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I am a educational/research professional in Berkeley, CA (San Francisco), home to a famous public California university with a big house (over 300 m^2) that I am renovating myself. This is a fantastic and extremely desirable upscale hills location: 10 min bike ride to Berkeley Campus, a direct bus to downtown San Francisco, walking distance to restaurants and grocery shops, views of the three famous Bay Area bridges. A great place to start daily trips to the uncountable beautiful destination around the Bay Area, e.g. only 1 hour drive to Napa Valley, less than hour to downtown San Francisco.
As I have a full time job, a small child. There are a working shower, water, toilets, refrigerator, microwave, induction oven, super fast internet, gorgeous garden with birds, dears and many other animal visitors nearby.
I was privileged to live and travel in more 20 countries in the world on five continents, I am certain it would be not hard to find common interest. When I was a teenager I hitchhiked across Europe and at times slept under the bridge when caught by a big rain.
One of my most beautiful moments in travel was the climb to the top of Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador as well as country side in New Zealand.
I have always felt home among international people.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Usually there are people from at least three different countries, cultures. They socialize at lunch and in the evenings and possibly cook together. They exchange their traveling experience.
I help most people with improving their English if their native language is other than that.
I teach everyone who is interested about the newest trends in building materials and technologies, and simpler things such as how to build a stone wall.
They also learn about online education, efficient green sustainable building. They can go to free yoga, or meditation classes in downtown Berkeley.
Occasionally to help build a team I take guests to local bars or on beautiful hikes in Marin county.
Looking for individuals who are able to work well on their own if needed. The
help is mostly needed is cleaning and organizing. There is a great internet access during off time and breaks. However, you would be asked to put aside your cell phone when are you helping.
A supported by a reference evidence of integrity is a plus.
You would be offered either a bed, mattress or a cot, access to warm showers, laundry, dryer, internet, water, microwave, inductive stove. But you will not be able to to be speak very loud outside in the garden after 8 p.m. This is an extremely quiet neighborhood of professionals who value tranquility and harmony with abundant nature. The home and the area is non-smoking. The refrigerator is communal. I try to provide enough vegetarian food for a nutritious breakfast and lunch and a possible late evening snack. You would be welcome to complete vegetarian choices with with fish and meat.
The natural, architectural and urban beauty of San Francisco and the Bay Area is impossible to describe here, so please google it. The house is located at about 15 min bike/bus ride from downtown Berkeley in the mid hills. There is a direct (45 min) bus to downtown San Francisco.
Ideal volunteers would be a person, or a small group of college students from taking time off from their studies with supported past experience in cleaning households. You would need to be willing to learn and redo the same thing sometimes even three times without taking a personal offense. We all are in a lifelong process of learning, sometimes we need to learn new things and redo them several times to get them to perfection. So patience and a positive attitude if we have to correct or redo something is a essential.
If we work together then we may also have a chance to improve some of our non-native languages. For example, I would speak English and you
would confirm and reply in French.
A typical day may be: to assist me (for example prepare tools, small lumber, and then clean up after work) around the house from early morning till early afternoon with a social lunch cooked by one the workawayers and then hop on public transport or a bicycle and get to enjoy and explore the area. The evening & nights are quiet but a beer or a glass of wine in the garden or on the deck can be part of a routine.
I would be willing to drop you off and even pick you from a few local places to facilitate your exploration. There are fantastic local bars with live music and full of students. There are state parks a walking distance away with spectacular views of the Bay. If you are over 21, maybe if time permits we could go to Napa together to decide if wine here is better than in South of France.
The minimum stay would be 14 days. The actual length also depends on the availability and my travel schedule. Typically it is from 14 days to up to 80 days or so. If you do not enjoy the type and pace, you could leave without any obligations. So far there have always been others waiting for this opportunity. If I feel that the exchange is not working out I would first have a chat and see if we could meet each other half way. If this were not to happen you would have at least two days to modify your travel plans.
Around the house: you could sit next to a fireplace, spend long evenings outside warmed up by heat lamps or possible inside jacuzzi. You would learn how to climb a huge tree on a rock climbing rope. You could play a piano...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
6 hours a day, 4 days a week (25hrs max)
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