Monday morning I got up really early and hopped on the bus for a 13 hour ride through almost the entire northern island of New Zealand for my trip from Auckland to the final destination in Lower Hutt, a suburb of Wellington. I looked out the window the whole way and saw some absolutely beautiful countryside. Lots of farm, lots of green, lots of cows, LOTS of sheep. And the cool mountain that they use in Lord of the Rings. It was a lot like driving through American farmland, just greener. Loved it. We stopped a couple times at little family-run cafes to get food.
That evening I arrived at the volunteer house – I couldn’t ask for a better set up. The other volunteers are all just a little older than me, and are from Switzerland, the UK, and different parts of the US. There’s internet, hot showers, dishwasher, clothes washer, a patio for barbecues, a view of the ocean from the back porch, an organic vegetable garden that we work in, and lots of good food. There’s chore charts and each person makes dinner once a week or so.
It’s a little bit like living on a hippie commune, but my HB education prepared me well. Thank goodness.
I talked to the people that have been here, and they said a typical day is taking a boat out to a beach and counting the seals, then cleaning up a nature reserve, then coming home and making tea and playing cards/drinking until bed. Sounds good to me.