There’s a great website called helpx which provides a platform for helpers and hosts to get together. I heard about it from the dutch couple Guido and Gerry back in Iceland and I’m really grateful for that tip. As a helper, you can stay at a hosts farm or home for a week up to several months. Usually you’d have to work 4-5 hours a day and get accommodation and food in return. For more details on Help Exchange visit helpx – about.
… was my first host, he lives in an old traditional house on the small island Tofterøy at the west coast of Norway. When I first arrived there were still some other helpers staying there, but the overlap time was short and soon it was only me, Geir and the three dogs Vilma, Nike and Simba – all dogs from different neighbors Geir (or the helpers) would take care of for a couple of days.
There was a lot of work to be done, but don’t get me wrong, although the list of tasks was sometimes overwhelming, Geir didn’t expect that everything gets finished- or even started on. I was free to set priorities to different tasks and work on them when and how long I wanted. The main goal was just to make his life a bit easier 🙂
So I worked on removing rust on some tools, walking the dogs, maintaining the veggie crops, painting a mailbox sign on a copper plate and some other small things which was all actually fun to do.
Painting Geir’s Boat
The main project, and the most fun and rewarding, was getting Geir’s motor boat out of the water to do some maintenance. That sounds easier as it was, since the slip was just a couple of centimeters wider than the actual boat and we had only a small electrical winch and his standard car to pull it. The first day we could only get the boat half out before the tools at our disposal failed. Next day we finally succeeded with the help of a friend of Geir – and his van for power.
I could then start to clean the boats hull and scrape off all sea creatures and seaweed living on it, and apply a complete layer of blue protective boat paint to the lower hull which would prevent anything from growing there for another year.
As a big treat I was given the honor of painting the boats name on the rear: Fruen Frida (Mrs. Frida), an hommage to Geirs mother.
It was her 82nd birthday just when I finished the paint job!
It was a pleasure being at Geirs place and getting to know him! This was my first helpx experience and it really felt good to contribute and help someone else out. I hope I’ll get many more opportunities to live and work with locals on my travels, it is so…
rewarding and insightful