Information du profil
Taux de réponse
Usually responds ≤ 38 jours
I am a 34-yo Frenchman who decided to settle up in a little unrecognized country, aka Pridnestrovie or 'the country that doesn't exist'.
My goal is to live closer to nature, in a more sustainable way, and live in a much more relaxed atmosphere.
Two years ago I bought an old house in a beautiful location, by a lake (hence the name: 'La Maison du Lac' = 'The Lake House'), and I am trying to turn it into a little heaven, where I could produce my own food and live a quiet life. In the future, I would like to start a few projects for the village and around, especially in the field of culture, ecology and economy.
I have two old houses and a couple outbuildings on 4,300 sq meters (about 46,000 sq ft) of land in the north of the country. There is an orchard, a vineyard, and a big field. One of the house has beautiful murals and ceilings, made by a Soviet artist, it is likely where you will stay.
Water comes from the well (either from a bucket or an electric pump), and I would also like to build a bicycle water pump so that one can exercise and save energy at the same time (good for the body, good for the planet). There are also many springs around (not on my land, but in the village) which provide very nice drinking water (locals also drink from the well tho).
The village is quite big for the country. It has about 600 inhabitants, two shops, a small museum, a post office, a bank, a dispensary, a library, a school and a kindergarten, a house of culture and a few other things.
The house is literally a metre away from the lake, a river is a couple meters farther, and forests are all around the village. There are some other picturesque villages around, and places for mountain biking, hiking, etc.
The main city of the region is Rybnitsa. It is about 20 km away, and there are a couple buses a day to go there.
One week is a bare minimum, ideally this year I would like to have some longer stays so we can live a bit like a community. If you're flexible with your time, we can try and see how it goes the first week, then extend if we're both happy. I am also willing to try hosting more people at a time (let's say 2 or 3, not too sure yet). Open to parents with kids/teens IF they are interested by nature and such projects.
Types d'aide et opportunités d'apprendreAide avec des éco-projetsJardinageBricolage et projets de constructionAide dans une fermeAide à la maison
Objectifs de développement durable de l’ONU que cet hôte essaie d'atteindre
Echange culturel et opportunités d'apprendre
CULTURE AND TOURISM
Pridnestrovie (aka Transnistria, 'the country that doesn't exist') is a very interesting place, a bit away from globalization. Despite being located in Europe, you won't find any McDonalds or KFCs here (and you can forget about Starbucks!) The country is often nicknamed as the last bit of the Soviet Union, since many things stayed like in the good old times!
Very few foreigners live here, and even tourists are not that numerous. The North of the country is even more 'out of the beaten tracks'. Living in a Pridnestrovian village is something very little people from the West have experienced so far.
You will experience real Pridnestrovian life, meet real people (my friends, my neighbours, the lady from the shop...) and would have a unique insight on the country.
You will learn more about this very special country, its history, its languages and cultures (my village is Ukrainian, but there are also Moldovans living there... we have many nationalities here and three official languages).
If you are learning Russian, you will have a unique opportunity to practise every day with native speakers. If you are learning French, I'll be happy to help you with that!
GARDENING AND BUILDING SKILLS
We will hopefully teach each other what we know about building, renovating, gardening... but also traditional technic and self-sufficiency. Making home-made wine, cooking local dishes, canning and preserving food, etc.
This year, I have a few priorities I'd like to work on:
- fire wood: we use fire wood for heating, cooking, barbecues, etc. What I'd like to do is to get 3 years worth of wood, cut and chop it and store it for drying. I have some small trees to cut from the property, will buy more from the forest office, and would like to collect kindling from the forest.
- vegetable garden: grow all sorts of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Main crops will be: corn (both sweet for humans and hard for chicken and polenta/flour), potatoes, courgettes/zucchini, beans, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, thyme, lavender, lettuce, radish, bell peppers, carrots, sorghum, mint, chili peppers, pumpkins, melon and watermelon, sunflowers. I might also try some more exotic stuff such as rice, artichokes, and a few others. I use mostly old sorts as they are likely tastier and also easier to digest. Might be a bit less productive tho, but priority is quality. Usually we don't need to water the garden so much here (first year I did not water it at all, even when sowing), but we'll need to do some maintenance nonetheless (thinking of using straw, compost, etc). Might get some chicken as well for egg production, and as helpers to maintain the land (seems to be quite useful in the garden).
- picking and gathering products from the forest (mushrooms, herbs for tisane, fruits...) and fishing in the lake.
- preserving and cooking the food: canning, dehydrating, smoking... the excess produces from the garden and the forest. I have many cellars ready to get filled. In some cases it is just a case of sterilising some veggies in a jar, but I'd like also to make sauces and many dishes ready to use (if you like cooking, that might be perfect for you).
Some examples would be: jam (including vareni, that we can use as a tea), fruit purée (French compote), Soviet drinks (kompot, mors, etc), juices, tomato sauce, French ratatouille, mix for herbal tea, vinegar, pickles...
Also, in autumn, home made wine.
- renovating one of the garages (it needs a new roof mostly) to make it a workshop and a place to keep the many tools we use every day.
- replacing the fence on two sides of the property, as the old one starts to be a bit dangerous and I'd rather not have anybody hurt if something falls, plus it needs to be a bit more hermetic so that the chickens don't walk away. Ideally, on one of them I'd like to paint a big mural, maybe different views about the country, lifestyle or something like that. It will be on the outside, so people in the street can enjoy it when walking around the lake.
