Kia Ora from New Zealand!
Well, we’re here! Already it feels like we’ve been gone much longer than 2 1/2 weeks.
Time truly does move slower here.
Or maybe it just seems to move slower when you don’t have anywhere in particular that you have to be.
No real schedule to keep.
Nothing pressing to consume your thoughts.
Nothing pressing except what you might eat for lunch on your first day in a new country.
That dilemma was fortunately solved for us by Ashley & Justin, who so graciously bought us lunch after they collected us from the airport! They took us to their favorite (and now ours as well) cafe in Auckland–Revive.
Our meal was ridiculously delicious! So much so that Drew and I made a point of going back when we took a train into the city to explore the other day.
I had Caesar Salad, Seedy Slaw, and Rice Pilaf with Peanuts and Drew had a pita stuffed with Israeli Couscous, Caesar salad, Roasted Potatoes, and Summer Salad.
From there, we drove by the harbor and past some great little beaches and lookouts.
Then we stopped at Mission Bay beach to get our feet wet and enjoy the sun.
From there, we were dropped off at our first host home–the Kiwi Heritage Homestay.
Karen is our gracious host, who has traveled quite extensively herself, and hosts international travelers and students. And HelpXers like us of course!
Since being here, we have:
- Helped fix dinner in the evenings
- Strimmed the hedges along the driveway (yes, that’s strimmed, not trimmed. NZ slang!)
- Weeded the flower beds
- Scrubbed & mopped the tiled front porch
- Cleaned the oven
- Swept up around back
- Updated the homestay’s website
I very seriously doubt we’ve worked 4 hours a day, which is what the HelpX guidelines recommend, but Karen said she just doesn’t have too much work for us.
But she has plenty of recommendations for things to do and places to see! She has quite the collection of brochures for area attractions, bush walks, and beaches.
It is difficult to visit them, though, when you don’t have your own transport. Otherwise, we would have loved to see Piha Beach and Fairy Falls in the Waitakere Range. But there is always time to come back and visit those places later!
We have been able to see Bethells Beach with Ashley & Justin and take a train into Auckland City for some exploring. More on those soon![nggallery id=2]