We, Georg and Bettina, are an elderly couple. Originally from Austria and Germany, we have lived in the West of Ireland for the past 35 years next to a lake a 4km away from the county town and 20 km away from the sea.. We are bilingual.Originally we came to Ireland for an adventure and to live with nature in the wilderness and build a place which would serve us and others and eventually create a park out of wild land. Over those years we have partly transformed the bare and infertile bog land into a wooded garden. We planted over 3,000 trees and built our own timber house. We lead a quiet lifestyle, In the early morning we meditate. When the weather permits we work on the land. We also write and work on transforming our mind as well as the land.
Georg has written a book on energies and places. Bettina has published in 2016 a poetry compilation and does collage work besides working on the land etc. We both love hiking and cycling and at times play games and watch films... At times we like to sing and drum and in winter to sit by the fire place during the long evenings. Our place and lifestyle offer themselves for reflection and it would be helpful if people who come to stay with us also like to have some time to be by themselves and enjoy the surrounding nature and can entertain themselves in between, as well as being in company.. We eat simply and not much meat. We have a humus toilet in the house instead of a flush toilet. Once a week we go shopping into the nearby town.
We have been working on and are still in the process to transform a once infertile, desert like empty place into a wildernis parkland and keep what has been done already well maintained. We want this place to serve us and other people.
We feel that those who decide to spend some time with us here could see it as a wonderful opportunity to get to know themselves in a deeper way with the help of nature all around, stillness, simple daily tasks, an organic rhythm and enough time to find stillness and space for reflection and the rhythm between being alone and being in company and doing things together, be it projects or leisure .
In autumn we mostly collect leaves and clear the garden after the summer. After that is done, we are thinning out trees to create more space and make light, we also have to clear out our shed and clean the house thoroughly. We might like help and advice with a website which is in the making. All year round there is a lot to do on the land and around the house, be it cleaning ponds, weeding, cutting grass, painting etc. .Besides there is also space for people to play with their creativity e.g. by sculpting dead trees on the land or creating sculptures in whatever form...(someone who was with us and helped us on the land felt inspired to decorate a kind of totem pole. She found it a lot of fun and in the end said ' we could call this 'artaway' instead of workaway')...so if at times you feel inspired to create something on the land ''work away' at it....
It would be nice to share the cooking with those that stay with us and be in community in general, so that we can enrich one another during our stay together, sharing the beauty and peace of this beautiful place by a small lake in County Mayo.
Our preference is to have people stay who are flexible around help and leisure times and see their time with us as a 'whole' experience rather than a time divided into help and leisure.
At times it would also be nice to share a hike or an outing together and show people the area and do things beyond just helping...
PLEASE NOTE....We are generally looking for help for a min. of 1 week and a max. of 2 weeks
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We bring together 3 different cultures (Austrian, German, Irish).
question their mind set
helping to transform the bog land into a wooded garden/park
all year round maintenance of our place
cleaning shed and areas around the house
weeding and cutting grass,
in autumn and winter and early spring thinning out trees,
storing and stacking timber
help to set up a blog,
and generally taking part in our life
a small single room and/or a larger room with a king size bed for a couple
1 bathroom shared all.
the small town(Castlebar) is is in45 minutes walking distance. from our place into town there is no public transport, our place is quiet and fairly secluded, reached by bike or walking or together with us by car.
we live by a small bog lake which is very cold but accessible for swimmers
local sights: bog land in our vicinity, Westport(18km away, to be reached by bus or train from Castlebar (local town). Westport is a very scentic town with pubs and restaurants, the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, which one can climb
we can make outings together to beautiful areas of which our area has plenty and nothing too far from us.
Galway can be reached by bus (90 minutes away) from Castlebar.
Castlebar has an arts centre, a lake, a cinema, pubs and many shops..
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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