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Published: March 28th 2011
These past couple days have been a real adventure to say the least. While in Nelson we finally bought our “Van-Demon”. We love him very much. We bought him off a local couple that was so lovely. The guy has looked after this van so well. Even for its age it’s in wonderful condition. It just felt so good to finally have a vehicle because a set of wheels equals freedom.
We stopped on our way to Rainbow Valley- our wwoofing farm- at a beach called Kaiteriteria located at the gateway to the Abel Tasmen National Park. It was so fun. We swam in a river that connected to the ocean. Needless to say, I scraped myself real good on the leg trying to eddie out of the current and Patrick stepped on a rock and gave himself a nice cut on the bottom of his foot.
We arrived at the farm and were taken away by the scenery. It’s in a valley and it looks like a scene from either Jurassic Park or Lord of the Rings. Rainbow Valley is an intentional community that started roughly 40 years ago. We are wwoofing for one of the members, Simon
and Carol, helping them with chores around the house as well as building their new home.
Our first day consisted of our wwoofing family leaving for the whole day and therefore leaving us to our own devices. They left us with a few task as they were heading out the door. Weed the garden, clean the kitchen and have dinner ready when we get back at 7:00pm. I was not happy at all. I did not travel half way across the world the clean someone’s kitchen! I really felt we made a big mistake because we have committed to being here for a month to six weeks. That now has completely changed. I love it here. So much.
After our work, Patrick suggested that we go on a small adventure to get me out of my funk. We just started walking. It turned out to be such an amazing walk. We came across a trolley used to cross the river! I was so excited and scared. We jumped on and flew about 100 feet across the river and about 30 feet from the ground. The walk was unreal. It was like stepping into a secret world. We followed
the path for about 20 minutes that crisscrossed back and forth over the river. Finally we came upon the most beautiful waterfalls. We were totally blown away by the beauty of it all, quite surreal really.
We’ve been here now for a week and its been wonderful. It’s really hard to put into words how we are feeling. I guess the best way is free and empowered. Free because we have left behind the constraints we had put upon ourselves and stepped into a wonderful world of education. Empowered because we both have the potential to learn so much. We have already.
Our duties have gotten so much better too. Carol and I are a wonderful team. We start each day with milking the two goats, Molly and Linda. Carol actually loves them as much as I do! I get to milk the goats while Carol provides pointers. Linda gets milked first while Molly eats. While Molly is getting milk, Linda is rubbing her head against mine head and nestling her nose right in my neck. She gives better ear and neck nibbles than Patrick will ever do! Everyday, we spilt the milk up, half for drinking and
half for making cheese. Carol makes the most amazing goat cheese I’ve ever had. The best part is she’s teaching me. Bread is every other day and I love her many recipes.
One of the best parts about being here in the middle of nowhere (10 km down a crazy dirt road to the nearest town of Takaka) is there is no Internet! No longer can I jump on to find a recipe, I just have to wing it. Love it so much.
Patrick built an amazing “chook” aka chicken house and two days ago we designed, constructed and installed a solar panel and frame. It was so great. Patrick did all the wiring (with my trusty help) and now their little sleep out is off the grid. We are sleeping in a little trailer, which is quite cute and cozy.
The people on the community are a great bunch, friendly as hell and always up for a chat. There are about 20 people here. The gossip is probably my favourite. Not harsh gossip, but just what so and so is up to. We’ve had jam sessions, wonderful philosophical debates, great ‘tea’ time, and super great food
all from the farm.
Patrick and I are connecting wonderfully and keep commenting on how great it is to share such a wonderful experience together. The adventure continues!
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