And then Sascha Happened…

4 Feb
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Lake Dunstan, Central Otago

Friday, 15 December 2012. I had intended on arriving in Wanaka around noontime in order to get a full day of wwoofing in, but what I intend to do and what the universe intends for me to do are not always equal. I crave adventures, and today was full of them.

I left Palmerston with a heart full of love, open and willing to do or go wherever life takes me. I was on my way to wwoof for a man named Simon in Wanaka-near Queenstown. I hadn’t been there yet, so I was quite excited about the drive. My heart had never been so open. I made many stops on the way, with all of the breathtaking views and beautiful lakes nearby, I couldn’t resist.

At one point I had to empty my bladder so bad that I didn’t think I could make it any further. I could have pulled off the road, but I trusted it wasn’t the time. I came across a sign that pointed to toilets, so I turned in. As I drove down the gravel road toward the public toilets, I was greeted by the most beautiful body of water that one could lay eyes upon. As usual, my breath was stolen from my lungs in awe. I hurried to the toilets so that I could enjoy this beautiful lake briefly before I continue on my journey. I was in Cromwell. This is significant-and will later come back to this significance. I sat down by the lake. It was a hot summer day. I decided it would be the perfect place to have some lunch and catch a bit of rays.

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Swimming in Lake Dunstan, unexpected stops

After my lunch I realized that I needed to get in this beautiful lake-named Lake Dunstan. I threw on my swimsuit in a flash and hopped right into the still perfect waters. It was a bit on the cold side, because the water comes from the snow on the tops of the mountains, but it was still perfect for that moment. It was refreshing and liberating. The water was so clean and clear that I could see fish enjoying my company. After a sufficient amount of time, I returned to the shore to dry off-which never takes very long with the hot New Zealand sun. As I was sitting there enjoying this perfect moment, I began to glance around the beach. I noticed rubbish all around in little pieces, peaking out of the stones everywhere. I became instantly infuriated. For one, there were three rubbish bins around me, everywhere, and two, most people are so disgustingly wasteful that they don’t even acknowledge where the rubbish goes after it is in the bin. Most of the rubbish was plastic nonetheless! I spent all of an hour cleaning up the trash, filling one entire rubbish bin. I was astounded. There I was, sitting at the most beautiful beach on Earth, and people cannot respect it enough to clean up after themselves. My judgment of human beings grew, and not in a positively correlating manner. I had never been so furious and disgusted! The quote from the Lorax came to mind in the moment, as people were watching me and laughing because I was picking up rubbish everywhere. The quote states: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not” (The Lorax, Dr. Seuss). I am that person. I care, and I care a whole awful lot. It sickens me how many people do not care.

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This sickens me. All of this was on the beach.

I enjoyed the clean beach for another ten minutes or so, and then headed back out onto the open road to continue my journey. Shortly after I entered the road I noticed a hitchhiker. That is quite common here in New Zealand, so I pulled over. It was a young blonde man. He was heading to Christchurch, so I was able to take him about 30km down the road. He was from Germany, and also quite the humanitarian. He spoke about his dreams. He loved music and ballet dancing, and had a desire to save endangered animals. It was good company, and I was sad that I couldn’t take him further. I dropped him off and took my turn toward Hawea (near Wanaka).

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As I turned down the street in which Simon’s house was located, I felt extreme energy, and I wasn’t sure whether it was good or bad. It was simply new, and I just went with it. I pulled up to a house with five young guys outside playing baseball. I got out of my car and asked if any of them were Simon. They laughed and replied that I am the second person today who has asked for Simon, and that Simon lives on the next plot of land a bit further down the road. I smiled, thanked them, and headed down the road.Image

 

I pulled into the next drive, which clearly stated the proper address on the gate. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw a man mowing the grass. He was average height, wearing khaki colored cargo shorts, a white shirt with a red plaid cut-off button down shirt, unbuttoned, skate shoes, a derby hat, a sleeve full of beautiful Japanese tattoos, and another beautiful tattoo on his neck. I stopped the car on the driveway to ask if I was in the correct place. As I stopped my car he walked over.

