Remember the south americans that have been staying with us? Franco is from Argentina, and Gonzalo and Esteban are from Chile. They were all here in New Zealand to backpack and work for a while, and have been staying upstairs for over a month while they are between jobs. Best customers we have had. Gonzalo found work in the south island, so he is going today to catch a bus from Hamilton straight down to Wellington. The other two were not approved for working visas and decided to go back home yesterday instead of spending money trying to reapply and wait for job offers. The three of them are really friendly and have kept the upstairs so tidy. They have been great to keep around and we are sad to see them go.
Jack and I talked with Gonzalo for a long time last night since it was his last. We had a great time with him. We decided we will drive him out to Hamilton tonight so he doesn't have to hitchhike. He has to be at the bus station there by 9:30, so we'll take him out to dinner and make sure he gets on ok. He has spent the last two winters working in Montana, so his English is great and he understands our American accent a million times better than the kiwi accent. He was in shock when he first got here and couldn't communicate at all, and it hasn't gotten much better. The kiwis don't understand his accent, either.
Jack and I are going skiing at the end of this month and then heading south. We are going to meet up with Gonzalo, he'll take a couple days off work, and we will travel around the south island together. Jack is going to force Gonzalo and I to jump off of the world's second tallest bungee in Queenstown, we plan to ski a day in Cardrona, and check out Fjordland and Milford Sound. Gonzalo is leaving us with his rental movies, we traded his suitcase for Jack's giant backpack so he could travel easier to his job, and he promised us lift tickets and a place to stay out in Montana for this coming winter. He's a good man.
So, for the 4th of July we decided against the dingy, nasty, run-down Sterling Tavern and went out to Tauranga instead. Jack and I hadn't been back there since we left Mount Maunganui, I don't think. It's always fun haning out with Christoffel and Alison after work just to talk, laugh, and relax. The two of them are leaving on the 19th to fly to Dunedin for Christoffel's med school interview. Alison's birthday is on the 18th, so they will be down there for 4 days to celebrate that, plus their 1 year wedding anniversary on the 20th. Jack and I are going to be on our own managing while they are gone. We interviewed a girl yesterday who is interested in working here, so we are going to have her shadow Jack and I on the Sunday that they are gone so we can have some help and see how she holds up in the cafe. They need an employee (or two) when Jack and I are gone, so I hope it all works out with her.
Saturday night wasn't quite as good as we thought it would be, but what do you expect when a bunch of parents buy seventeen and eighteen year olds (150 of them) enough alcohol to stock our bar for one month? The kid's birthday party turned out be a little too rough and the Rugby Club decided to crash it after the four of us had already gone to bed. Christoffel and Alison woke up to a kid climbing up the fire escape to their window at nearly 2:00 in the morning. The parents did nothing they had said they would, no to mention the "security/bouncers" they provided, but at least they signed that contract! They get to pay all damages, so it's taken care of.
Shannon, you always get harassed by the grossest people! I was just telling Jack a week ago about that one time you had to pretend you were walking into a store with some stranger because of that creepy man following you. Rusty Gun almost stopped in again today! I bolted back to the kitchen so the guys could take his order and make the coffee. I don't mind cooking his meal as long as I am behind that wall in the back! How is life in Chicago? Gonzalo is wanting to see more of the US and he has a layover in Minneapolis in April, so we told him he could stay a few days with us and we would drive him through to Chicago, Wisconsin, Duluth, and up to Canada so he could get a feel for it all. If it all works out, you and John might get to meet Gonzalo next year! How crazy would that be. He understands Castellano well because he lived with Franco all this time, so it would be fun to talk a while. Hope you both are doing well!
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