The boys, ages 9 and 11, are impossibly cute. They look like mini surfer dudes. They love driving their dad’s tractor while pulling the other by a rope tied to his bike. I find the youngest one studying me often, over breakfast (“breakie” here) or while I’m weeding or while I’m grating some cheese. I just wink and he smiles. Pictures to come.

I fried some eggs from their chicken this morning. The chicken got loose and the youngest went out to grab him. Tucked under his arm, he carried the chicken to the dining room table where I sat. I patted him on the head and said, “Thank you for the eggs.” Maybe as local as local can be.

Today was a beautiful day. It started with bright sunshine through the gumnut baby curtains. Then we had my favorite coffee in NZ, Oopmh! by Hummingbird right here in Christchurch. It truly lives up to its name. I pulled weeds like a champ. The sun was perfectly combined with a slight breeze and the songs that came on Pandora were just right for my pensive mood. I am hooked on a new book and I followed the sunshine around their property reading and basking. Each time the mom or dad walked by, I was in a new spot. Like a wandering Waldo, but without the unflattering horizontal stripes.

Four hours of work earns me a comfortable bed in a hut about 50 yards from their house and three delicious vegetarian meals. I’m in charge of dinner tomorrow. I’ve definitely learned to be more creative in my culinary attempts while here. Kasey, Brittany, and I are going to serve our families some of our favorite dishes after they watch our PowerPoint presentation and hear our hakas and accept their souvenirs. Let’s go ahead and get this on the calendars, families: Feb. 15th. 5pm-10:05pm.

You just read my 100th blog post about NZ! That’s hard to believe. It’s been an exciting adventure full of new experiences, some that I anticipated and others that I couldn’t have ever imagined. I’m so glad I had Kasey and Britt with me for over four months (and I miss them dearly). I’m anxious to see what the next six months will be like. I know it’ll be very different, as I won’t be travelling around as much as before, and I’ll have to work and not just for housing and food but for cash money! Green Man Brewery will have more hours for me when I return in March. But I’ve also written several publishing companies here and hope to hear back soon. 

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