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Archive for the ‘Hostels’ Category

Painting Them: Hostels for Youth and Young Adults

In January of 2017, I will, for the first time, meet a third cousin from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Frederich III is a professeur of microbiologie. He and five others have been invited to the United States to present papers on the impact of environmental changes upon our health.

 

Fred has two sons. They operate a large guest hostel located in a coastal city.

 

They employ a painter part-time. One of his jobs involves supervising youth and young adult “stay-overs,” who want to earn part of their room rates by doing some painting at the hostel.

 

Few of these young people have ever picked up a paint brush. Except, perhaps, an artist brush. So they do not know their capabilities in this area. Until they put a brush in one of their hands.

 

To make their possibly first painting experience a positive one, the hostel painter works them in pairs. Then, he lets them select, from a duty list, the small painting project they want to take on.

 

Most projects involve interior surfaces and areas. Repainting of the drywall parts of the ceilings, supported by huge rough-sawn beams. Filling, sanding and re-varnishing of the paneled walls in most sleeping rooms. Patching, sanding and refinishing of the hardwood floors, located throughout structure.

 

One of the biggest challenges is the repainting or refinishing of all surfaces in all public areas and “pass-through” corridors, as well as the miles and miles of dark oak stairs, railings, banisters, and trims. There’s a steady flow of traffic in and out of every area – 24 hours, seven days a week.

 

To help solve that problem and make it easier for the young guests to get the painting done, Fred’s boys developed a rotation system. Different two-person crews would be available to do painting at different times of the day or night. Translation: whenever a room or area became vacant for even a few hours.

 

Considering that most of the persons doing the work are novices – new to the craft, Fred says it’s been amazing to see how effective the system works. And, how qualitative the painting results have been.

 

“What about the outside?” I e-mailed Fred.

 

He said that the colder climate limits the exterior work that these young people are able to do. A few always come along, willing to put up with the elements while beautifying the outside of the building.

 

Four questions that will be answered later this month, with the help of the co-owners of the hostel.

 

1. How do the products used differ from those used in the U.S.?

2. How do the techniques or methods differ?

3. How do the average costs differ from those incurred in the U.S.?

4. How do the youth and young adult “painters” feel about the results they produce?

 

Fred, a silent partner in the hostel enterprise, already responded to Question 4. “They’re in surprise. Also, they express gratefulness for making some money to help pay for traveling expenses…”

 

Employing young hostel guests is not a new concept. Hostel operators around the world have,, for many years, employed them to work in the kitchen, restaurant/dining area and laundry. Employing them to handle repair and painting tasks and work orders is a newer pursuit.

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Travelers at any age can work their way to their destinations.

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Travel safe, travel well. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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