For the past week the group has joined up with Awhi Farm to test our WOOFING skills. We have been a part of a variety of different tasks regarding permaculture and sustainable living. Every day, we help plant, harvest, nurture, and weed the different fruits, veggies, and herbs that are used to feed different Maraes and the Maori community. We also participate in other daily tasks such as gathering eggs from the chooks (New Zealand for chicken) and making delicious meals using only a rocket stove and the food grown on the farm. However, one of our biggest contributions to Awhi Farm has probably been the “compost” we have graciously donated to the several compost toilets around the farm.
Along with permaculture, Awhi Farm teaches methods for sustainable living in the Maori community. Several members of the group have been helped with the building of a two-story dome house made from Pumice (volcanic rock), clay, and cement. The dome models Middle Eastern Architecture which only uses a chain to measure the dimensions of the dome. Other aspects of the farm’s sustainability include a solar shower, compost/recycling, and a complete “off the grid” environment.
The farm work is difficult but rewarding. Last Friday we helped run the farmer’s market by selling coffee, crepes, pizzas, and produce. Tuesday we went into town to do some laundry and thrifting. Thursday we were all lucky enough to celebrate the birthday of one of the group members, Blake. It was a real treat being able to celebrate this momentous occasion with such a handsome and charming fellow. The fun didn’t end there; Friday we participated in an anti-drug rally for the Turangi community. We made signs and slogans to help spread awareness of addiction and drug abuse. After long days of hard work the group will often cool down with a nice dip in the Turangi River or play with the farm’s kittens. In fact, two kittens began to think of Conrad, Blake, and Bennett as their guardians and were forced upon the role of a motherly figure to these precious creatures.
Tomorrow we are off to Rotarua to enjoy our final days in the Kiwi Land. We love and miss all of you!
In the words of the mighty Peyton Manning, “Some guys leave a place after a long time, and they're bitter. Not me.”
-Blake and Pete