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Published: December 29th 2012
First of all: ** Happy holidays!**
That all your big and small dreams may come true!
I was wondering what's happening in the world and in your world. Keep me updated.
For about 4 weeks I've been a "resident" of Rainbow Valley. A community that started with idealistic hippy ideas but is now a example for modern society. Everybody has his own house with a fixed line and internet. There's running water and electricity, if you were wondering... The people work together, share land and stock together and have meetings. They are for 70%!s(MISSING)elfsustainable (the key word in New Zealand). It's a place of peace and love, in it's pure form. The first day Beth, a girl that returned after years of absent, gave me a guided tour through the community. I met most inhabitants of Rainbow (Rainbowers?) and realized that I just arrived in paradise. The people are the most sweet, loving, creative and interesting/interested people I've ever met. It felt like family directly. With open arms and big hugs they welcomed me in their small village. I didn't even mention the nature yet. The Valley is surrounded by green mountains and the Anatoki river. The weather seems much softer than in the north, the first weeks we had amazing weather with temperatures above 30 degrees! A good excuse to skinnydip (yep no shame here) in the nearest natural swimmingpool or the freezing waterfall across the river. The water is perfect blue/green and clear, there are fish and eels, but I haven't seem them yet (luckily). So what kind of animals do they have? They have a huge stock of cows, handfull of pigs, some goats, 2 horses, plenty of chicken (chooks they call them), 2 dogs and huge cats. Really fun! They used to have a furshop where they used to make coats out of possumfur (brr) and I slept in that old workshop. They still have a wood and fabric workshop, Jock makes amazing pottery with special minerals, earth and colored glass, Kahu makes beautiful sculptures with feminin shapes, Robert is all into the VOC (Dutch East India Company) ships and the Dutch history in New Zealand (Abel Tasman), Linda makes paintings and Robyn has the perfect garden. Everybody has it's place in this community which inspires you to become creative yourself!
At first I was the only wwoofer in this paradise, which was great! I had my place at the furworkshop and a 2 person bed! What a luxery! :D Wwoofing here means you work 3 hours a day for an accommodation and some basic food (rice, pasta, lentils, oatmeal, milk (but not now), and whatever the community garden provides (not much at this time). But sometimes the members of the community can ask you to work for them, 2 hours work for lunch and dinner. Very nice deal. The first day Robert (father of Beth, owner of 2 horses and a historician) gave me the task to do some lawnmowing. Great I thought. For some reason the machine kept turning off by multiple reasons and I ended up doing 4 hours work in 2 days. Well, NOW I know how it works! Robert even asked me to do his lawn for lunch and dinner. We had a great evening with interesting conversations. It's great how you can be part of a family like that!
The second day, I had the change to help in moving the stock of cows. Jock (who takes care of them) was the leader and Simon & Carol, Bill, and I helped out. Garded with sticks, we maked loud noises to help them following the right direction. There were about 12 of them, these big, not too bright, beasts. Very impressive! The beginning went great, they did as they were told. But then, there was the river they HAD to cross! No bloody way they would go in! They kept standing before the river, some of them had wet feet, others started pooing. Stuborn animals. The river is made of big round slippery stones and we had to get in to guide them a shallow and save path (fucking cold!) Finally they got in, but stopped again 1 meter from the coast. Pushing, hitting them with sticks (argh), shouting did not help them move. During 30 minutes, it was hopeless...
Then one of the calves broke away from the group. It was clumsy on the rocks with his flat hooves. Suddenly the whole group started moving to the big bush accross the river. Unfortunately the entrance of their playing field was the opposite direction. The bush was thick and stingy but there was a path, they just took the wrong one. Simon went into the thick and stingy forest and sended them the right way. What an adventure! Loved it! :D
The next days some new wwoofers arrived, 3 Frenchies by the names of Jenny & Hugues (couple) and Sam. After hanging out a couple of days with them, we started having great fun! They had a van so I had the change to go out, visited Takaka (the nearest "city"), go shopping and see a bit of the surroundings. They are really sweet and funny and we hung out all the time. The wwoofingwork that we did (making fences, clearing fences, gardening, piling wood) was fun, cause we were together!
After 4 days of Rainbow I couldn't sleep at night, felt really restless, daydreaming. -- I wanted to stay --
This place, these people, the nature, the tranquility. It was perfect. Only problem was that my plane would go back in just 1,5 month. So I took all steps that had to be taken:
* Applied for a IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number
* Opened a backaccount
* Changed my returnticket (called 4 times with Korean Air to arrange it)
* Looked for a job
* Looked for a place to stay/wwoofing
* Inform all parties
I had the best of luck cause Bill & Robyn (with the perfect garden) were looking for someone who could housesit their house for the holidays! They already found someone, but they could use me too (since I knew a lot about Rainbow). It was sublime! The Frenchies left and another Frenchie, Romain arrived. A guy from the French Alpes, who met Carol (from Simon) at a 3-4 day track nearby. We'll be housemates for 1,5 weeks. Luckily, we got along great! We only had to look after the house, watering plants and flowers, feeding the chooks and the cat, so no more wwoofing! It felt like a true holiday! We hang out with Beth and her friends a lot! We went swimming cause it was extremely warm, we met de children of Simon & Carol (Peter, Freya and friends). We went to see The Hobbit in the cinema, we drank and played music (Uke!!!). Pure fun!
Christmas was also fantastic! My 3 french friends: jJnny, Hugues and Sam also were there! Jeeey!!!
X-mas is different here. The weather was warm and sunny, the people were relaxed and were dancing/singing. They have a decorated branch (why would they grow trees for it?), presents (you had to buy a gift under $5), a lot of food and a fire. The present giving was great, they have this tradition, of making the rules of giving, complicated. Everybody got a number and the first number could chose the first present and so on, but you were allowed to swap/steal/change presents with someone else. Which nobody did in the end 😊 I got the best present! A sugarpot with a very nice long blue-ish hippy skirt. *Happy* We drank, smoked and played music untill the alcohol was finished (at 12am). FUN.
The days after I was looking for a place to wwoof or work after the new year, but nobody responded because of the holidays. Very frustrating... Only yesterday I recieved a confirmation: a 4 star eco resort just over the hill at Kaiteriteri
. Check it out: http://www.kimiora.com
Just after I got 2 other replies from wwoofinghosts, but I declined them for now. Really relieving! Some backpackers arrived and Romain and I did some work with them. They're staying for the new year! Great, it's gonna be one hell of a party cause a lot of youngsters (friends of Beth, Freya and Peter) are gonna be there :p Yep, I do feel old sometimes... Partay!
Future plans??? I wanted to volunteer for the luminate festival (30/1), but they did not responded to any of my emails and a ticket costs $225 now, which is damn expensive. 😞 I still have to think about it...
My friends François and Stéphane will be there and I will be traveling with them after the festival! Awesome! For now, I'm sticking around Takaka, hopefully find a job. My planeticket has been changed and I will be going back the 26th of March
, with a stopover in Seoul, South Korea. This time I'm sure 😉
I've posted some pictures on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151092287132610.436895.682722609&type=1&l=49b493717c
Some fun stuff (in dutch):
X-mas greetings to my family:
Respons from my family (hope it works): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=297857823668769&set=vb.100003336612906&type=3
♥ Ik houd van jullie! ♥
So that's it for now. Congrats, you have reach the end of the text :p
All the best for you my dearly beloved friend and family. You are always in my heart! ♥
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