Hi, my name is Silvia and I live with my husband, our 5 kids and our 'adopted' au pair girl in the country side, just outside Tienen (45 km from Brussels), in the Dutch-speaking region in Belgium. We are Italians (this is the main language at home) but we speak English, French and Dutch fluently (or at least the kids do). We bought an old little farm 10 years ago. We did all works by ourselves and we are finally about to finalise the second floor of the house and doing some finishing touches in the first floor. We are also expanding our permaculture vegetable garden in the hectar around the house, as we aim at self-sufficiency. We would need some help both with finishing the works inside the house and with our project on a self-sufficient home.
We are a big family: we have 2 boys, Mattia (almost 10) and Andrea (almost 9), and 3 girls, Matilde (almost 7), Irene (3 and a half) and Anna (2). We have a dog and chickens. In the past we also had ducks, rabbits and horses.
Ajuda em projetos ambientais
Projetos de construção/faça você mesmo
Ajuda a cuidar da casa
If you're interested in DIY works in the house and/or in permaculture and self-sufficiency, we have gained a lot of experience in the years and we are happy to transfer it to you and work together on this project. I've myself been studying plants, especially medicinal and edible ones, and practiced permaculture for the past 14 years. I've worked as a naturopath for 4 years as a second job, but in time this and our project will become my only occupation. My husband is an engineer and very handy in doing all DYI works and find green and innovative solutions. We are used to have people living with us (we had au pair girls for the past 3 years and a half), we're entusiastic and like sharing our life and passions. We still help taking care of a number of horses in our spare time because I'm a founding member of an association having 20 horses, where I also give workshops. I'm more than happy to share any knowledge or activity that I do.
Este projeto pode envolver crianças. Para mais informações, veja aqui nossas diretrizes e dicas.
We would need some help with finishing the works inside the house, such as covering the ceiling with wood planks, building the wooden furniture, install the doors. We are equipped with all the necessry tools and (self-taught) knowledge but just need an extra pair of hands. Obviously if you have yourself some knowledge to share, it's more than welcome, although not necessary.
Regarding the help outside the house, we would need both help with
- structural tasks, such as covering the porches with wooden planks, levelling a part of the property and fencing it off, creating a parking space (concrete and tiles) with a carport, building a little house for the animals (turkeys, geese and quail birds), digging a hole and preparing the space for a pond for biodiversity, building a bigger green house
- gardening tasks: we are going to increase our orchard in Autumn (we would like to plant around 30 trees), we need to transplant wild plants to create edges and trees to create a wind barrier. Depending on the period, there's always work to do in the permaculture garden and next year we would also like to build an aquaponics system.
Este anfitrião oferece intercâmbio de idiomas
Every day, I'm used to speak Italian (my mother tongue), French (I was born and raised in a French-speaking region, studied in France and work in the French-speaking region in Belgium as a naturopath), English (I've studied in the UK university and work as a legal consultant in human rights in the EU for an American company) and Dutch (we live in the Dutch-speaking region and my kids have been going to the Dutch school since they were born. I help them to do their homeworks, do workshops in the school and communicate with people when I do the grocery, etc.). I've studied Spanish and Arabic at university (my second degree - my first one is in law), but I haven't practiced for a while now. I also worked in Tunisia for a year, long time ago...My husband speaks fluently in Italian (his mother tongue), English (working in an American company) and has a good knowledge of French, Spanish and Dutch. I love languages and I'm happy to help you learning one, if you're interested to.
You will have your room and space (depending on whether the works are finished upstairs, that will be upstairs or downstairs), we would like you to integrate in the family life and share the meals with us (we're happy to try to accomodate any specific dietary requirements you might have - lactose intolerance, vegan, etc.) and participate to any activity/trip we organise
Tienen is a small town of about 35.000 inhabitants, 100.000 if you considered all the villages around that are basically part of the town (we live in one of them, and we're just 5 km from Tienen main square). Tienen is very well served by public transport. There's the high speed train from Liege to Brussels, passing by here: it takes 10 minutes to go to Leuven, 20 to Brussels and 20 to Liege. The train station is at 3 km from home and the highway Liege-Brussels is at 6 km. Paris, London and Amsterdam are very easy to reach with the high-speed train. We often go to the Netherlands to visit some friends and to Italy to see family and friends. If you're leaving with us when we're moving, you're more than welcome to join us.
Acesso à internet
Acesso à internet limitado
Pode hospedar famílias
We have a very good internet connection (paid by our companies) but since we're leaving in the country side the wires do not support the connection we paid for and sometimes when we all work from home it gets a bit slower. We're going back to work to the office more and more often though, so it is not a big problem
we have a lot space where a campervan or motorhome can park
it depends on the pet(s) and wether it stays in the house because we have a dog ourself and chickens, so a cat will be difficult inside the house and a dog should not attack the chickens
Mais de 2
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week