Living life to the fullest and enjoying every minute of it !!
We're a big, open minded, easy going family who loves to have a good time and meet new people !!
We live just outside Bruges with our 4 children: Louise(°2003), Tuur(°2005), Veerle(°2007) and Floris(°2009). Our house used to be a jeweler's shop and we're renovating it one room at a time.
But 2017 will be the year of a major renovation project, so lots of hard work ( and dust) on the way. Most of the work, we do ourselves, but we also want to enjoy life rather than spending every single moment working on it. So step by step... ( and euro by euro;-D)
I'm CINDY, 34y, a part-time formation coordinator, full-time mum and self-employed photographer. I teach, I learn, I motivate, I create,... I do a lot of different things and that is what keeps me motivated!
Most of the time I work in my home office, but I'm also a lot on the road: for work or to drive the kids to school or one of their many activities.
STEFAN, 42y, works as IT analist/programmer in the National Bank of Belgium in Brussels.
He loves to cook, preferably beer dishes. Working in the garden, taking care of our animals and doing the DIY around the house is his cup of tea. He would love to take on any project with you!
You can always please him with a nice (Belgian) beer as he's also a certified zythologist. He knows practically all there is to know about beer brewing and tasting.
He is a true Freddy Mercury fan!
LOUISE is the artist in the family: she loves to draw and paint and she's really good at it too. Besides art class she also goes to the local youth organisation. She is really sociable, would love to get involved in volunteering work with children or elderly people, but will still need to wait for that for a few more years. She will love to learn your language!
TUUR is the athlete. Besides judo, he plays football, loves riding his bike and goes to the local youth organisation, together with his sisters. He's never tired, always full of energy. And when he comes home from a boring day in school, he gets rid of his energy on the trampoline in the garden. So get ready to get sporty with this one.
VEERLE is our little princess. Her favorite color is pink!! She likes horses, music, nail varnish, perfume, jewelry, ... well, all bling bling and girly stuff in fact ;-) She will probably bury you with hugs and kisses as she is very much of a cuddling person. She also takes flute lessons, loves to swim and gets dirty every Sunday with her friends at the local youth organisation! Hopefully you know how to make braids and ponytails....well, if not, you'll learn fast enough ;-).
FLORIS is our youngest. He's loved to pieces by his older brother and sisters. At the moment he's fond of Lego and The Minions. He loves being outdoors with his big brother: just discovering nature and getting dirty ! He loves playing football. He might be shy at first, but some Lego building or crafting together will overcome all language barriers.
Bricolage et projets de construction
Baby-sitting et jeux créatifs
Préparer les repas / cuisiner pour la famille
Aide à la maison
Pratique d’une langue
We are hosting couchsurfers for quite a few years now on a regular base and heard about this website through one of the couchsurfers who stayed at our place. We made a profile because we think It would be nice to host someone for a longer period of time.
We would like to host a volunteer who is family/ kid minded. If you don't like noise in the morning, sticky floors by noon or (teenager) tantrums in the evening, ('Mum, ALL my friends have those sneakers!!!') this probably won't be a good experience for you. On the other hand, if you like pillow fights at dawn, faces covered with chocolate by 4pm and arms that are too small to embrace you but who give the warmest hugs ever....WELCOME !!!!
About the work... What we don't expect is someone to come and do our household work so we can relax, no. We want to have a fun time together, doing chores as a family, learning, laughing, having a great time all at once!
Apart from the everday things that need to be done ( cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, taking care of the children and animals,...not al at once.) we always have some projects running ( painting, growing veggies, doing some DIY, ...)
As said in the introduction: 2017 is a big renovation year for us, so be prepared to do some DIY, demolition, building, tiling, painting,...
Also, be prepared to 'camp'. We will be living in an improvised kitchen and living room and renovating without dust and filth simply isn't possible (unfortunately).
But we're also open for any suggestions. Would you like to learn us your language? Help the kids with their homework? Make a great piece of art for our living room? Build a tree house or create a petanque track in the garden? GREAT!!!
Our guest room is a large multifunctual room. The eyecatcher of the room is the pool table in the middle. The cabinets hold the kids toys and crafts materials. There is also an office space on the other end of the room. We have got good wifi connection throughout the entire house, even in the garden, so no worries about that. Although it is a multifunctional room, we always make sure our guests can have enough privacy.