“Hi, are you Simon?” I asked, full of love and excitement.

“I am Sascha.” He replied, with a beautiful accent. It was a familiar accent. I knew in this moment, as I shook his hand, that he is another “angel” in my life. The hand shake was like a jolt of electrical energy throughout my soul. I knew he would be a significant figure in my life. I smiled from my soul to my skin.

“Oh, ok, so are you a wwoofer here?”

“Yep.” He answered simply.

“Sweet, nice to meet you! I’m going to go find Simon and figure out what I should be doing! Cheers!” and I drove down the drive.

I parked my car and walked up to beautiful, large, wooden double doors, and had a knock on them. I always get excited at this point. Everything is new. I know nothing yet, so I only have anticipation and imagination to build my ideas from.

A tall, bald man, who appeared to be in his mid 40s, answered the door with a smile. I immediately noticed his eyes. I froze for a moment to read them. They were full of confusion, party, and pain. I felt his energy, and took a cautious note of it, and searched for the beauty within, as I do with every human.

He introduced himself in the doorway and shook my hand firmly, then took me inside to show me to my room to unpack, while he finished up a Skype conversation.

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Pause.

That’s what my heart did. It paused. As I walked in the door, I was in total shock. It was a hand built, Earth-built home, but it appeared as if it were something you would see on the US television show, MTV Cribs (Earth house edition, hehe). My mind was blown. I smiled, and even laughed out loud a little bit. I knew in my heart something epic was going to occur and shortly. My room was incredible. The view from the kitchen was unreal. There was a window from floor to ceiling (a super high ceiling!) full of a mountainous view. I had no idea what to expect, I was simply in awe.

The shower.

Okay, so I was in Cambrian with no electricity, internet, not even a shower for a week. I was in Palmerston, full of pigs’ blood and poo with a water limitation and, back-breaking work. This shower, my God, this shower was incredible. It is amazing the things we learn to appreciate by doing without them! It was a waterfall shower head, with beautiful Earth bricks all around, and it was huge! Oh, and it had great water pressure, another thing I’ve learned to appreciate!

I unpacked a few things, and then made my way to the kitchen in order to find out what my tasks of the day were. It was about 15:00, and the sun never sets here, so the day was young. I made some wee small talk with Simon, in order to get to know him and read him a bit better, and Simon made me a latte. I laughed out loud once more. Could this be real?! I thought for a brief moment. Then I enjoyed my latte. Simon was leaving to go party in Thailand for just over a month, and needed his house cleaned properly and his lawn mowed/etc. to prepare it for the guests that would be renting it from him when he will be away. Normally, I would not be okay with doing slave work, because it has nothing to do with sustainability, but I was a bit exhausted of the back breaking farm work, and was keen to do a few days of house chores. Besides, there was a lesson for me to learn here, and I am always open all of the time. So I got to it. I started scrubbing cabinets and counter tops. It was nice, because it was quite thoughtless work. It allowed me time to integrate. Simon blared some House Music, and I worked with a smile. I was in awe of where I was. Not just physically, but in life, and mentally I was in awe.

Later on that night Simon made us an epic pasta, and we had some ice-breaker cocktails. Simon poured heavy on the wine and mead, so I was a wee bit tipsy. Toward the end of the night, when we were all pretty well drunk, I noticed Simon becoming a bit “touchy feely”. I disregarded it immediately because I understand how people can become when they are wasted drunk. I would not allow it to go further, and will ignore it to a point, so I sobered up a bit and stood guard.

Sascha headed off to bed. He was staying in a camper van in the back of the house. I had not quite noticed this yet, but there were seven beds in the house, and for some reason or another Sascha stayed outside and I had a room in the house.

I was a bit nervous when Sascha left. Perhaps because I knew how difficult drunk people could be, and also because I was a bit drunk myself. I made it a point to brush my teeth and say goodnight shortly after Sascha went off to bed.

