Let the Adventures Begin! Part II

22 Nov

It was Monday, the 19th of November. I pulled into a gravel driveway off of Lillburn Valley Road. There were heaps of sheep across the street and the perfect view of snow-capped mountains of (what I believe) is Fiordland. The sun was close to setting, and the forest which rested in the back yard of the property was sleepy. The sign on the back read “24 hour security surveillance”, and there was a dog barking in the background. Everything in view screamed paradise, but something inside me was not convinced.

Since I left Cambridge my intention about Tuatapere and free-spirited Tamsin were that I would find a like-minded loving person with good intentions to wwoof long-term for. With wwoofing a bit more long term and being in one place I would be able to get a job as well and rebuild my income as well as my freedom. I was keen to get onto Tuatapere and see what awaited me. The most beautiful gifts are those that one does not plan or expect (such as my Dunedin experience). I had so many ideas of what it would be like here.

Full of smiles and hugs, Tamsin and her dog Kiba greeted me in the front lawn. She had mentioned that three other wwoofers had just arrived that day. She invited me in and offered me some herbal tea, and mentioned that the other wwoofers were hard at it in the garden. I was surprised that they had just arrived and were already working, especially because it was later in the evening. I dismissed my judgment and continued to listen, still a bit spacey from driving.

She began her next sentence with an apology and a disclaimer. She apologized for not giving me a heads up, but said that she and her boyfriend of seven years have been off and on quite a bit. He is a bit of a parasite, and doesn’t work or want to work. They are off the grid for the most part, so neither really needs to work. She practices Bowen Therapy to make some extra cash, and mentioned having some sort of trust. I also got the image that her parents are very wealthy. She went on to tell me that she has tried to kick him out several times in the last week and he refuses to leave and has even gotten quite angry and aggressive about it. Her intention was to fill the house with wwoofers to be loud and messy, laugh and make music. All of this was in hopes to force him out.

So, here I am. I am here in another awkward and messy situation. Two wwoof experiences in a row. This one was interesting. My first was far North on the North Island and Al was extreme conservative. This lady is at the tip of the South on the South Island and is the chaotic kind of free spirit that is spinning out of control, as well as a bit of a narcissist. It took me a bit to integrate this yet again. I was quite appalled to say the least. I did not spend thousands of dollars to come to New Zealand and deal with this nonsense. I love laughter and making music, and I love like minds. This was not a like mind at all. Yes, she is knowledgeable about natural healing as I am and I find that quite intriguing. I love her free sprit side, but there is so much chaotic and negative energy wrapped up in that, which I see as her personal insecurities that she clearly has not dealt with. My rational side wanted to make excuses for her, but could not. If I have it together at 26 years old, she should get it by 40.

We had a Kefir and went for a walk through the forest to get to know one another. It is truly a gorgeous place. There is a Chilean 25 year old guy who is dating a Swedish 22 year old girl, and a Canadian guy about 25 years old who all arrived today to wwoof here. All of them are really cool and open minded people. It was a nice 30 minute walk. We got back in time for dinner. I brought some wine from Dunedin to share and we sat down for dinner. Nothing was really explained yet about work or hours or anything, so I wasn’t sure what was going on yet.

Dinner was pretty incredible. We enjoyed some free range organic beef and veggies, as well as the delicious red wine. After dinner we sang and played guitar and violin. We laughed and talked and made music. I would have enjoyed it if it was with the proper intention, but it was not. It was an evil scheme to take something beautiful and use it for something negative. She could not speak to him and be firm, so she pushed him out by making him uncomfortable-which still did not work. It just made him angry. I was surprised at how selfish one could be! I would not dream of putting other people in the middle of my bad situations and using them to do my dirty work. It just did not feel right or good. It really is as basic as that. Some things are moral and feel good, some things are immoral and feel bad. I did not care for it. I am an honest and genuine person, and this is not my thing.

We started the next morning at 9, still unsure of how things worked. I asked several times and never got a real answer, so I just went with the flow. Her garden had been ignored for quite some time, so it is a huge project full of weeds as tall as me! She has a few chickens as well, but they are quite easy to take care of.

