We live in a big old house in Zuidwending, a rural village in the NE part of The Netherlands. Nice and quiet but lots to do and see. Please read all of our information and look at the pictures and their captions. When responding show us you've actually READ our profile and be specific what help you offer please. "I like your profile and want to do all jobs" is just not sufficient ...
We won't be hosting until Spring 2022
Jobs done in 2021, our first WA year: building a rain water collection system, a garden fireplace, painting the grill kota, putting tons of white rocks in the front yard, lots of gardening, cleaning, stowing some 10 tons of firewood etc. A very successful first Workaway experience for ourselves and the volunteers we hosted, thanks guys/gals!
We've done a lot to make our home climate neutral: we stopped using fossil fuel in 2017 and we even generate a surplus of solar energy since 2013. We are still working on a green roof, rainwater use etc. to try making our ecological footprint as small as possible. Our motto:
"Try and leave this world a little better than you found it" [Baden Powell].
"Improve the world, start with yourself..." [general saying]
"...but don't stop there and help other to improve as well!" [Paul].
Paul loves to show and explain what he did and inspire others to take steps towards their own energy transition.
We were married in 1981, our 3 kids have grown up and left the nest. Monique works part time in a nursing home for the elderly, likes to do aquarel painting, reading and work in the garden. She speaks only limited English but understands more and would like some practice with you. Paul is a retired navy officer, but likes his volunteer jobs in many different fields. Hobbies include scouting, amateur radio, playing the recorder in all sizes and DIY. Around 2000 we lived in Dubai with our kids for 1.5 years and we love to travel abroad. We hope to host some interesting people. You perhaps? Please tell us how you would like to help us and who knows... ;)
We strongly support all UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) however we've added only the most relevant to our profile. We expect guests to respect them and try to live by them. This means not using more energy, water and other resources than is absolutely necessary. Take only short showers, turn off lights, unplug appliances, don't waste food, separate garbage etc.
Pratique d’une langue
Aide avec des éco-projets
Bricolage et projets de construction
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
Aide à la maison
Aide informatique / avec Internet
Paul acquired a lot of know-how on energy transition for your house. He finished ours and is only too happy to show you what measures he took and how he did that.
Paul plays almost all sizes of the recorder (blokflöte, flute à bec, flauto dolce) so bring your instruments if you have them for some playtime together. He can introduce you to this underrated instrument and show you his collection.
We love to try different kinds of food and can teach you how we prepare ours.
Life in rural Groningen might be quite different to yours, let's explore the area together. In the weekends we can take you for a day trip sightseeing in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe or maybe even into Emsland in neighboring Germany. Province capital Groningen is a bustling student city with many historic buildings and only half an hour by train. We have excellent bike roads for you to explore on our spare bikes, a free app is available to plan your trip.
If you like to help tackle some of the bigger jobs we can enhance our DIY and language skills together.
UPDATE November 2021: most big jobs are done, we don't need help until Spring 2022. Some of the plans for 2022:
STUCCO the shed: We are looking for an experienced stucco worker who wants to teach Paul "on the job" by plastering the outside walls (some 100 m2) of the shed together, see picture. We intend to use cement stucco with pigment coloring with a rough finish to create a Mediterranean 'look'. Please tell us about your stucco / plastering experience when applying for this opportunity. How should the walls be prepared?
PROGRAMMING Home Assistant: We could also use an experienced programmer to help Paul expand his Home Assistant domotica project. You know all about YAML, HACS, Entities, ITTT etc. Please specify what experience you have if this is your "piece of cake".
CHOPPING WOOD: An opportunity for a strong and experienced lumberjack willing to cut and chop up several m3 of big oak branches and trunk parts. Bonus points if you can do some maintenance trimming on two big trees. If you can climb in you'll have to bring your own rope etc. as we don't have that. We do have a 11m ladder which can reach some of the more urgent branches, electric chain saws, axes, saws and a manual log splitter.
NATIVE ENGLISH: Unfortunately Monique didn't get much out of the WA'ers we hosted so far, as we were mainly doing heavy work outside. We would like to host a native English speaker with a common interest in Monique's hobbies like aquarel painting or working in the garden for some one on one quality time together, helping Monique to improve her English. Doing some household chores together would be great too. You will have a video call with her before we will accept your request.