As I said thank you and goodnight, Simon insisted that I go outside and see the stars. That was harmless, so I humored him. Besides, the starry skies of New Zealand are quite epic. I took a glance and headed back inside. I closed my bedroom door, turned off the lights, and dosed off into my drunken slumber.

I hadn’t any idea what hour it could have been, but there was a knock on my door. I was quite startled since I had fallen asleep drunk. I needed an entire minute or two to gather myself. I called out in my cracked, sleepy voice to the knock,

“Yeeeesssss…?”

“Hey Kim, it’s Simon.” He replied, as if I had forgotten where I was.

“Okay. And?” I was tired and frustrated. I just wanted to sleep.

“I was just wondering if I could come in for a quick cuddle is all.” He cracked my door open and peaked in. He was totally naked. If I were sober I would have had a different reaction, but I was still a bit drunk, and just wanted to sleep.

“I’m sorry Simon but I will have to say no to this one, for many reasons, but mostly because I WANT TO FREAKING SLEEP!” I responded firmly, to leave no room for confusion.

“Oh, Oh! I’m sorry. I will leave you alone! Goodnight!” He replied, as he scrambled out of my doorway and back off to wherever it was that he stayed. I rolled over and fell back into my peaceful slumber, without fully integrating what had just occurred. Perhaps it was better that I didn’t.

The next morning, my mind was foggy. I was difficult to awaken, and difficult to motivate. I was totally hungover. I still hadn’t acknowledged or even began to integrate Simon’s creepiness from the previous evening. I imagine it was for the best. Sascha and I got on with our tasks for the day.

I hadn’t had much time to become acquainted with Sascha, so I invited him to go to Wanaka with me after our work was finished, to have a coffee or something, and buy some beer at the supermarket. He was keen, and I was looking forward to it. I was completely drawn to his energy. I was intrigued. I trusted this feeling, and remained open to it. I anticipated finishing work.

Throughout the day I had begun to sober up, as well as integrate the creepiness. I decided that I would let it go, because I understand that even the nicest people can be weirdoes when they are completely wasted drunk. I let it go.

After work, I met Sascha in the kitchen. Simon had gone somewhere for the afternoon, which was quite nice because I didn’t have the energy to deal with him. Sascha insisted that I showered first, so I did just that. When we were all set, we headed into town in my little car.

We decided that we would rather have a beer than a coffee, so we walked around town to find the perfect spot for a brew. Wanaka was absolutely beautiful. It was located on an absolutely beautiful lake with a breathtaking view of the snow-capped mountains. My soul was happy here.

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Sascha/Lake Wanaka

We found a wee pub and sat outside in the sunshine. I went in and bought our first round, and Sascha saved our perfect seats outside in the sunshine. We talked for quite some time, getting to know one another. I explained how I wanted to save the world and buy land in California, and all of my other “crazy” philosophies, and he listened. I could see that he was interested in what I had to say, which was exciting for me. I learned a bit about him as well, as he bought our second round.

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This is only the beginning! (=

After we were primed and acquainted, we headed to the supermarket, a wee bit buzzed but still okay. We bought some beer, and Sascha bought a package of cigarettes. I confess that I do enjoy the occasional fag or two when I am just beyond the point of buzzed, as does Sascha. We sat on the curb and shared one.

Later on that night Sascha and I had a few more beers at Simon’s house. When the stars came out and I was buzzed to the point of wanting a fag, I joined Sascha outside in the backyard for one. The stars were breathtaking, but that wasn’t it. I felt something shift, and it wasn’t because I was buzzed. Something needed to happen in this moment. Simon had mentioned that he didn’t need us much longer, perhaps another day or so. Sascha had mentioned that many wwoof hosts wouldn’t accept him because of his English skills (which I thought were just fine). He said that he would email people, and when they would call him and he would have a difficult time understanding the accent over the phone, they would tell him they were sorry and didn’t need him after all. I thought this was terrible! My heart sank just a bit, but my humanitarian knew just the fix for this. I can speak German, so he and I could communicate perfectly between the two languages, and I could help him with his English. In return, he could also help me better my German. I knew there was more than that invested between us, and that there was much for me to learn from this amazing human being. This was just the gateway that the universe placed in front of us to walk through. As we shared our fag under the beautiful starry New Zealand night sky, I asked him if he wanted to go wwoofing with me. I explained my intentions of helping him with his English, etc. He thought it was a wonderful idea, and agreed.

