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16.10.11

Havelock and Friends

Hello Friends,

These last couple weeks have been filled with R&R as well as lots of hard work. At the beginning, it looked like Ariel was going to be working a lot at the restaurant because they needed someone with bartending experience, and he had the most of the group. So when Jeff and I were done with our work, we went around town and literally went door to door down the main road asking for jobs. A few places took our info and said they might need help, but nothing was looking very promising. Along the way we made a couple new friends who run the second hand shop in town. Leena and Jean are two very nice ladies in their mid to late 80's who were absolutely charmed that two strapping young (handsome as they said) American boys would walk into her store. When we were done in that store, we realized we had been chatting up a storm/borderline flirting with these two ladies for the better part of 30 minutes. Which was in no way a bad thing, and they are very sweet. Just goes to show how easy it can be to make friends. 


Work
After failed employment attempts we gave up and just figured out a way to get everyone a fair share of the pay from the restaurant. So thats where we are now. Every morning, we go to work at 10am and work 5 and a half hours to pay off our accommodation an increase from the previous 4 hours, arranged so we could have 2 days off. We have been rotating shifts at the restaurant, washing dishes and doing other general kitchen work while the other two work on a property recently purchased by the owners up the road. 

The work on the house is a lot of grounds keeping. We are clearing the brush, getting rid of invasive species, and burning everything that we cut down. Its great being able to work on our own outside and have an amazing view to look at while we do it. Our new friend Henry (the australiasian bitter) joins us everyday for lunch and has recently been hanging out while we do a lot of our work.

At the restaurant, we alternate nights where one of us will work the night shift (which is paid). Its great because whether its busy or slow, we are getting paid the same amount. Which is a stark contrast to the American tip system, which we are used to. We all have specialties in the kitchen, as designated by the head chef Dell (who is an awesome fellow. Tons of fun to work with). I am the pizza and dessert guy, Ariel is the front guy/server who takes orders, and Jeff is the all around utility guy who fills in where ever, whenever it is needed. We all love working there, and the people we work with make it all the more fun. 

Non-Work
A week ago, Jeff and I took a drive to the next town (if u can call it a town) over called Canvastown. THERE WERE CANVASES EVERYWHERE!!! No there weren't. In fact there wasn't much of anything there. The "town center" consisted of a pub, a hotel, and a church. All right next to each other. The town center is about 50 feet long. BUT. If you drive down the road past the center of town there is nothing but breathtaking scenery everywhere you look. The place is SO remote that if I were on the run from anyone, Canvastown is the first place I would go. There are tons of farms with the usual sheep and cows (fun fact: New Zealand has a population of about 40 million people which is second to the sheep population of 44 million) but this time we saw llama farms! What do llamas even produce? We drove until the road was no longer paved, then kept driving and eventually stopped at a river and just hung out a bit. Then turned around and drove right back.

We have been taking trips into the neighboring town of Blenheim, which is about a 30 minute drive. The town is a bit bigger and has more to offer in terms of stores and such. However, the times we have been there it always strikes us as sort of a low key type of small city. The other day, we went into the other close town of Nelson, which is more than an hour away, and drove around there a bit. It reminded us a lot of Wellington, being right on the water. Driving in, we could see sunken boats and debris all over the ground and realized that the tide was out and some of the boats were just washed up and wouldn't be able to be moved until the water comes back in. Nelson is a much more lively city/town (I have trouble calling any of these cities "cities" because they are so much smaller than real cities) and seemed like a really cool place to hang out. Plus a friend from work said that Nelson is the place to go on the weekends for a good time. 

We have started brewing our own beer. We just completed our first batch which turned out to be an absolute failure. But we are working on the recipe to try and perfect the craft. Plans are already in motion to set up our very own micro brew when we get back home. 

Other News
In other news, many of you might recall my inexplicable desire to go to Antarctica, and I have just yesterday found out that the headquarters for the US Antarctica program has a headquarters in Christchurch. Which is only a days drive away from here. So I have been (and still am) doing extensive research on jumping on that bandwagon so stay tuned for more to come on that segment. 

You might notice that the blog has a little bit different look. That is because Jeff is designing a new page custom made for this blog. We are all having a hard time finding a creative outlet since we left our guitars in Hawaii, but Jeff is keeping himself occupied in that regard. 

The weather is starting to get warmer. This is great news. Not that it was very cold to begin with, we were just used to Hawaii and Fiji and in comparison it was a little colder. But we are going from one summer to another and cannot wait to have a reason to be outside again. 

Thats all the updates for now. Like I said, we plan to take it easy while we are here and save the good stuff for right before we leave (we are already planning our south island road trip for the middle of November, which is a lot closer than we realized). Stay tuned for more, and thanks so much for joining us on our journey around the world. Don't forget to "join this site" to become a fellow fish and tell your friends to do the same!

Haven't had a lot of chances to take pictures recently. But I will post some very soon.

Until Next Time,

M@

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