Willing workers on organic farms plus the kids!

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Aug 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
Magenta Point

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Two weeks working on Waiheke provided us with a totally new NZ experience. Having spent the first part of NZ in the comforts of 'Old Girl' with various other nationalities (on the campsites) we felt it was time to hang out with the locals!

We were welcomed from the ferry by Pauline and her two children, Michael (6) and Bridey (8). The deal would be that we would look after the children, taking them to and from school and looking after them outside school hours, along with a gardening project, in return for accommodation (a small apartment beside the house), lovely home-cooked organic food and use of the car, plus weekends off!

We spent the first couple of days meeting the children’s teachers and friends parents and becoming familiar with the island. Michael attends a Steiner school, which takes an alternative approach by encouraging the children’s natural creativity. On many occasion Michael came home covered in mud, having been encouraged to enjoy the puddles (it rains lots on Waiheke). We actually received feedback from Michael’s teacher on how well behaved he had been in our two week stay (we put it down to tiring him out playing rugby on the beach!) Bridey on the other hand attends the local high school, although would be far more suited to the local drama school … she often gets ‘infuriated’ (Brideys words) by Michael’s childish behaviour!

Dinner time in the Spielhapter (Uwe is German) household was a poignant part of the day, where communication was encouraged and we would begin meal times by holding hands and saying ‘Guten Appetite’ followed by everyone chatting about what they had been up to that day.

We have had a great time over our two week stay, there have been a few unusual experiences such as selling sausages for Uwe at the local carboot sale and Bridey’s famous farts but all in all we will miss hanging out on Waiheke…..What we won’t miss is the rain which has been almost constant since we arrived…Cook Islands here we come!

… if anyone is looking for a free stay in NZ, Pauline & Uwe are currently looking for our replacements (no joke), they would prefer people that are able to stay for 3 months stints!
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jackie on

I bet you need a rest after all that hard work, looks like you had a great time!

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