The next day of work was close to being our last. Sascha and I headed to town again after work for some reason or another (most likely to buy beer again). As we arrived back at Simon’s, I mentioned that I was nervous. I explained to Sascha what had happened when Simon was drunk, and that I was uncomfortable. He sympathized with me, and said that he too had noticed, but wasn’t sure if I liked it or not and wasn’t going to judge.

Before I went to bed, I posted an ad on the wwoofing hotlist for Sascha and I to wwoof together. I was quite excited for this adventure.

Later that night, as I was deep asleep once more, I heard a knock on my door. What a surprise, it was Simon again.

“Um, yeah?” I said, responding to the knock.

“Hey”, he mentioned, as he cracked open my door once more, “I was just wondering if I could climb in bed with you, just for a cuddle”, he explained.

“Simon, it’s late, and I am exhausted, and you are my wwoof host. I’m sorry, but no, absolutely not. That is in no way acceptable.” I stood my ground. I glanced up and noticed he was naked again. It was a bit terrifying because I found him in no way attractive, but I held my vomit and hoped he would comply with my word.

“Are you sure?….Not even just a hug?” He begged.

I found this absolutely pathetic.

“NO. Not even a hug, Simon. I need sleep, and you need to go to bed, in your own bed.”

“Alright, well, if you change your mind let me know!” He responded, with a disgusting hopeful tone, then closed my door and disappeared.

This time I waited a bit, and was able to integrate this one. This was not okay, and I was absolutely disgusted at his perverseness and desperation. I took some deep breathes, made up my mind, and went back into my slumber.

As I woke up the next morning, my stomach was uneasy. I had much on my mind, and wanted to get out of this place immediately. I did take note of everything with my “bigger picture” consciousness. This was the universes way of letting me know that my purpose here has been completed. If I remain here, everything will fall apart. It is time to move on (duh!), no matter what that means. I trusted this feeling once more.

As I began my tasks for the day-cutting down a dead tree, collecting poo for compost, etc., I received two text messages, a phone call and an email. They were all from a woman, very desperate for wwoofers. Ironically, she was right down the road, right in Hawea flat where Sascha and I were! She wanted Sascha and I to come that evening! Thank goodness! I couldn’t bare another night of the creepy awkwardness.

After I spoke with Anni about wwoofing, I hurried down the hill to tell Sascha. He was also excited. I explained to him that Simon was very “touchy feely” on this day in particular-which he was-and I would like to leave that evening. Sascha agreed, for my sake.

Simon was away again after Sascha and I finished for the day. I had explained everything to him, however. He begged for us to stay and leave in the morning, and I am quite sure that I knew exactly why. He couldn’t take no for an answer, and was determined. I assured him that we would be leaving.

After my shower I began to pack my things and put them in my car. I noticed that Sascha had been on the phone for quite some time, and I was wondering if he would ever begin to pack his things! I wanted out!

I sat on the couch outside, and Sascha finished his conversation. He said that he had a decision to make. Apparently he had applied with an employment agency to do some fruit picking during the summer season, and the woman had responded with work. She explained to him that he had to start in the morning or his place would be lost, since there was a long waiting list of people. He asked the woman if I could go with him, and she said that was fine, so long as I too, could start in the morning.

I was faced with a brief dilemma of letting down this seemingly nice wwoof host, Anni, to go work. I had wondered if I could wwoof for one week and then go pick fruit. I called the lady back and asked, but she assured me that my place would be lost immediately, especially because she was doing me a favor since I wasn’t even on the list to begin with! I accepted the signs and told her I would be there with Sascha at 8am the following morning. I realized that I cannot let go of an opportunity to make money and have an adventure with Sascha, simply because I didn’t want to let someone else down. This was my adventure anyhow, and my experience. Plus, I REALLY needed money. I texted Simon and let him know, so that he wouldn’t be surprised when he came home and we were still there.