We got right to work. The sun was bright and hot and the sky was clear blue with snow caps in view. There is something really special about working in a garden with people. It is truly a place to get to know someone. We shared philosophies, stories, and laughs. It became awkward at times because Tamsin would go back in and she would be fighting with Rob, then come back to share it with us. I appreciated the honesty at the bare minimum. I am always seeking the best in every person and every situation. It was easy to find good in her as well, but the chaotic mix of energy and lack of balance became wearing on the soul quickly. We took a break for lunch, and then went hard at it until late in the evening. We probably worked 8 solid hours. That isn’t much for a normal job, but farming is hard work. A typical week for wwoofing is 25-30 hours per week in exchange for food and a place to sleep. After we were done she sent us off because Rob had come home from the lawyer. He was fighting her over the house. I felt like I was witnessing  “War of the Roses”. It was exhausting. The other wwoofers and I headed across the street to do some trout fishing in the river…and I was trying to catch a lamb and hug its little face off! (I am obsessed with sheep. They are so fluffy!)

Because Tuatapere is at the bottom of the South Island, it becomes quite cold at night. I may as well be in Antarctica here! It grew quite cold in the evening so we headed back. There was a note on the table and the house was quiet. We all felt awkward having to deal with this. The note stated that she was napping and for us to go ahead and make dinner. Most wwoof hosts prepare the meals, but it is cool to cook too. I am not opposed. It would have been nice to know earlier so that we could have started dinner before 21:00, so that part was a little annoying. The good news was the Canadian, Sean, caught a fish to contribute to dinner. Finally (and I mean FINALLY) at dinner I asked how many hours a week she expected. She replied with five hours a day. I kept that in mind because we all had worked well over 8. One of the reasons I like structure is because it offers freedom. If I have a time frame to work with I can make my own time and plan around it. When it is a chaotic day of back breaking work and I have to catch and make my own dinner as well as clean up, it becomes exhausting. I am here to work and learn, but I am also here to explore and take care of me. I need balance as much as possible.  

This morning I had full intention on starting at 8 and finishing at 13:00 after my five hours and heading to a café in town to catch some interwebs and search the wwoof hot list for a host near Queenstown/Wanaka. It’s a bit farther North, but not much and still near Milford Sound and some really incredible places. My logic there is that Queenstown has a city and several wwoof host options around so that I can find a normal person to wwoof for and a job in the city.

I woke up at 7:30, and not to my alarm. There was loud music blaring and Tamsin was screaming “Wake the fuck up”. She was the one, mind you, who suggested starting at 9 or even 10. So, I woke the fuck up. It was not the most pleasant start to my day, but it was the start. For some reason I felt pretty good today. I had a lot of good and positive energy. Apparently Rob had left at 5:30, and she had been in the garden since 6:30 (not my problem…). We never really have much at breakfast. Some oats and fruit. It is suitable though, because it’s not old toast. Today there was one piece of fruit and four wwoofers. We mentioned it and Tamsin said that fruit is expensive. Again, that isn’t my problem. I am working for my meals. I deserve food. I earn my food. Also, she has made it clear that she has tons of money in a trust. This morning we all shared a banana in some oats and headed to the garden to work. The sun is so hot here, and quite nice. It can be dangerous without proper precaution, but I am not an idiot so I get the benefits from it. We started right at 8, which worked out because that’s when I wanted to start anyway. We rocked out hard in the sun getting loads accomplished. The once overgrown, man-sized weed garden was beginning to look like a beautiful productive garden. It is really nice to see what you accomplish. It feels good. Right about the time when everyone was wiped out from the sun, Tamsin suggested that we all have lunch. It was exactly 13:00. How perfect! She was not too thrilled about cooking lunch, and kept mentioning how expensive it is to feed us, while slamming around pans and continuously having us do things. It was a bit of a baby fit in my eyes. I just don’t get it.

