As usual, it seems like we only just said hello to June and now we’re waving it out again!
Andy and I are settling well into our new roles as Land Manager (Andy) and Program Manager (me) at Toi Toi Manawa. At this stage, much of our work is revolving around developing plans. Drafting, redrafting, mapping, making scribbles, consulting with various people on various topics – all in order to have a solid land design and program plan together by the end of July. We presented our current drafts to the Trustees on Thursday and things seem to be moving in the right direction. It’s quite exciting to be heading up this sort of a process and it is absolutely useful experience for us. If you haven’t already, then feel free to take a peek at our website and facebook page, to see a little bit more of what we’re working on. These are definitely works in progress – so stay tuned for more!
We’ve been venturing outside as much as possible too, of course. There’s been harvesting of the bits and pieces STILL left in the garden and doing some more wintertime tidying up, organizing our shed, and cleaning up after our big snow storm. And, as always, walks around the property. It’s amazing how much there is to discover in 40 acres!
Realizing that we’re fairly isolated out here, we thought it’d be a good idea to sharpen up our first aid skills by taking a short course with the Red Cross in Christchurch. I wanted us to get a lot of practical experience along with it, so the night before our first class, I took a good spill in the kitchen, giving my wrist a pretty decent scrape while also knocking the kettle of boiling water over and burning my hand. Andy did a great job bandaging me up, and our ten dinner guests were most entertained. All in the name of education!
One very exciting piece of news is that our new shipping container accommodation arrived yesterday. This was a long awaited arrival and means that we can now set up a permanent living space for ourselves for our time at Toi Toi Manawa. It’s very exciting to be able to fully unpack the suitcases and set up a little bit of “us” space. The container itself is lovely – 20ft long with a newly finished wooden interior. It has a heating panel, lights, power plugs, carpet, and a big window looking out over the property. There are three other containers beside ours, each with two rooms. In the future, these will be used to house greater numbers of on-site researchers and guests of the program.
For the next two weeks, we’re on holiday. Although we’re likely to spend a good portion of the time doing the same things we’d be doing if we weren’t on holiday. Reading, making plans, working away at our list of outside jobs, and enjoying life in Whitecliffs. That said, we’re anxious for a change of scenery too. With this in mind, we’re heading off to the alpine village of Hanmer Springs on Wednesday for a few days of thermal pools and relaxation.
Tonight, we’ve just finished another great meal of garden veggies and plan to spend the evening watching a documentary. Or playing cards. Or maybe both. Life’s a holiday!