01/07/2020 - 14/09/2020
Hello everyone !
I’m Helen- I'm an open-minded, down to earth person, living in a small village in Ireland.
Living on a farm in rural Ireland means I have always felt most at home outdoors, and since last year I have now brought that love of nature to my travels-my favourite way to spend my free time after work is going for a hike, swimming in a river, or cooking some good food over a fire.
From my experience, a lot of the people on workaway also love this simple way of living.
Workaway is really what you make of it and we learned the best way for everyone to enjoy the workaway experience is to respect the work that needs to be done but also help keep the atmosphere of the workaway an open and positive one to make sure the experience is as enjoyable as it can be.
This is both mine and Ella's second summer on Workaway, having been hosted by 4 different workaways last summer. We learned so much more than we ever thought we would. We left each workaway with new ideas about what makes a good life and what is fulfilling work and we realized that workaway is about so much more than the work-both us and the hosts always have something of value to share-for me that could be something as simple as sharing my favourite lentil dahl recipe with two of our wonderful hosts in Slovenia, while they told us about the changes they've experienced growing up since Slovenia split from Yugoslavia.
At our most recent workaway in Albania, some of the regular workers in the garden were very interested in medicinal plants and permaculture and this is something i'd love to explore further.
In my free time I love to spend time in the water, going for long walks around the hills of our farm, playing piano and trying out new recipes in the kitchen and I'd love to learn any local recipes you have while I'm there
I am a laid back and relaxed and open person and I feel fellow travellers and workaway hosts' view on life is similar to mine and the Irish in general, especially in our love of meeting new people with a friendly face.
I really love music -everything from Debussy to the Kinks-hopefully I’ll meet some others with the same taste on my travels :)
I’m studying psychology and hope to become a child psychologist...I’m really interested in people and seeing the different ways people live-I have done numerous stints of long term travel abroad as I love seeing what real life is for the everyday person in a country.
I like to speak with people who care about something meaningful and aren't just money-driven. I think people on this platform seem to have that same outlook.
So I will hand over the reigns to Ella...
Salut!! My name is Ella, and just like my kindred spirit Helen, I am a spontaneous, sporty and adventurous soul from the serene rural tranquillity of Ireland.
I have just finished my third year of university, and am enthusiastic for my summer adventure to start! Spending a year cooped up in the library has made me long for the freedom and camaraderie of Workaway.
I have just returned from an Erasmus spent in Lille, France, and, instead of kindling sentiments of home sickness in me, my experiences have made me acutely aware of the riches in undiscovered cultures which await us, if only we dare to look !!
Although I loved cosy Lille, I'm a country girl at heart, and living in the city during the college year has made me realise how lucky I am to be from the countryside. I love the outdoors and working in the fresh air, going for walks and swimming in the river at home.
I'm a people person by nature - my idea of misery would definitely be having to work and live on my own, so I'm really excited to meet you and help you with your projects!
I chose to do Workaway because it's such a great opportunity to meet new people and work in varied and unfamiliar environments. Last year, Helen and I set off with light suitcases and naïve perspectives for a coming-of-age expedition around the Balkans. We met a myriad of interesting people, and were happy to leave our mark in various projects we helped complete along the way, with different hosts. I felt I learned so much more around homely campfires and in hard slogs on tomato plantations than I could ever have gleaned from a book, or a part-time job at home. For me, the best part of Workaway is the titbits you pick up from your hosts, and fellow travellers- new skills, fresh perspectives, sporty games, thought-provoking ideas, quirky music, delicious recipes, and of course, broader perspectives!
I'm a practical girl and I enjoy hands-on work. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, so to speak! I love gardening, farming, working with animals....any job that is active or outdoors will never be a chore for me!
My passions include sport, music and reading, and I have a special interest in languages. I speak Irish at home (our native language here), and love to lose myself in the dolce cadences and phonetics of the French language, and look forward to discovering novel tongues on my travels. I'd love to pick up a few phrases of the local dialect while I'm with you!
P.S we are happy to video chat before we come if you wish, or to give you any references from our work :)
We did an array of jobs at all of the workaways, from digging trenches, string training tomato plants, working in vegetable gardens, turning hay, mucking out barns filled with donkeys and hens and trying to create a fitting environment for the hens to facilitate more egg-laying, working on a campsite, helping guests check in, setting up their tents, waitressing for a large party of guests, prepping a cabin for Air BnB and so on...
For some of these things it was our first experience doing that type of task, but we quickly learned that the best approach to workaway, where all of the different types of jobs means having previous experience is not always possible, is that we are always ready to give it a try, ask a question if we're confused but always give it our best and learning something along the way.
Growing up on a family farm means I'm used to hard work and helping my parents as much as I can.
From a young age I've helped milk cows, feed calves and look after our hens and ducks.
We also started our own polytunnel during the lockdown, planting tomatoes, strawberries, rhubarb, cucumber etc so I would be happy to learn from you and work with your own vegetable garden.
I spent many summers at my aunts stud farm, and while there, my cousins and I rose early to muck out, make up beds of straw for the horses, make sure they had enough water and hay and grooming the horses-
Working on a farm means that no-one slacks off, but chips in to make the job easier for everyone, which importantly keeps a positive atmosphere on the job also!
As well as this I have experience working as an au pair in France and Italy teaching english and have experience working in a bookstore.
I guess you would like to hear about the skills I have that are applicable to Workaway first! I accompanied Helen in all the tasks she has detailed above, from hard physical farm work to little DIY projects, like painting and gardening. We both have strong work ethics, and like nothing more than to see a job well done.
For me, my favourite tasks were sprucing up the garden/horticulture plantations, tending to the animals, and serving customers in the bar/restaurants of some of our Workaways. It is very fulfilling to work with people, and outdoors!
There is an Irish saying that 'two can do the work of three,' and I like to think that Helen and I embody this proverb. We work well together, and the best part of the working day for us, was getting to catch a rosy sunset in the company of friends in the evenings, satisfied with a good day's work accomplished.
We are quick learners, and will try our hand at any task you would like to see done.
I have just finished my third year of my medical studies, so I can be on hand to assist in your first-aid needs! I have a driver's licence, which may be useful to you also.
Aside from Workaway, I've worked many part-time jobs, such as language tutoring and as a carer, and have grown accustomed to managing responsibility, and interacting with new people. I am happy to help you with language practice if it's something you would be interested in, and share my culture with you!!
22 & 21
We must acknowledge the situation with Covid-19, before asking you to take us on as volunteers. Helen and I are both healthy, we are not immunocompromised, have no underlying health conditions, and have no sick contacts. We will happily comply with government regulations in your country with regards to public health decorum, and will isolate before commencing work if necessary. In Ireland, we are gradually returning to normal in societal functioning, and gratefully regaining our freedom and independence!
Also, Helen smokes but if that's a problem she would be fine to not smoke while at the workaway.
We are willing to work with you to make sure we both get the most out of workaway , and are really looking forward to meeting you.
Looking forward to chatting with you,
Special dietary requirements
We are both pescatarian