RENOVATING STEPS: Another plan for 2022 is to renovate the path and renew the steps to the front door, see picture. This includes totally removing the old steps and their foundation, creating a new concrete foundation, lay new stone slabs, cobbling etc. Paul thinks he knows knows how this should be done but needs help with the heavy work.
There is always plenty to do in and around an old house with a big garden. Bring your smile, toothbrush and any musical instruments you play and we can find a good way to mix work and pleasure for as long as you and we all like.
We have a broad taste and like to try new kinds of food. We have a great kitchen with almost any appliance you can think of. We are flexitarians and keen to find new ways to eat less meat and find vegetarian alternatives. However we're not shy of a good BBQ occasionally for which we even have a grill kota in the back garden! We hope you want to share your cooking skills and you're welcome to enjoy your meals with us, especially dinner. We love herbs and hot spices and try to limit use of salt, fat and sugar. We will try to take your dietary requirements into account as much as possible.
We are fully vaccinated and require you to fully abide by the government rules regarding the pandemic.
You're welcome to take your pick of all the jobs we've listed above. Specify which jobs you'd most like to do when you respond and what experience you have for them. If you come up with other useful ideas we're all ears.
We started hosting in June 2021 with great results so far. However we also received numerous applications like "I can do anything you want" but that is NOT what we require. We would like to host but it's a two way deal, *please be specific* on what skills and experience you have to offer and which jobs appeal to you. When you don't, you'll just get a reply asking you again or a polite rejection. If you need more info or would like to set up a video call propose a way to do that. We can do WhatsApp, FB messenger, Skype etc.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
I can help you improve your Dutch and English, want to practice my German and French and would like to try and see what you can understand from my Spanish or Italian and would like you to speak those languages to me to help me improve.
We have a couple of spare rooms with good beds and can provide bed linnen, towels etc. Couples can share the double bed in the larger guest room, singles will have the smaller room to themselves or might have to share that if more than 2 workawayers are here simultaneously. You'll all have to share the downstairs family bathroom with us.
We will gladly share our meals or you can prepare your own. Customs vary around the world and we expect to be able to work out a good compromise between yours and ours provided we know what you want so let's talk about that together soon after you've arrived.
There is plenty of free parking space for a car, minibus or motor bike or we can arrange to pick you up at the Veendam railway station (5 km from our home) if you come by public transport. We have excellent wifi and some spare bikes to use during your time here.
We expect you to pick up after yourself as we are not a hotel and have no maid. Your laundry can be done with ours or after discussing that with Monique you could use the washer to do your own.
We expect you to be considerate, especially when Monique has to work (and sleep) at odd hours. We don't smoke, actively or passively. If you must, please go outside to get some 'fresh air'. ;)
Please note this: we have a zero tolerance policy for any kinds of drugs! Alcohol in modest amounts is excepted after work, we'll gladly share. Coffee and tea are available in unlimited quantity.
We have good WiFi and some spare bikes for you to use as there is no public transport close by. There is a lovely little lake with a beach only a few minutes away by bike, great for relaxing or swimming if the weather cooperates after you finish your day's work. We could do some sightseeing together in the weekends, go to the local community center ("dorpshuis") for a drink and perhaps a game of billiards, play petanque / jeu de boules in the court right across the street, relax in the garden or our conservatory, or you could come up with your own ideas.
We'd like to teach you some Dutch and/or exercise our own foreign language skills, play music together, talk about Scouting, sustainability, introduce you to amateur radio (I'm PA5UL, a licensed 'ham' and currently building an antenna tower and a shack), exchange cooking skills etc. etc.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
We have excellent internet with a glass fiber connection and good WiFi throughout the house.
We have a big driveway but will need to pass that to reach our garage. A minibus is no problem and anything larger is OK for one or two nights but a longer period could be a challenge unless we can strike a deal with a neighbor.
Paul is allergic to cats and dogs so these can't stay in the house unfortunately...
Plus de 2
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week but not (much) more than we do....
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