Category Archives: Eco Thrifty Life

Would you like a carrot for every day?

Would you like a carrot for every day? – Sales pitch from a four year old boy with glasses holding three bundles of carrots. Sorry dude… in this house we are not lacking for produce.

For the time being Nelson and I are wwoofing. This week we stayed with Matthew and Sylvia King in Hamilton. They are lovely people who are extremely generous and also happen to be raw food eaters and urban foragers. You can read more about that on The Emperor’s New SUV. The nice thing about wwoofing is that if you are an able-bodied person you can travel all over the world and work 2-5 hours a day in return for room and board. The able-bodied part is what is currently missing out of my equation.

Its worth noting that the winter in this part of NZ is much like February or November in the north east in the states. Every day since I have arrived it has been cold, rainy, and miserable. There are bits of sunlight that come through now and then that are keeping me hoping that other forms of weather actually exist on this island.

In the rainy weather Nelson and I have been helping Matthew and Sylvia with their tree-crops business. We have gone to two farmers markets:
And dove into an ocean of kiwi fruit at a local orchard:

Room and board at Matthew and Sylvia’s consists of living in their camper van with full use of their house with internet and hot water, and joining them in their raw food ways. Since I generally still have the eating habits of a five-year-old, I assumed that I wouldn’t enjoy this part of the experience. But, I’ve tried everything offered, and although we are rebelling a bit and cooking dinner in the evenings, I have to admit that the green juice isn’t as scary as it looks. And the huge amounts of fresh fruit have been awesome (although Nelson nearly killed us in the camper van the other night with the byproduct).

Anyhow, all of this running around in the rain, combined with 3 days of travel has left me with a nasty head cold. So today, while Matthew, Sylvia, and Nelson headed out to an orchard for pruning, I stayed home with a list of housework to tackle. Chore #1 – Juice these mandarins:

A Flash Arrival

Flash: (adj.) Fancy, stylish, cool

Q: How do you transport 200 lbs of luggage half a mile in 15 minutes using only human power?

The first few days after Dani’s arrival have been a bit hectic. On Wednesday we stayed at Earthsong eco village in Aukland and went to bed at 6pm. The next day after barely making the train and then barely making the bus we left Aukland and headed down to Hamilton. It’s alarming to wake up out of a daydream and find that you’re driving on the wrong side of the road… not the wrong side, the other side.

“I wish we had a picture of that tiny hotel room from Hamilton” –Dani
“The fact that it was tiny wasn’t the weird part of that room. What’s weird was that the only outlet was inside a cupboard and all of the old men living in that hotel.” –Nelson

For the next few days we will be staying with Matthew and Sylvia. You can get a little preview of what that will be like by reading the latest post on The Emperor’s New SUV.

I need a plonk!

Plonk: (n.) A cheap bottle of wine

Yes, I should be in New Zealand by now. Yes, Nelson and I should have enjoyed that wonderful moment where we frolic across a field with dreamy music in the background and embrace after nearly two months of being apart. But no. Instead I am currently being embraced by the smells of McDonald’s and Taco Bell in the international terminal of LAX. 
I wont go into all of the gory details, but suffice to say that American Airlines has proven itself again as the least reliable airline… or I suppose most reliable in the sense that three out of the last four times I have traveled with them I have gotten delayed some place overnight, and the fourth time I was simply delayed for 5 hours before take-off. Yesterday I was offered the wonderful choice of being delayed in Dallas overnight with no hotel, or returning, after a round of emotional goodbyes to my parents house. I chose NJ. So this morning without any expectations of actually leaving the country today, I set out for EWR again. 
So far, after a 3 hour delay on the runway in Newark due to what was legitimately the most intense thunderstorm I have ever experienced (can’t blame AA for that one I suppose), I have made it to LA. Hooray! One step closer to becoming a Kiwi! I’m leaving fast food heaven for the bar I just spotted, and hopefully the next time you hear from me it will be from the far away continent of Oceania.

A Wally Undertaking?

Wally: (adj.) foolish, silly

I leave for New Zealand in a little over 24 hours. I had trouble sleeping last night, so its only fitting that this first post fills you in on the million things going through my head as I prepare to move half-way around the world (Although half-way around the world is a misnomer, because once you’re half-way you start coming back again). So here are the top ten:

1. Seeing my baby.

2. Leaving my babies.

3. Did I pack too much?

4. Did I pack enough?

5. The fam.

6. The other fam.

7. How big is a kiwi bird?

8. Are there really robots that rap in binary in New Zealand?

9. How did Joshua beat Katie and Twitch?

10. Oh yeah and those little details of…where we’ll live/ what we’ll do/ how long we’ll be there/ where we’ll work/ who we’ll meet/ how we’ll earn money.

We will try to update this blog as often as possible and will post tons of pictures and stories from our travels.