- improving a bit the house for visitors and volunteers.
There are many other projects on-going, including the renovation of a new building I just bought, but these are not a priority for volunteers this year (unless they have skills and/or a strong interest in traditional/ecological renovation).
I am also open to many things, as I see the place as an experimentation, so if you've got something specific to offer, I'm all hears! One thing I'd like to do at some point is to open a low-tech lab. I want to buy an extra building for that, but lack the funds for now. If you've got any interest in that, I'm happy to chat tho. We might be able to use that workshop/garage once the new roof is in place.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
I used to teach French, so I am happy to help you with my native language. I am currently trying to improve my Russian, and wouldn’t mind practising my Italian.
The house offers very limited comfort but is improving day by day. There are a couple beds there, some linen (but I highly encourage you to come with your own sleeping bag if you've got one), a few inflatable mattresses. You can also camp in the garden if you prefer and have a tent. There is a summer shower (wooden cabin with a water tank on the roof that heats with the sun) and a compost toilet. Hopefully at some point we will also have an indoor shower that we can use early spring and whenever it is a bit too cold outside. We cook mostly outdoor, on the fire. Internet is accessible via a 4G modem (works quite well). We can catch Ukrainian signal as well if necessary. There is a washing machine.
There are two rooms dedicated to visitors, the second one is accessed through the first one, which is a bit annoying but I can't change that. It is also possible to sleep in the veranda.
I am planning to turn the former living room into a nice space to relax, use the internet, read books or play board games all together. But to be honest we usually spend most of our times outside, in the garden or by the lake.
I usually eat a lot of vegetables, especially in summer, but also eat meat or meat products on a regular basis. We can fish in the lake as well to supplement our diet. In a general way, I buy almost only local products (made in the country, and if possible in the region I live), so don't expect industrial/imported food on the table.
If you are vegetarian/vegan, I am happy to follow your diet most of the time.
I think it's nice to have our meals together, at least once a day. We can cook together or by turns.
You are welcome to buy (at your own expense) whatever you'd like if you absolutely crave Nutella or some Danone Yogurts. Please be aware that we can't always find a particular American/French/German/younamethecountry product here. Also, please be aware that garbage disposal is not easy here, so avoiding plastic is a must! Paper can be use to light the fire or composted, glass jars and bottles reused for canning, metal recycled somewhat, but plastic needs to be brought to the city where it ends up in a landfill...
I always have different sorts of tea in the house, and can buy some coffee if needed. You can use them whenever you'd like, as well as most products in the kitchen.
I don't provide alcohol on a regular basis and would ask you to refrain from being completely wasted when at home (alcohol is cheap and readily available in the country tho).
I enjoy wine and might get a bottle from time to time, and you're more than welcome to join.
The shop next door sells beer for a decent price (usually about $2 for a 2 L/half a gallon bottle).
Cooking and cleaning the house is a shared duty, as we're all in.
On your time off, you're more than welcome to join me in my activities (meeting with friends, walking in the forest, biking...). We can take trips around the country from time to time, especially if you're staying an extended period of time (going to Tiraspol, visiting some cool places, Urbex, bicycle trips, food trips...), or even to Moldova or Ukraine.
If you prefer to spend time on your own, which is not an issue at all, I can help you organise your trips (finding the best accommodation arrangements, transports, etc.).
Around the house, you can:
- fish or swim in the lake,
- hike or bike in the forest and the neighbouring villages, including Stroensi, Beloci, and Rashkov,
- try a Swedish bath with lavender in a self-sufficient farm,
- visiting some restaurants around (by bike or taxi),
If you take a minibus or a taxi you can:
- go kayaking on the river Dniester,
- go to the movies in the city (only in Russian I'm afraid),
- visit other cities in Pridnestrovie,
- visit the cognac factory, the sturgeon farm (they produce caviar with a process that doesn't kill the fish), some industrial plants, etc.
- take longer trips to Moldova or Ukraine, although I suggest to avoid Ukraine for the time being...
RULES (I'm not very strict and it's just good sense, but it doesn't cost much to remind them here)
- respect the property of everybody (mine, and others'),
- be respectful with the local people (neighbours, workers, friends, etc.),
- respect the nature,
- be clean and keep things clean around you (no liter, cigaret butts or anything on the floor please),
- don't drink too much when at home (when you're away for the night, it's your responsibility, but try to behave well in all cases)
- no drugs (including cannabis)! This is a punishable offense here, and police is quite strict with it. If you introduce drugs on my property, I will have to ask you to leave without delay.
In a general way, communication is key. If you have an issue with me, the work or anything, or if you don't know how to do something, just talk to me. I am a very open-minded person, and always happy to discuss the issues instead of letting the situation rot.
Feel free to ask any question you have before coming.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
Possibilité d’accueillir les digital nomads
You are welcome to work online on your free time. You can use the 4G access at the house. It is usually quite reliable, although not as fast as optic fibre. Would be fine for writers, designers, coders... but maybe not for video production. Your call.
Espace pour garer des vans
Might keep it in the yard or just outside the property. Can refill water from the hose but I can't help you dispose of your grey/black water tho. If you're happy to use the compost toilet and the outdoor shower, that's fine by me.
Possibilité d'accueillir les animaux
Dogs might be fine if not agressive and well educated. In any case, this is something we need to discuss beforehand. :)
Combien de volontaires pouvez-vous accueillir ?
Plus de 2
Nombre d'heures attendues
About 5 hours a day, 5 days a week