Workaway in Oamaru

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February 7th 2020
Published: February 9th 2020
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Workaway in Oamaru

It was with a little bit of anticipation that we drove from Christchurch to our 12 day long “workaway” in Oamaru. If you didn’t know what it is, check out a previous post or look at The thoughts went something like: What if we didn’t click with the family there? What if the expectations were all off? What if the children couldn’t get along? You never know. But of course everything was fine.

There was mom, dad, and three children 8, 7 and 14 months. Everyone got along, and within 5 minutes the adults were chatting away and the children playing. That continued for most of the time during the next two weeks. We just had SO much to talk about. From house renovation, raising children, running a busyness to moving to a new country (or continent), ultra-running, finding your passion, family and many other things, we all had a lot to say, and conversations were never boring. We learned a lot, got inspired and found new ways of doing old things.

The set up was pretty simple. We just became a part of the family and helped out. It was very easy and natural. We did things like clean windows prep and do some paint work, help out around the house, help with home schooling of the two eldest and chased after their youngest, who had just learnt to walk the week before.

During the first week we had signed Alba and Ollie up for summer activities at the local Rec Centre, so they were away for three hours each morning. They did things like cricket, duathlon, acromoves, rope climbing, tae kwon do and many other fun things. Alba was a bit anxious at first, but after a couple of days of hand holding the loved it! Friday was her birthday and she was very proud when she told us that the group of 40 kids had all sung Happy Birthday to her. It was a great set-up, with really nice and attentive volunteer helpers, who made sure everyone was being looked after.

In the weekend we went back to being tourist and visited the Moeraki Boulders on the beach and a gorge with some beautiful walks. The highlight for Ollie was the river walk, that she insisted on doing after the 2½ hour loop to the top of the gorge. We crossed the river 5 or 6 times, and it was quite fun. But a bit disappointing to get to the end of the track and see a sign with “maintained path ends here”. We thought it was a loop, but we had to go back the same way. But it’s hard to get really upset about having to do a fun walk twice. She wants to go back and do it again J

The last week was spent with a lot of home schooling. We’ve run out of Danish books, so Ollie is now learning to read in English. And we downloaded a NZ school app with good levels for both Ollie and Alba, so they’re getting challenged. Luckily there was still time for fun and games like playground and kayaking.

It was a super good experience, that I’d definitely do again, and recommend to others. We’re meeting up with our hosts when they’re in Denmark later this year, and we feel lucky to leave with new friends.

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