Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Moving to Slovakia

We have bought our house in Slovakia in april 2008. Though we had never seen it. It were the internet photo’s that made us do it.

We had been on the lookout for an opportunity to start our own business. The options were quickly reduced to Slovakia; stable country, growing economy, affordable real estate and the possibilities for foreigners to buy agricultural lands.

We lived and worked for the past 10 years in West Africa; Mali and Burkina Faso. Both facinating countries with beautiful people. But it was time for a drastic change. Once the decision made, the money transferred and our contracts ended, we loaded our 21 years old Toyota Landcruiser, made the dogs fit as well and set off to our new destinaton.

Driving home

After one month of living in a car, and 8453 km of more or less decent roads, we were rather eager to get set up in our house. We went there with the real estate agent. We couldn’t believe our eyes. At first we thought there wasn't a house at all; only weeds; giant all covering weeds. However the agent showed us a small track – be carefull not to drive into the ditch – and conceiled by the massive weeds we found our new home. It took some imagenation to see it like that though.

Where is the house?

The house wasn’t lived in for two years. The old people who lived there weren’t able to manage the garden and other grounds for a long time any more. It seemed they left in a hurry, leaving all the furniture, clothes, kitchen gear etc. behind. It was rather puzzling to us and made us wonder what happened to those poor people.

We have been working on our house for the past four months now. It starts to look like the pictures we found so temping on the internet. It truly became our home. We’ve met the old owners who moved out to go and live with their family; thank god they were allright.

It turned out that our new home had way more to offer than the internet pictures made us believe. We have all diferent kind of wild animals running through the frond garden, neighbours who, even though we don’t speak the language (yet!), help us out with everything they can. We have found out that the local hard alcohol is the perfect translator. Though it should be used with care (we’ve found out the hard way). The snowplough cleans the road uptill our frontdoor – and when it once came late the neighbour already did it. Even the police was helpful when we applied for our residence permit – try that in holland these days!

We took a gamble and we won – so far. Now we have to find a way to make a living. We hope to open our doghotel in mai 2009. The dogmasters should wait untill spring 2010 to find a place to camp at our future campsite.

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