After lunch Sean and I headed to town to get some things from the op-shop and go to the internet café so that we can find new wwoof hosts. Tamsin does some volunteer thing in Riverton two days a week so Sean and I were responsible for taking care of the house, and the other two wwoofers were going with her. She told us that we needed to buy some fruit for ourselves because she wasn’t going to. If I am buying my own food (which I refuse to), I am not going to work as much as I have. It is becoming exhausting. Two crappy wwoof hosts in a row.

So today, it is Thursday. It is Thanksgiving in my country. Last year I was in New York City with Andrew Benson having the most epic time of my life. This day has been pretty crappy thus far. I am hoping that it is simply a change or shift in the universe and that it is just another “gift with shit on it”. That is a thing that I say when things just keep going terribly but after an awful situation something amazing happens because of it or in the process. At first, all you can see is the “shit”, but once that is over you can see the gift. It is the ability to recognize this during the rough times that is the challenge. At the same time, I am human, and have to feel the human emotions. I am feeling them today. Today we worked all day digging gardens, cutting down bushes, and collecting horse poos for the compost. That is all great, but when I started today (earlier than everyone else), Tamsin came out to talk to me. She said that it is too expensive to feed all of these wwoofers and doesn’t know if it is really worth it. We transformed her whole garden in three days! She will have heaps of vege for ages now! She doesn’t even account for our hard work. The work that we did would have cost hundreds of dollars. She said that she can afford to keep one around, and wants to keep me. I think it’s only because we “traded” therapies last night and she said I was the best massage therapist she had ever received a massage from. All she did for me was a bit of light therapy, which was not a fair trade. It seems to be her theme. But really, who wouldn’t want a massage therapist in house?! Then after our five hours (my 6th hour), she started another huge project. Then she needed help with all kinds of stuff and we were all starving, so I found some scraps for lunch to cook up. I am still hungry. She left for the weekend, so it is just Sean and I. I am at an internet café yet again (spending money for internet that I don’t have-yet again) trying to find a sane person to wwoof for. I am exhausted, and down to the minimum in my bank accounts. This seems to be a pattern that my life follows…then great things happen. I am looking forward to the great things.

So, I will follow my plan. I will post an add on the hotlist that I am looking to go toward Queenstown. It is a bigger city so that means there are more people. More people mean more wwoof hosts and jobs. I can work, I just need to place to wwoof first. There are limited options here at the bottom of the South Island. The café owner asked me why I looked stressed. I almost cried and explained my repeated misfortunate experiences here. He gave me a free latte and put a heart in it. It definitely made me smile. He said he is full and has no wwoofers, but if it gets bad I could stay there for a night and he would find work for me. It’s a backpacker and a café. I was too upset to think properly, or I would have mentioned my experience waiting tables! Oh well. All of this exhausted emotion is creating stimulation in the universe, and change is at its peak. Tomorrow will be epic.

Tamsin gave Sean and I heaps of work to do over the next two days. He and I are both fed up already, and have worked way more hours than is ever expected from a wwoofer, so we are going to do the bare minimum and go exploring the caves and Lakes in Fiordland. Hopefully in the process the perfect wwoof host will find me….or at least a sane one that isn’t in the bush so I can be in a place that has internet and telephone reception to find a better place. I know that everything will work out, because it always does. In the moment I am just disappointed. I have really great intentions for being here. Until I find the right wwoof host with a more long term option so that I can also work a few days a week, I am going to be squeezed quite a bit emotionally. If only my car would sell in the states, then I would be solid. I think I am just really exhausted at the moment and need a good night’s rest so that I can think and rationalize properly. I am keeping my heart open, and trusting the universe no matter how many emotions I have in the moment. So, there you have it. All caught up. I am excited for my next blog because it will be full of epic adventures. I trust that with all my heart!

Love & Light!


One Response to “Let the Adventures Begin! Part II”

  1. Susannah Devo November 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Hey Kim, step back and watch the show. Sounds like the freaks are really on the loose! 😉 and its not even a full moon…sounds like you are looking at the bigger picture. Try and enjoy the ride babe. Maybe you need to go back to that cafe and talk to that owner again about him finding work for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

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