I apologize for the lack of posts during my time so far in Paihia. To give you an idea of my normal day (and why I haven’t been posting), I get up around 8:30 or 9 am to do a quick 5k run along the beach to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds bridge. (I have gained some weight during my time in NZ and I’m trying to get back in shape!) Then I begin cleaning around 10 am until noon or so. I am responsible for the kitchen and living room area (Pavla handles the bathrooms) then we split the rooms that need to be stripped, cleaned and then remade. After we finish cleaning, I will generally have lunch and either go for a walk or take a nap. Then I head into the restaurant for my shift and usually get home around 12:30 am or so. I haven’t had many adventures to report on because of this routine.
I have made the decision that I will be moving on from Paihia at the end of November. I have found the town to be very small, in size and in that news travels fast (for example, Dan went out one evening and by the next morning his boss knew exactly how many beers he had and how late he was out.) I have really enjoyed all of the people that I have met, including my coworkers and fellow woofers. I will be sad to say goodbye to them, but I think I need a bit more activity and I have found the intense tourist traffic to be draining. I offered to stay at the restaurant for two more weeks, while they train a replacement, and then I will take a week off and just woof and then I will head out into the great unknown. It is a wonderful and scary feeling to know that if I am not completely happy in a place then I can simply find a new place. I am considering either Tauranga or heading back to Wellington for a bit then jumping down to South Island.
I did experience one new activity today. Dan, Pavla and I went grapefruit picking from a tree on the campground next to our hostel. It is amazing how fruit just grows everywhere here. There are grapefruits, limes, lemons and oranges all around. I would love to have something similar in my home someday! Dan climbed a fence next to the tree and I climbed the tree itself. We collected 15 or 20 grapefruits. One guest had left a juicer and we made use of it. The grapefruits are very strange here; they look exactly like oranges, but they taste like grapefruit.
It was fun to climb trees and eat the fruits of our labor!