Monday, February 8, 2010

A Tent with a View

Hey all!

It has been a long time since I have posted an update on our NZ adventure. We have arrived safely in mishaps with customs...I am now an official NZ resident extrodinaire!

It has been great to catch up with Isaac's family who we missed dearly over the last 2 years in Canada. We needed at least a week of jet lag recovery, which we spent chillin in Mt. Maunganui...Isaac's home town. Once we were rested we moved our party to Isaac's brothers place...a sweet little cabin in the middle of NZ rural paradise. Luckily, Isaac's parents gave us a super sturdy little tent which has been home sweet home for the past 3 weeks! Thankfully it is rain proof...though not quite bug or damp proof. David has allowed us free access to his garden and INSANE avocodo grove...(see photo below). We literally have 20 or so avocodos ripening on our windowsill at the moment. (strange for a Canadian...)

Davids neighbor (and our good friend) has an army of chickens and roosters which have the run of the place and occasionally come round to say hello every so often. One particularily cheeky rooster has gotten into the habit of standing right beside our tent wall to ensure we wake up every morning stat at 5:30am. It tends to sound a bit like Jurrassic Park around here...especially at night. I am aware that NZ has NO predators but I still spent the first week jumping at every night sound until I got used to it. One particular night we heard heavy breathing right next to our tent wall....which I, a Canadian pictured to be a bear, wolf, get the idea...turns out it was the cutest hedgehog ever and I have nothing to fear. Ironically I think I had to get over West End Winnipeg syndrome...realizing that the chickens were not going to break into the car or tent.

We left Canada with no debt but turned up in NZ with no money. This was fine as we knew we were going to be selling a contacts wares at an upcoming NZ festival. Ironically this contact let us know a week before that we could no longer sell the wares at the festival. This really hooped us as we had been planning our entire re-settling around this weekend. So...I got to work madly whipping up leather goodies and Isaac went to work for his brother David gibbing. We ended up doing the festival with Spiro pieces...and an amazing friend offered to pay our stall fee if we also sold his product. This was an amazing gift for us...we did the festival...though sales were not amazing and somewhat dampened by Sunday torrential rains! We did sell some Spiro goodies and made enough to cover our shipping costs which was great...though not quite enough to aid with re-settling...(insert sigh here...)

Thank you to all who supported us at the festival...We love REALLY! Some of our close friends blessed us with some finance which was beyond amazing and made me was beautiful to see our friends coming around us in a somewhat frustrating time.

After the 4 day festival..we got a little depressed. Our goal of heading down south to settle was much further away as we now could not afford a car, or bond on an apartment. We are now re-thinking our whole process and brainstorming for our next steps. (If you are a praying person we would appreciate your prayers at this time!) We are aware that everything will come together and are soooo grateful for the incredible support of our friends and family. We have food to eat and a roof over our heads (even if its a fabric roof)and are living in a gorgeous country. Sadly this also means that Spiro will continue to be on hold until we are able to get ourselves settled and re-sourced...tents don't make the greatest workshops...we need to find a space.

This past weekend we took part in our sister's wedding ceremony (Isaac's sis) and got to re-connect with Isaac's extended family. It was a brillant time...a gorgeous day and special weekend. I am feeling part of the family now, it was a relief to be accepted and embraced. We hit the beach and forgot our frustrations for awhile. We slept in a bed for the first time in 3 weeks which was AMAZING!! It's so funny how much you appreciate things when you are cut off for a season...It was also nice to be in a clean house minus the chickens.

This week I am focusing on getting Spiro more organized as well as re-connecting with friends and trying to learn to drive standard...on the wrong side of the road...(hear that Isaac...the WRONG side!!) David took me for my first standard driving lesson which was hilarious...I did well...though the road was soooooo curvy (terror for a prairie girl) that I was afraid to go faster than 2nd gear, also due to the shear cliff drop just a few feet from our car. Isaac and David were slightly afraid though they said I did well. I am also afraid of round abouts...which I am willing to conquer. More stories to come soon...

I think that about sums up our last month or so...I will try to be more constant with my and hugs to all our Canadian friends...we miss you and are thinking about you in the freezing soon as we have a plan I will let you know!

Davids Deck...where I am typing from:

The Kitchen:

Neighbors Place:

The Veggie Garden:

Home Sweet Home:

Cheeky Chicken:

Avocodo Grove....Yes these HUGE trees are all avocodo trees!!:

This ones for Andee...look at ALL the fruit!:


  1. Thanks for the update, Barb! And especially thank you for the beautiful pictures of the amazing avocado trees!! I'm salavating just looking at them! Sadly, mine have to come from Superstore. :( Enjoy them, my dear!

  2. great to hear your update, hope all works out for you two in NZ! beautiful place you are staying at :)

  3. Barb it is wonderful to follow your adventure! I wish you both well with whatever comes your way and my prayers are with you! it was so great to connect with you again even if for a short time, I really enjoy your spirited enthusiasm and your story telling!


  4. Amazing photos. Thanks for the update. We're praying! Enjoy the avocados...

  5. Thanks for the update as well! I was wondering where things were at and just found this blog of yours. Looks like paradise to me! I nice change of scenery from the grubby west end here. Though, I must say the snow is beautifully crunchy and white. It makes everything feel fresh and clean. Mikayla was loving jumping in the snow and seeing the white fluff fly everywhere. Her little giggles are adorable! Miss you lots:)

  6. Barb thanks so much for the Blog. I am not an avid facebooker and was so sad to hear you had already gone and had a party in winnipeg. Nice to hear what you two have been up to.
    Please stay in touch.
    Love Ya!

  7. It's beautiful! Love seeing your little tent house. Looks like paradise!

  8. Looking at these beautiful pictures I can see why your mom and dad loved it there. Thanks for the update. Take care of each other!

  9. Hey hey, it's time for an update! We've been thinking about you guys and hoping you are well. Have you found a place? Have you been able to go down south like you originally planned?

    Lots of love
    Ren & Adrien