The past 5 days of volunteering has been a mind full of new information and experiences that brought unexpected lessons about maintaing a reserve. The “Hinewai Reserve” sits on the far peninsula coast, east of Christ Church. To arrive at this welcoming place you must first drive through an adorable town called Akaroa (that I’ve spent this entire time pronouncing differently every time i say it). Here are a few photos of the day spent in this cute town with Kuldip. She’s from Malaysia and is here to volunteer with me. We went from total strangers to roommates and work aquaintences within minutes of arrival. What an intriguing girl (who invited me to her home country for a personal guided visit… She only had to ask once, Malaysia is now on my list!
From here you have to drive over the hills and through the woods (no joke) before you peak over to the view if this gorgeous bay. Part of the drive is open to the public, however over night stay has to be reserved.
Once we arrived, we’re shown our new home for the week. This precious little cabin that sits away from the main house has a mini fridge, stove top oven, sink, table and 2 sets of bunk beds… Coolest clubhouse ever! Instant flash back of my childhood. (Quick love to my dear cousins- I look at your pictures often and remember sneaking candy to the tree houses, camping on the trampoline, and the countless hours sitting around together playing cards, spoons and every other game known to our crazy family! Thank you for the wonderful experiences that have enhanced who I am today).
Ok, back to the clubhouse…
Our job here is to pretty much help out with any and everything that Trisha and Paul need accomplished. Trisha and Paul are absolutely splendid to be around and have the most gentle way of running the property. They respect the land, animals and other travelers as much as they expect it in return. Both have been met with some health challenges as well as being hit with the well known earthquakes of New Zealand. We are here to help get things sorted! Here is a pic of the lovely couple and us at dinner.
Here at the reserve they have chickens whom I bonded with every time I went to check the clothes hanging on the line, rare birds that are always chatting up good conversation and sheep that force us to keep the gates closed so they don’t eat the veggies from the garden. As if the fruit trees, fresh veggies and beautiful scenery wasn’t enough, they also have an assortment of wild animals including but not limited to: rabbits, opossum, rare birds, and eels… yes wild eel!
The last night here we had a barbecue birthday party for the owner of the property. This man needs to win some sort of “Super hero” award. His vibrant personality and enthusiasm for life left me reviewing my own outlook and forcing a positive evaluation of my attitude towards so many different subjects. I’m so thankful he was brought onto my path… What an experience. Happy birthday Hugh!