I sat down on the couch outside with Sascha, and explained to him that I was terrified to stay another night in the house with Simon. I told him everything that had gone on, with which I had been dealing. He understood and sympathized. I asked him if I could stay in his campervan with him tonight, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with Simon’s perverseness that evening. He said that would be just fine, and assured he would protect me. I felt secure and trusted him, for he was my angel after all. I emailed Anni and explained my situation. She understood and was okay with everything.

Later on that evening, after a phenomenal dinner (Simon was an awesome cook!), we hung out and watched a movie. We partook in a bit of home grown herb smoking, which I was open too as well. It’s New Zealand, and as Sascha taught me “Scheiss drauf!” (It means “screw it!”). Sascha went off to bed after the movie. I was a bit scared again, because he hadn’t said anything to me. I was worried he had forgotten that he told me I could sleep in his campervan with him.

I grabbed my toothbrush and told Simon goodnight. As I walked toward my bedroom, Simon followed. He put his hand on my shoulder, and I turned around. He grabbed me and hugged me. He thanked me for all of my hard work and help, and grabbed my face and tried to kiss me. I turned my head and pushed away immediately. He apologized and let me be. I quickly texted Sascha, and he explained that he didn’t want to ask me in front of Simon whether I still wanted to stay with him that night or not. It was good thinking, and I agreed. I told him I was just waiting for Simon to go to his room, and then I would come over.

I did just that. As soon as I entered the campervan, I felt safe. I explained to Sascha what Simon had done, and he was equally appalled. Sascha let me choose my side of the bed, and we made our way to sleep. We hadn’t known one another well, but there was a strange feeling of comfort, as if we had know each other forever. I had never felt this with anyone before. We laid in bed for quite some time in silence, hoping to fall asleep. I could feel the intense energy…it was hard to distinguish, however. It was as if there were many things to say, yet nothing, with a hint of sexual tension, but in a strangely innocent way. We tossed and turned for a bit, then all of a sudden as we rolled over our hands met and came together. It was coincidental, and beautiful, as if it were from a movie. We were content. I moved closer and fell asleep in his arms. He was a complete gentleman. I have never fallen asleep with a man who hadn’t tried to have sex with me. This was new and beautiful, and most notably, it was innocent.

The next morning we awoke to our alarms. We had to pack up and be on the road by 7. We hit snooze a few times, and I enjoyed his company sharing the same bed. It had been quite some time since I had done this. It was nice, and I was in the moment entirely. When we were ready to make out way out of bed, I rolled over, and Sascha kissed me good morning. It was so natural, and beautiful. We took our time getting out of bed, enjoying the moment in its entirety, so much that we had about five minutes to pack our things and go. That was okay with me. My heart was happy.

Sascha followed me to Cromwell. Yep. I said this place was significant, and there it is again. Beautiful Lake Dunstan is located in Cromwell, along with several cherry orchards. The one in particular in which we were destined was named “Sarita”. The drive was about 45 minutes. It was an exciting drive. I had never been fruit picking before, and I was excited to spend the next six weeks with Sascha. I had no idea what to expect. I had a tent and he had his van. I didn’t have any idea what Sascha expected, what the job entailed, or what would happen. I was simply happy in the moment for the next adventure. I was happy to challenge myself once more, because my soul was ready to grow again. Sascha was my angel. I knew in this moment that this would be a short but beautiful situation. He would not be a “season or a lifetime” but he was in my life temporarily for a reason. I accepted this with all my heart and welcomed it with love.

We pulled into the orchard. I called the boss, Duncan, and asked where we should go. He instructed us to pull into the parking lot and head into the back of the building, where we would be greeted by a man named Paul, and fill out some paperwork. I was still in my dress from the night before. Sascha and I parked our vehicles. We got out, looked at one another, and smiled as we walked into the doors to the Sarita Orchard packing house. 

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