How to spend a weekend in Whangarei

Working as an Au Pair in New Zealand:

How to spend a weekend in Whangarei

So much has happened since Friday and I haven't been online during the weekend so that I have to divide this post into lots of little subposts to let you know what's been going on.


Picking up cows and calves

Friday morning I joined Duncan and Philip looking for the newborn calves. Well, to be honest, I was mostly there for the experience and to take some pictures trying not to stand in the way *lol* But it really was an experience - we found three calves that morning and they were such cute little things!

One had left the paddock and stumbled down the hill to seek shelter from the wind between the trees. Took us a while to find it while its mother was mooing all the time looking for the little one. Duncan finally found it but couldn't get it to walk back up the hill. In the end Philip had to carry it all the way up.

Once we had separated the calves from their mothers - which didn't take that long because they would suddenly lose interest in them - we put the little ones in the shed where they'll be fed once or twice a day now. I saw the cutest calf ever - a heafer, meaning it's a girl and we mostly keep them - and Philip said I could name it. I decided to go for Ruby. It's brown but has a light red touch to it. It's number 115 and next time I'm out there I'll show you a picture of "my" little one :-)


There are a lot more pictures of the farm on Facebook for you to see...


Having a sleepover

Friday night I went to Vicky's place where I would spend the weekend with her and Gritje, one of the other au pairs in the area. Vicky's family is from the UK. They moved here about three years ago but the kids (the girl is 12, the boy 10) still haven't settled in. So they are planning on going back to England. The mother just left shortly after Vicky's arrival to get settled there. Before going to bed we all hopped into the hot spa even though it was raining outside. What a nice way to end a work week :-)


Go shopping and Party all night!

Friday we went to the Whangarei night markets at the Old Library on Rust Avenue. It's a cutte little flea market with lots of jewelry stalls, they have hand crafted beanies, bags, lots of art work, paintings and much more. It's a "cold coin" to get in, one dollar, and you can browse and buy. There's also food there.

Vicky and I both bought new bags and we talked to guy into a discount. I got this one for 25 bucks instead of 35 =D Thanks mom for teaching me how to bargain! I bet you would even have gotten a bigger discount...

After the night markets - where I finally met Aaron again, one of the couchsurfers in town, and his wife - we all went to a pub in town and played some jenga. I don't really like that game it makes me really anxious and overly excited because I don't want to lose but then my fingers are always shaking when I try to get the next piece out and put it on top of the tower.

Vicky had the best idea - she suggested I should have a piece of chocolate and it really did help! All the sudden I was very calm and even though we had already built the jenga tower up to row 30 I managed to pick out one more piece and put it on top succesfully. Morgan, Aaron's wife, was finally the unlucky one to take the whole thing down. What a blast =D

Saturday was shopping day. After a long sleep and a yummy breakfast we went into town. Mostly because Gritje was trying to find some presents for her friends and family. Which of course she didn't - instead Vicky and I made some good buys. I got some new sunglasses because my old ones were broken AND I found some soccer shoes - for only 15 dollars (that's about 7 Euros!!!). Wouldn't be long until I had to use them...

Later on one of Vicky's soccer girls came to join us and we all got ready to party.

There are not that many clubs in town but we managed to go to three. We started with Danger Danger, but even though we got there after 11pm (clubs here close around 2 or 3am) there was barely anybody there. It got a little better after a game of pool and we finally rocked the dance floor =D The music varied a lot, the DJ played anything from techno/house to black, hip hop and soul.

I think there were never more than 20 people dancing but we still had lots of fun. You could go up to the DJ, ask him to play a song and he'd do it. The only annoying thing was a maybe 40 year old bold guy who kept talking to me from behind while I was dancing and just didn't get the message to p*** off.

Came back to Vicky's place around 3am and only had a short night because Vicky, Abbie and I were going to do some sports the next morning...


Found myself a soccer team!

Vicky has been playing soccer for years and because her host dad is the men's coach at Tikipunga he had her join the women's team. They had a game on Sunday but were one player short so she asked me whether I'd like to join them. OF COURSE I SAID YES!!! I've been longing to play for weeks...

So my new soccer shoes were put to good use already - and they are really great considering they cost me barely anything...

We had to go up north to Kerikeri to play. Unfortunately even though I was playing we were still one player short because over night two other girls had dropped out. So it was just ten players while Kerikeri had even two substitutes. I thought we would get trashed...

BUT we didn't! In fact we did a very good job and even controlled most of the first half. It was so good to see how the girls were interacting, talking to each other and running for one another. All that was missing was a little bit of luck on our side. We had a few really good shots but the ball just didn't want to go into the net ;-(

Kerikeri was luckier and they scored just before half-time. Our keeper so far was amazing but at that point she had no chance. So we were behind.

By the time the first half was over I was completely wasted. Playing for TuB Leipzig in Germany is different. We played on a smaller field, one goalie and seven on the field each half lasting just 30mins. Having exercise-induced asthma I usually played 15mins each half - longer than that and I'd have to use my puffer.

Sunday, however, I played 45mins on the big field. Had to use the puffer twice but I think my coach would have been sooo proud of me. Still couldn't do any more so Cathy, our goalie, and I switched places and for the next 45mins I was Tikipungas goalkeeper. Never played that position before during a game so you can imagine how nervous I was.

Yet I do think I did a very good job. Luckily our team didn't let Kerikeri come towards our goal too often - but they did get a few nice shots. Still I was able to keep them from being successful :-)

In the end though you could tell our power was fading, as was concentration. We were pushed into our own side more and more often and eventually Kerikeri did score another one. We lost 0:2 - but had nothing to be ashamed off. Considering the circumstances we could be very proud of ourselves. We would have deserved at least a goal or two ourselves but that's soccer - you can have as many chances as you wish - if you don't score, you lose...




Written and contributed by maerchen82