Natalia and I live in the Dudgeon/Monroe Neighborhood near the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus, Edgewood college, the Henry Vilas Zoo, and the Arboretum. We have a backyard with a garden, a pond and 2 chickens (which live outside in a coop). We currently live with a graduate student (woman) from Iran and she mostly keeps to herself (she has her own room). Natalia speaks Greek, English and German. Jesse speaks English and German. Jesse works full-time at an international online automotive retailer as a translator & analyst, and Natalia is a full-time PhD student in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. We both love music, instruments, traveling, gardening, biking, hiking, camping, gaming, art, photography, building stuff, and socializing.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Natalia is from Greece and I am from the USA and we both have lived in and traveled to many different countries. We love to learn about other cultures and traditions and we love to share our own. If time and logistics permit, we can show you some areas of Wisconsin that are interesting and tailor the experience to your interests. We both play instruments and have many around the house (piano, guitar, bass, cello, cretan lyra, hammer dulcimer, harp, mandolin, saz, bodhran, and several others). We can teach you how to play instruments. We love to exchange recipes and do meal exchanges with guests. Grilling out is fun too.
You don't necessarily have to do all of these things, but here are some things that we could use help with:
The chickens only need to be tended to a few times per week, but the garden and yard needs a lot of work. Specifically, a lot of weeding, brush removal, planting flowers and other plants, watering the plants & lawn, mowing the lawn, fertilizing, composting, cleaning the pond, filling bird feeder with bird seed, and harvesting fruits and vegetables in the late summer/fall. We also need the house plants to be tended too (mostly small plants & bonsai). The raised beds need to be completely re-done.
If you are a native speaker of German we would enjoy language practice. Natalia and I both speak German (C1/C2) but we are quite rusty from not speaking it in a long time.
Natalia and I are quite busy so we don't currently have much time to cook ourselves, but we would love it if you could cook for us. Most days it would be in the evening only, likely sometime between 6pm and 9pm depending on the day. Breakfast/brunch would only happen rarely. We have no food restrictions. There are 2 grocery stores nearby, and of course we can help get groceries. We also would be interested in meal prep for lunch (to take with to work) but this is of course completely optional.
Help around the house
Cleaning in the kitchen, vacuuming around the house/basement/garage, making beds, cleaning windows, cleaning the bathrooms, watering plants, dusting, taking out trash/recycling/compost, doing laundry are all things that would be helpful and welcome.
The garage needs some foam-board insulation installed. The chicken coop is in need of some improvements (frame repair, door repair, roost for the chickens). The foundation of the house needs some stucco work to be done. The wooden floor in the basement (click-lock flooring) needs to be re-done. The light on the side of the house needs to be repaired as it's broken.
This host offers a language exchange
Natalia speaks Greek, English and German. She is interested in learning German, Japanese, Turkish and many others! Jesse speaks English and German. He is interested in learning German, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian.
Air mattress or bed in one of the spare bedrooms in our house. Sheets, pillows, soap, towels will be provided. We don't always eat communally, but are open to the idea. We can give you space in the freezer and refrigerator to put your own food/drinks if you want.
We live close to a bus stop (1 min walk, $2 ticket) and by several bike paths. We can lend you a bike so you can explore. We can also show you around town. Madison has a lot to offer with its 5 lakes, hundreds of miles of bike paths, parks, zoo, arboretum, botanical gardens, Isthmus area, great music scene and nightlife and student life (there are 40,000 students at University of Wisconsin Madison nearby). We would love to help you explore!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have a fiber internet connection and multiple routers, so the internet accessibility via WiFi is quite good. We can get you set up with a desk if you need one.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week