Blogs from Takanini, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini January 4th 2010

Hello and Happy New Year and indeed, Happy New Decade to you all!! We hope you had a great Christmas and are all set for the things to come this year... This has been our second Christmas living in NZ and I have to admit, I still haven't got used to it being summer. I left much of the Christmas shopping to the last minute as I couldn't quite get excited about it when it was all hot and sunny outside! We didn't have much planned this Christmas as it was only going to be us. You may recall that last year we celebrated with Mayuko, Mia and Isaac and had lots of fun in the process. This year, Glynn and I were invited to Liz and Allard's for a Christmas barbecue dinner with friends and ... read more
Christmas Day 2009
Christmas Day 2009
Christmas Day 2009

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini December 26th 2008

Well hello and Merry Christmas to you all!! Here we are, celebrating our first proper Christmas in New Zealand. The sun is shining and it's warm enough to be sat here in shorts and t-shirt as I write. I have to say, in many ways it just doesn't feel like Christmas at all. I mean, surely it's supposed to be cold and dreary outside? Not that I'm complaining! To get us in the festive spirit, we headed out in search of a Christmas tree. we've both always wanted a black one and were extremely happy to find just such a tree in Papakura, which is the suburb just down the road from us. I unpacked the Christmas decorations we brought with us from the UK and was disappointed to find that the tree looked really rather ... read more
Kitty Cake
Tree Stumped
Tree Hugger

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 14th 2008

The last three build days were different than the rest because the team broke up into our home stays. Our host families were charming and considerate hosts. Thursday saw the completion of the roof, insulation, and pre-inspection electrical. Brad, Bill, and Mike worked on the water drainage system. Kirk made many scenic runs to the quarry and offered tours to overworked team members to view the New Zealand landscape (a nice diversion). Brad (The Machine) got a chance to operate a backhoe…scary! The house really looks great. I only hope that we left enough work for to complete for the next group (just kidding)! Friday night we had a farewell party with the family, host families, Habitat Board members, and the Hawkins construction guys. Hawkins Construction was so impressed with Habitat and the partnership that ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 11th 2008

Another good day at the site. Sith and I nailed the battons throughout the home today. Brad and Bill worked on the window flashers. Christy and Jehoidah put in the bathtub. Christy also put up the paneling above the doors. Kirk drove the stick shift truck on the left side of the road all day (by the way, as most have noticed, New Zealanders drive on the left aka "wrong" side of the road and also shift with their left hands). Rachel was puttying/painting/sanding the faccia. Janet went on runs all day with Mike. Lynne and Mary jumped in where needed (sorry ladies if I missed anything!). The house is looking really awesome (as Mike would say - he really likes the word 'awesome'). We've got all of the windows in. The bricks are here but ... read more
Our Fearless Leaders
I'm so hungry
Richard taking a break

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 10th 2008

Today was spent working on fascia, soffets, valleys, windows, doors, painting and other acitivities. We have now prepared for the roofers who will be showing up tomorrow. We will be able to go back to the site tomorrow even with the roofers there. Another day without any rain, but not much sunshine also. This evening, we went to St. Mary's Catholic church in Papakura for dinner. The women who have brought us lunch invited us over for dinner at their church. Frances and her family, along with the workers (Mike, Richard, Paul and some of there family members) were also there. It was really fun to spend some time with all of them outside of working on the site. We had a wonderful meal and a lot of good fellowship this evening. There was a short ... read more
Frances Family

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 10th 2008

Kia Ora to Blog #7! We were unable to write in the blog yesterday so I will provide an update on that day now (by the way, "Kia Ora" means many different things in the Maori language including 'thank you', 'welcome', 'hello', and 'goodbye'). Yesterday was our day off from the build site. We did many different things around the Auckland area. Our first stop was the Auckland Museum. It was very cool to see many different artifacts from the Maori culture and learn about New Zealand's history in general. We were even able to witness a beautiful Maori performance complete with song, dance, and haka (arm and leg slaps to frighten the enemy). It seems that many of us enjoyed this part of our day. Our second stop was to Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter. We ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 7th 2008

Another day and one without rain. A good thing. As we started the day, our leader, Mike, thought that we would be delayed as showers were expected, but to our happiness, clouds, a bit of sun and wind. We made great progress by finishing what we could on the roof. I estimated, 15,000 nails, or at least it felt like it. The house is wrapped in with the weather sealing product and the scaffolding has been delivered and ready to put up. We have a house or more than the shell. The end of the work day ended with the successful flying of the Habitat for Humanity banner above the house. Great photo! We headed out to Mission Bay, downtown Aucklund to meet up with Dawn from the NZ Habitat office. A great meal of fish ... read more
Thrivent logo
Parking job
Mission Bay

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 6th 2008

The morming started off in the usual way with a lovely heart warming devotional, and then the team split. Half of us headed to the roof and half stayed below. I was on the roof. At first I thought it was a great idea. I was sure I would feel like a monkey as I swung from rafter to rafter, but once up, my sea legs failed me and I found myself crawling along the roof beams as other pranced around me. Then, just about the time I started to feel brave enough to stand up, Reg and Kirk wobbled and I was back to scooting along the roof on my bum. But even so, the progress of seeing almost all the treces up at the end of the day was a great feelng! Everyone seemed ... read more
The Team Day 3
Group at work

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 5th 2008

The second day on the site we had to endure rain and wind. The trusses we were waiting on never arrived so we spent it shealthing the outside with hardie board. Brad and Lynne are now experienced plumbers so if anyone back home needs plumbing see Brad and Lynne. Shannon used a pneumatic nailer for the first time. Hopefully tomorrow will have more work for us to do.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini November 1st 2008

Bill Thrivent employee for 19 years - Currently manage Data Integration Service team of AEUS Wife Paula - just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary Daughter Katie - Just starting her first year of college at Minnesota State Mankato We have a cabin in Annandale MN that we try to spend as much time at We are avid college hockey fans and attend all Gopher home games Brad I was born in 1959. Feel free to call me "Brad". I am married to my high school sweetheart, Leslie. We have two children, Bryce, a junior at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota and Linley, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities Campus. The three of them are the "reason" that I know the future is a place that I want to be and because of them ... read more
First wall going up

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