You'll have free use of the living room, kitchen, bathroom, etc.
We have got a big sunny garden and in summer we put up the pool to keep cool ;-) Sometimes we even put up the tent and sleep in the garden, all together, while watching the stars. Or we enjoy an evening barbecue on the lounge sofa around our fire pit.
WHAT I CAN SHARE WITH VOLUNTEERS
We share our house, our time, our knowledge, our beliefs,our culture,... You shouldn't agree on everything and anything, we just ask you to respect our way of living, we will definitely respect yours!!!
We will try to give you a feel of a 'home away from home'
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACCESS
The bus stop is at only 200m from our door. This is a direct busline to Bruges city center.
The train station is at 2.5 km from our house. There is a train to Bruges every half hour.
From Bruges you have got easy train acces to every major city in Belgium.
We also have a bike that you can use to discover the area.
We live in the mainstreet of Veldegem. You can find everything within 200m walking distance: supermarket, restaurant, take-a-way, bank, pharmacie, gift shop, pub (we live next to one), bakery, bus stop ...
Bruges is the best known city in the area, but not the only city worth visiting. You can visit the vivid city of Ghent (25min), the beautifull Belgian coast (25min), our capital Brussels ( 1h20min) or the fashion city of Antwerp (1h20min). And those are only the big cities, there are lots of other smaller cities really worth visiting.
We live close to the highway and all of the above places are easily accessible by public transportation.
Bruges is well-known for its historical city center, nice architecture and numerous museums. You will surely enjoy a boat trip on the canals. Did you know that Bruges is called "The Venice of the north"? Or what about the chocolate museum? Discover the history of chocolate, how it's made and of course, have a taste of some delicious Belgian pralines.
Want to have a fun day? Visit one of the two theme parks nearby who're easily accesible by bus, train or car. You can choose between Plopsaland in De Panne (40 min.) or Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges (15 min.). This last one is smaller, but has a dolphinarium and daily dolphin show.
And those are only a few activities who are at our doorstep. Imagine what the rest of Belgium could offer you!
A FEW GUIDELINES:
Why do you want to be a volunteer in a big family with 4 active children and a huge renovation project on their hands? Mention something from our profile in your request: it shows us that you've read it. We'll also take the time to read yours!
For safety reasons we can't host people who don't give us some background information about themselves. We appreciate it to getting to know you well in advance by skyping, mailing or chatting with you.
We're a non smoking family, but we have a big garden where you can have a sigaret.
Any indication of drug use will immediately terminate our hosting agreement.
In Belgium you can have a beer or a glass of wine as from the age of 16, distilled liquors as from 18. If you consume alcohol wisely, we won't mind. If you get drunk every week, we will!
Our kids get up between 6 and 7 am, weekdays AND weekends!!! Be prepared to enjoy their early morning songs.
Since we have to get up early on weekdays we tend to go to bed around 10pm, our youngest around 8pm.
We would like you to respect the childrens night's rest. So no partying/ loud music/smashing doors... when they're in bed.
You'll have free use of kitchen, bathroom, playroom, garden,... Our house is your house, but keep it clean: our home is far from a showroom ( 4 kids in the house, remember !) but we appriciate some basic hygiene.
Wifi internet connection available if you bring your own device (laptop, smartphone,...) Stefan will enter the passwords on your computer since the internet connection is highly secured for his work.
We've got a special suitcase full of touristic brochures on different cities and activities to help you plan your free time. Feel free to ask information, we will gladly help you out or perhaps you could even join us when we go on a trip.
As you know, we are NOT a free hotel/hostel. If you're around the house or while helping out, please be sociable: tell us a bit about yourself, your culture, your trip, etc. Play with the kids, admire their paintings or be enthousiastic about their trics on the trampoline.
The main reason why we want to host volunteers is to enrich our lives with some knowledge about other cultures and to show our kids about hospitality rather than teaching them about it.
And perhaps even find friends for life!
Basicly, just ask yourself: "What would I expect/appriciate if I were the host?" and everything will work out just fine!!
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week