Florence

From: Germany

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    Account Type

    Individual account

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    Travelling to

    Sweden

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    Travel dates

    10/09/2019 - 02/11/2019

  • Badges

    Explorer
    Good Workawayer

  • Description

    Hej hej!
    Pippi Långstrump helped me when I was a kid to become who I am today: Florence, that happy girl and freedom-freak on the picture with her self-made Midsommarkrans!
    I am French, born and lived many years in Paris, then left for Hamburg, married, build a “patchwork” family…
    and read so many times “Nils Holgersson's Wonderful Journey” to my younger son, that at the end, I had to go to the country where the wild geese came from. First Stockholm, then the Archipelago, then Moskojärvi, Jokkmokk and Storforsen in winter. Many trips followed until today, but these first marked the beginning of my attachment to Sweden.
    In the meanwhile, after lots of travel in different parts of the world and three grown-up children, I focused the last years on Scandinavia - mostly on my own - and started (slowly…) learning Swedish. Preparing the steps for my next life-chapter: I wish to share and understand the Northern way(s) of living and of thinking before moving in and settling in.
    The best approach seemed to me a combination of working as a volunteer on one side, giving a helping hand to hosts from South to North; and on the other side, criss-crossing the country with buses and trains during the time in-between, to experience the Swedish nature and discover the Swedish culture.
    That way should give me a chance to get to know different people, different way of living and different landscapes.
    Because the two sides I like so much in Scandinavia are first the wild nature - the colours of an icy sky above a frozen landscape, the granite rocks on the coast and the moss in the fairy-tale forests. And secondly, this specific unsaid "rule", where each individual has to be autonomous and is responsible for himself but at the same time, is a part of a whole within a community.

    I started volunteering in June ’18 in a Café/B&B by the forests of Hofors (cooking, serving, cleaning) and liked it very much, followed by a 2nd trial as a home- and cat-sitter in a Sthlm flat…. Then I discovered Workaway and shared about 10 days in November with a family near Östersund (#886194311453). This was a wonderful experience. I renewed it in February ’19 for two weeks with a family in Jokkmokk (#524136364311 /cooking, organizing, cleaning). And after two months back in HH, I left again in June, to explore this time the mid-Sweden and lived with a family in the countryside near Karlsborg (#756349465496 /cooking, painting, helping with the three kids, the yard and the chickens). Then, beginning of July, I went to the east coast, helping in a B&B, in a tiny village near Söderhamn (#484956189754 / gardening, cooking, computing, caring of the guests rooms).

    The time I had in-between was equally rewarding, though on another level… Like spending a day in Vilhelmina with a wonderful Sami artist couple known during the Jokkmokk Winter Market, ice-climbing in Abisko, hiking in Kullaberg, biking in Åland, kayaking in Tiveden, meeting a Swedish berrywine producer in Grythyttan just because I loved his ideas & products (discovered when eating a moose-stew in Låktatjåkko), stopping to see in Mjörn a 1000-year old oak and in Skärhamn an exhibition of Lars Lerin, fishing mackerel in Värderöarna, waiting for the cranes in Hornborgasjön and for the whales in Skjervøy, baking a Västerbottenpaj for Midsommar with Swedish friends in Leksand or visiting on the way the families I’ve met before when working through Workaway…
    Now the plan is from September till end of Fall to hit the road again, starting on the west coast and maybe going east, depending on the hosts who are needing help in that season.

    As a resume, I hope to be a tolerant person, interested in others, straight & humorous, not afraid of working hard, with a solid sense of organisation and responsibilities.
    I need nature, freedom, adventure and time to be alone. But I am a sociable person and a happy nature, who likes life and laughing, cooking, meeting friends or new people, sharing a good meal or a nice moment. And rather than fitness, I prefer outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, cross-country skiing (discovered last February), canoeing, and ... ice-hockey- watching :)
    Oh yes, one last thing. My birth date is like a mathematics mistake… It has nothing to do with me. But of course, you’re not supposed to believe it… That’s why we should meet!

  • Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    Elderly Companion
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Other
    Help in the house
    Helping with Tourists
    Language practice
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet
    Teaching

  • What skills do you have?

    I like cooking (my French side), I learnt cleaning & keeping tidy ( my German side). Patient and careful, especially with kids and the elderly. Sense of organisation and responsibilities. Hard working and used to finish what I started. Eye for details and what needs to be done. Easy socializing (but you won't find me on Facebook), care of tourists and customer oriented, computer & internet, language teaching. Gardening, sewing, drawing, writing.

  • Languages spoken

    French, English, German, bit o f Italian, lite lite Svenska

  • Age

    62

  • Nationality

    French (native) /German (acquired)

  • What else ...

    If there's anything you'd like to know, please feel free to ask, I'll be happy to answer the best I can!

  • Some more information

    • Smoker

    • Driver's licence

    • Allergies
      raw milk (but no pb when cooked or processed, like in cheese, butter etc...)

    • Special dietary requirements
      no

Photos

Västerbottenostpaj och Midsommar 2019
French cooking for the last eve: Pavlova
First Midsommar: 2018 in Hofors
From Gävle...
... through Östersund ...
... Jokkmokk...
...or Karlsborg...
... a WA network of big... and little friends
High jump competition
Learnt how mowing the lawn can be so much fun
Preparing the rooms for the guests in a B&B
Seven Västerbottenpaj in five weeks :)
Ice-climbing experience in Abisko
Teamwork by horse-dung collecting
Freeze for fun

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