Way Down on the Frey-McLean Farm

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, December 21, 2008

5 months 22 days

We left the hotel of Auckland's rougher South district in plenty of time to arrive at the airport only to find our flight from Auckland to Christchurch was delayed an hour.  That wouldn't have bothered Janice's frayed nerves (travel days are always complicated) except we were only supposed to have a 30 minutes layover in Christchurch before flying to Dunedin.  We were not sure what we were going to do because if we missed our connecting flight we may have found another but we would have lost the last bus out of Dunedin to Invercargill AND the family we were going to farm stay with would not be able to pick us up for the hour drive to their farm.

It turned out that the delayed plane was also the plane that was flying to Dunedin so everything seemed to be working out as we had some time to spare before the bus trip.  Silly me not to have known that if you book a flight to a place (let's say Dunedin) and book a bus from that place (again Dunedin) you would not be one hour and $120 apart.  We arranged to have the bus we were to get from Dunedin pick us up at the airport on its way out of town to Invercargill (for an extra fee of course). 

Although airports are not the cheapest place to do anything it proved to be good value.  We were all hungry and I knew I was in trouble trying to feed 6 hungry people at an airport (we all have a story or two I'm sure).  I knew it was a long shot but I walked up to a counter and explained our situation to the lady working at the counter.  It was not that I didn't want to spend the money; I know from experience how much we can eat so I asked if they would prepare enough food for us and I would just pay a 'lump sum'.  We negotiated a price and they prepared us a variety of foods that turned out to be one of the best meals we have had that filled us and left us with a 'warm feeling' for Dunedin Airport.

As we sat on the bus I wondered what we were doing travelling all this way to visit some people we met 13 years ago but really have not kept in close contact with.  As we have embarked on this trip for adventure we knew we would face some surprises staying on a 1000 acre, 5000 sheep farm in a TV free farmhouse with a very health conscious vegetarian family that home school their 3 children.  If your math is as good as mine you have figured out there are 11 of us in the old farm house with one toilet!  Not only that our whole family slept in one room. 

Several days into our stay I have discovered:
         Kind people are kind (profound eh?)
         1000 acres is not so big if 5000 sheep live there because it does not matter where you walk you will be       sure to step into sheep ?it.
         Improving my eating and eliminating meat has made me feel great and filled the open country air with excess gas (my apologies to the ozone)
         You can when you must get clean with a 2 minute shower
         Homeschooled children can have a very high level of literacy and numeracy, play several instruments and sing, be extremely confident, social and outgoing to peers and elders and know what they want in life!!
         We may have met the next famous Film script writer who if never succeeds can sure tell great stories
         11 people living in one home with 1 toilet is preparing us for India
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hamiltonfamily on

Yes, but is it a squat toilet?
It took a while to find a clean sheep joke...
A man walks up to a New Zealand sheep farmer and says, 'If I can tell you exactly how many sheep you have down there, can I keep one?'

The farmer glances at the vast array of sheep, snickers, and says, 'Sure.'

The man looks carefully at the sheep, then says, '5,279.'

The farmer, startled, says, 'How did you do that?'

The man says, 'I'd rather not say. Can I have my animal?'

'I guess so,' says the farmer. The man picks up an animal and starts to walk away.

'Wait!' yells the farmer. 'If I can guess where you're from, will you give me my animal back?'

The man snickers, and says, 'Sure.'

'You're from Canada,' says the farmer.

The man, startled, says, 'How did you do that?'

The farmer says, 'I'd rather not say. Can I have my dog back?'

Enjoying your adventures,

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