Having my fill of Auckland I decided to switch things up a bit by doing a volunteer help exchange at a Macadamia Nut farm. Some of you may or may not know what this is. Basically you work for your room and board and sometimes food as well. I go through an organization called Helpx (www.helpx.net) which simply is a classified ad system for help exchange hosts and volunteers to get in contact with each other.
After an hour train ride from Auckland south to the small town of Pukekohe I met up with my Host Virginia at the train station and we drove to the farm located ruffly 20 minutes outside of town. When I arrived I soon found out there were two very nice German guys volunteering as well. Being said all the beds were taken so I had to sleep in a nice little cozy caravan which I had all to myself.
For the next two weeks my daily routine was wake up around 7:00 a.m. go eat breakfast (we had the full range of the kitchen minus beer), start work at 8:00, Morning tea around 9:30-10:00 and quit around 1:00. The kind of work we were doing was pretty random. For the first couple days we sorted and bagged nuts, after that we picked weeds,cleared the swamp, cleaned the rental house, fertilized the trees, landscaped, weed wacked, etc…. The work was easy and fulfilling. It felt good to have a purpose after six months of being a backpacker bum.
As for the experience I absolutely enjoyed myself while staying with Virginia and Charles for two weeks. From the moment I arrived they made me feel like I was part of the family. From Charles taking me for rides in his classic British Alvis to Virginia showing me how to make bread the entire experience was so rewarding. I’m definitely going to make time in my travels to volunteer more!
Next travel post: Beach Bum