Help X is short for Help Exchange. It’s a system for exchanging work for a place to stay.
A friend of mine in Cotter has a great cabin, garage and home that allows for it. He has used the system several times. And, his reputation on the system is really good, so he attracts top folks.
He’s had engineers, carpenters and others with top trades stay with him for weeks at a time to help with projects around his place on the White River.
Currently, he has a couple from the Slovak Republic there. Husband and wife about 30. The man is a talented carpenter. His wife is a top end chef. Both have jumped in to help as my buddy finishes out a new two-story garage/loft on his property. They get to stay in his fishing cabin, a top place I used to stay in 12-15 years ago. Matt with our site has stayed there. The complex is on the White River.
I’m amazed how the system works. You can check recommendations and know pretty much who is coming and get great information, but it would make me nervous to try it.
The young man committed to 10 days with my friend but the project they are working on is not quite done and he said they would stay three more days “to get it finished.” Their next stop is in the Nashville, Tenn., area.
He has an international driver’s license. They flew into Chicago and bought a van with 200,000 miles on it. Runs great. The man who sold it to them says he will buy it back when they are done with their 60-day stay.
The couple told me they have used Help X to travel all of Europe, but this is the first time they’ve come to America on this system. They have traveled in America before, but paid for hotels, etc.
Both sides are happy. The Slovaks are at a destination place, on the White River under the old Cotter bridge. And, they are staying with a great family. And, I saw the work they have been doing with my friend. It’s top shelf stuff.
It’s all extremely interesting. I wouldn’t want to do either end of the Help X system. I wouldn’t go somewhere else and I wouldn’t invite someone. Takes a lot of courage on both ends in my estimation.
My friend’s wife is in Italy on vacation. She asked me to check on her husband daily with a coded text to make sure he’s OK. The code: Do you need beer? If he ever says no, then I should know that I better call the local authorities because he always needs beer. It turned out that it wasn’t a great code. The couple came with a present of some top end Slovakian beer that I guess is available in a few spots in Chicago. It was their way of bringing a house warming gift.