From January 10th to 19th, we did our first HelpX.
We went to Waiuku (Awhitu Central Road more precisely). Our hosts were Gavin and Peter. They are South-Africans living in New Zealand for 12 years. They used to live in the Tutukaka area and have been in Waiuku for 2 years. They are artists and art teachers in schools.
Peter and Gavin own a very nice property (and a gorgeous garden!). They have one horse (they had 3 but 2 of them died the week before our arrival), two huge hairy pigs (we do not know the name of the race), one rooster and hens, one ‘megpie’ that they adopted when she felt of the nest, and 3 adorable dogs: Nigel, Ruppert and William.
We were hosted in a horse trailer in the garden, on two camp beds pretty narrow. After the first night and after a discussion with Gavin about the fact that the bed was too small for Jérémy, he borrowed a double air mattress to one of his friends, it was a lot more pratical even if for the back, you can find better.
In exchange for food and accomodation, we helped Gavin and Peter for 4 hours a day.
The first day, Jeremy did some lawn mowing. Hard under the sun, with a really heavy lawnmower and on an irregular ground. But nothing too complicated. Lauriane collected some horse poo in order to put it at the foot of the young trees recently planted and use it as a natural fertilizer, then she helped Peter to weed the garden.
The next days, we did some painting: windows, a part of the outside house facade, a little room to completely re-paint, ceiling and baseboards in the bathroom… Again, nothing too complicated, but all of this takes time!
Peter and Gavin cooked great food: basic breakfast, light lunch (with mixed salad most of the time) and real big dinners (Jérémy was so glad, we ate meat every night!). It felt really good to eat something else than noodles, moreover really well cooked meals!
We worked in the morning. In the afternoon, either we rested or we went on the road around. We went several times to Pukekohe to find some things we missed (no pictures, the town is not really interesting).
We went to see the lighthouse which is not really impressive but from which you can see a wonderful view of Auckland’s bay.
We went to ‘Hamilton’s Gap’: a black volcanic sand beach. It was amazing, moreover there were beautiful ocher/brown cliffs. The contrast was beautiful. The sea was too cold and too agitated to have a swim.
We were lucky enough to see Gavin and Peter’s first three baby chickens, who were born during our stay.
On Friday nights, there are community meetings for the whole neighborhood in the former school. Gavin and Peter took us and it was really nice.
Finally, on Saturday, January 17th, Gavin celebrated his birthday and we were invited. It was great to share such an event with Gavin, Peter and their friends.
We really enjoyed our stay with Gavin and Peter who welcomed us so nicely, were very kind and very considerate. Thanks to them!