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Friday, July 04, 2008

True North

By trial and simple deduction I arrived at the next step of my journey. Where should I go? It is wintertime so that rules out a launch anywhere southwards. (It is here below the equator that entire geological terms are reversed...the south implies a shiver and a blanket, and the north is what you cling to in the hopes of feeling warmth of the sun playing upon your skin). Take this into account where my psychological clock is ringing away striving to wake me up to the fact that it is very much summer where I am from and it should very well be now. But because the summer is denied me, the winter which is actually very mild here, is that much worse. I think most of all desire to see the sun up and shining past 5:30 p.m....because it's been awhile.

That's when I got the prospect of working on a vineyard in the north...not far from the mecca of Auckland...and even better, a complete island with its own style of living. I wanted to work on a vineyard here, learn as much about the process of wine-making as possible and even intended on going south to this very hilly, beautiful region of the South Island called the Marlborough Sounds, but seeing how it was a long way from Tauranga, it was a bit colder down there, and the fact that because vineyard work was such the vogue among the backpackers this time of year, there was simply no place to live. All the hostels were booked. The idea of heading north to do the same type of work won me over.

So I recall telling people in Tauranga that I was heading towards the grand, resplendent Waiheke Island. And before long, I was headed in that direction riding caravan with a bunch of Bible students. in route to their covetous trip to Fiji.

Brothers and sisters sharing a common belief in the beauty and therefore sanctity of hospitality and well fare of others is truly a remarkable thing in a country where you enter as a stranger. A wild-eyed straggler on the highway taken in by a vast assortment of different types each synonymous in their focus in life...is something unbeatable.

Immediately upon arriving in Auckland, I was picked up again by other folks who had done the AIM program as well. I spent several days among them. As they were planning their church plant here in the sprawling environs and suburbs of Auckland. On a Tuesday, I left them heading on a ferry to Waiheke Island for my new place of residence for awhile.


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