Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last Week in New Zealand

We're coming down the home stretch.  One week from tomorrow, we leave Tuateawa for an overnight on the benches of the Auckland International Airport.  What's new?

Tree Planting:  Mission Accomplished

We started off with about 1,200 acacia, eucalyptus, and fruit trees, as well as several dozen natives, like nikau palm, pohutakawa, hoheria, and even a few kauri.  We planted well over 1,000 of the non-natives, and a large chunk of the natives, as well.  Cat and Mel together were planting machines, and I estimate that I personally planted around 300 trees.  There are around 125 non-natives left in the nursery that will be used for in-fill in sparse areas and to replace seedlings lost to rabbits.  I might plant for another half day in the next week, but for all intents and purposes, the massive tree planting effort has concluded.  Cool!

Bye Bye, Cat and Mel :-(

Our cute little Canadian friends are on a plane to Canada right now.  Both Dave and I had a great time working with Catherine and Melanie.  The work here is not easy and is quite tiring, but they always managed to have a sense of humor about it (even when I wasn't in a smiley mood!).  The month of June wouldn't have been nearly as fun without them.  I'm so excited for Mel to be heading to med school and for Cat to pursue her dream as a vet!

Enough Rain, Already!

Rain usually doesn't bother me.  I like sleeping in the rain, the pitter-patter of the drops lulling me into peaceful slumbers.  But, golly darn it, I don't like torrential downpours that soak the ground to the point of standing water under the tent, which the mattress soaks up like a big sponge!  After removing our soaked mattress from the tent for the third time in as many weeks, Dave and I have (finally) decided to move out of the tent into Cat & Mel's old room.  Strange to sleep inside again!
Finishing Cabins

The walls for both cabins are up.  The lower cabin has a roof, walls have been nogged, and we're starting to hang plywood.  The upper cabin needs a bit more work--it has rafters but no roofing iron, partially nogged walls but no plywood.  This week, we're going hard on the cabins to get them as close to done as possible.  I got to cut roofing iron one day, which was fun because it involved playing with power tools, and painful because of all the sparks flying everywhere.

That's All, Folks

It's been a quiet weekend.  I'm catching up on emails, arranging couchsurfing hosts for our ~2 weeks on the road, talking to family on skype, and doing a crash course in Bhasa Indonesia (literally, "the language of Indonesia").  Plus, it's nice to have some time with just Dave, since we won't get a lot of quiet time while we're on the road.  Time to make dinner...  maybe I'll bake cookies or watch a movie tonight.  :-)


  1. The rules of Bahasa are comically simple. Verbs have no tense. To pluralize a noun, just say it twice!

  2. LOL... Steve, at this very moment, Dave and I are studying! Just starting with basic phrases for now. The pronunciation is a little difficult.

  3. Dave, I gotta say, you look fantastic in dreads. :-) I definitely could not pull that off.