Alive and well in Wanaka. The Southern Alps shine nearly as brightly as the Cascades on the horizon every morning, and I feel at home. A few mornings ago, up at 5:30am for employment at the Coffee Cafe a few 100 meters away, the full moon hovered in the sky over these peaks out the kitchen window of my hostel.
Although the mission to New Zealand has changed its course drastically, originally intended as a massive SUP exploration, and now a meandering journey of work trade, mostly in hostels, but also with the local paddle company, Wanaka Kayak, SUP, and Sail, the journey has been fruitful. Some of the developments:
1. Purchasing a van: I own my first car in something like 3 or 4 years! A massive 1988 Hiace Toyota van. It is gorgeous and I think we are well suited for each other. It was a steel at $2,100 NZ dollars.
2. Employment: I actually made some New Zealand coin! I was hired as a barista however the majority of my duties amount to dishwashing.
3. Work Exchange: I am a hostel manager in exchange for free housing. I run the check in desk 3 hours a day and have to be in the hostel all night in case the fire alarm goes off. It has been crap for my social life but great for my savings. Most folks pay $180 a week at least for accommodation.