Happy Birthday Ashley!

Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Dec 15, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, June 23, 2008

Week four has started here in Hamilton and I'm sorry I haven't written much since arriving!

To update on my work status, I worked at Keytin (the restaurant) for one night and haven't worked since. Since hiring me, school has let out for five weeks and all the university students are now available and since I was the newbie completely lacking in experience, I was at the bottom of the barrel for hours. I'm not really complaining since it wasn't my most favourite job ever but it was interesting and would have led to some stories, I'm sure. The one night I actually worked was packed to the gills and I managed to not drop any food or piss off any customers. Hooray for me!

My favourite table was a trio of cackling old gals wearing fur and tall hats who brought their own bottle of wine. They waved me over to ask me to light their candle, as it had blown out, this led to the following conversation:

Them: "We feel deprived without our candle!"
Me: "No problem, I can light that for you."
Them: "Or...maybe we're just depraved!"
Me: "Oh dear! I wouldn't want that! I can't have you ladies feeling deprived or depraved!"
Them: CACKLE!!
Me: WINK!!

We went on like that all evening and they seemed to appreciate my twisted sense of humour. It's too bad they don't tip here in New Zealand because I probably would have made a fortune off of them the way they were chumming up to me by the end of the night. It was exhausting though. I worked less than five hours but all of them were spent running back and forth between customers, tables and standing outside trying to attract people (something they do here - like in S.E. Asia!).


My day job is a little more my speed. After dressing up and driving myself to Te Awamutu for the interview, I was offered a job as Casual Support Worker at Aratika, a center for adults with mental disabilities. There's no autism here but I'm enjoying doing something a bit different. I show up to work every day without knowing exactly what I'll be doing or who I'll be supporting, which tends to be more exciting than anything else. So far I have done some flower arranging, weaving, played cricket and today I completely humiliated myself by singing 'Hotel California' with the band. Oy! The job consists of supporting these adults in the community or at the center with a number of different activities. I generally work Mon, Tues, Wed and Friday. Last Thursday I was called into another program (Double Oaks) where the clients are more severely disabled, both mentally and physically, and it was certainly a more challenging day. I spent that afternoon with a woman who only stopped screaming to take a breath and scream some more. Certainly a test on my patience!


Driving on the wrong side is going quite well, seeing people on television driving on the "right" side actually gave me a start the other night and I nearly said "HE'S DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE!" until I stopped myself and realized, no... he wasn't. That was a strange moment. I've seen some of the countryside and am quite familiar with downtown Hamilton but gas prices being the way they are ($2.16/litre!!!) we aren't driving very far these days. I'll wait until Dad and Jared get here to do some touring around, for now I'm just waiting on my IRD number (like a SIN number) so I can actually get paid for this work I'm doing! So many logistics to working in another country!

Well....I don't know whatelse to tell you. I go to work, I come home, I drink wine, I go to bed, I go to work, I come home.....etc. There is a festival going on right now called Fuel Festival and I'm hoping to catch some performing arts in the next couple of weeks. Wooo!

The pictures are from Rototuna (the suburb I'm living in); enjoy!
Miss you all, lots of love,
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karsenault on

Re: what
No, I'm not working for free (bwahaha... what a concept!) just that I would get taxed at a ridiculously high rate if they gave me my pay without an IRD number. So when I get that number (hopefully this week) they will put whatever they owe me into my bank account without the ridiculously high tax rate. Woo.

I thought about pictures of me but I don't have any! I'll work on that. :) Miss you! xox

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