, alergies or so on.
When my child falls asleep (if I don't follow him) I'm an adult and have more time for conversation and helping you out, etc.
Note: For my child, music at all times is a yes, but tv and watching youtube videos it's a no except in the evening before sleep where he has his screen time for 20 minutes.
First of all, it does get hot in here during the summer (nothing like India but we can have 25 - 35 degrees, sometimes quite humid), it's not for someone who can't live without AC as we barely use it.
You'll have your own room and share the rest. During the day there is a lot of privacy and peace. After 4, 5 pm my nieces could be around from time to time.
You can smoke on the terrace or in the garden ( I prefer people who don't smoke though).
You can use my bicycle and fix the other one so we can have two cycles very soon:).
When you're free you can go to Porec in the morning with my father or with me, you can come for the beach or to go the town for coffee.
You can also hitchhike, I did it a lot as a youngster, ain't easy sometimes but it can be totaly fine.
Public transportation doesn't really exist, but from Porec there are buses to other towns.
It's not really a place for wild nights out, but you'll have two or three days of on which you can manage however you want. You're also most welcome to join in my plans when I don't need time off.
I do go hiking, see friends or to some events occasionaly,
I am an ex journalist so people and events are my life even a lot of them evolve around children this days,
sorry for that:P.
Our village is quite urban (people jump into the cars and do stuff) but settled in a beautiful nature with loads of forest trails. Nearest shop, the coffee bar, doctor, pharmacy... is 4 kilometres away. It is all very close to beautiful Motovun (8 km), the medieval town you must see in Istria. Groznjan, Oprtalj are also not so far (app 20 km). The nearest swimming beach is 17 kilometres away, wild, nudist, touristic.. whichever you prefer.
Public transport doesn't exist but there is some bus (one a day) in nearby Višnjan and Motovun and there are more in bigger cities. You can use my bycicle.
Poreč, Rovinj, Novigrad all the Istrian cities except Pula and Labin are on 20 to 30 minutes drive away.
Airports Pula and Trieste are less than 100 km away.
I'll come to pick you up: Višnjan or Poreč are the good pickup points.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
As a common work away, 25 h a week with extra hours to prepare meals