Back in time were Asia and Southeast Asia. It had been several months since Kuala Lumpur fired me when the plane to Auckland and a previous stopover in Australia had taken off. Those streets populated with life, color, and aromas were no longer in my day to day life and they were strange. The time had come for a new adventure, different and full of changes. After getting my work visa for one year, I moved to Oceania, and, for the first time in my life, I was going to live in a country that was not mine, with all that that implies: customs, language, a different culture.
But if there was something left over, it was desire, a key piece in all this “madness” of leaving what is supposedly true and safe for a life of uncertainty, improvisation, and experiences. After a few months, New Zealand had already entered my heart very easily, and those who know that country will surely know very quickly why. A country where nature and greenery are at every turn one takes.
My life started well in the north of the country for a few months, continued in the middle of the southern island for several more months, and little by little I would get closer to the southernmost point of the country. All this always mobilized by different jobs that I was getting and that allowed me to keep saving to continue traveling, and incidentally, have new experiences, and get to know this incredible country.
And if we talk about experiences, towards it we go, since that is what they came to look for in this article. My time as a volunteer with Worldpackers would not be lacking in New Zealand either. I already told you about the incredible experiences I had volunteering in a hostel in Malaysia and then in Indonesia. So as soon as I had a gap between jobs, I did not hesitate and devoted myself to one.
My experience volunteering at an organic farm in New Zealand
This time my destination was going to be Clinton, a tiny town in the south of the country, so small that it consists of a couple of blocks and not much more, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in green and landscapes, and that was something I was never lacking in New Zealand and I wanted it to remain the same way.
The place was an organic farm, where the owner had several hectares, and in them a large common kitchen/dining room where all the volunteers could rest, cook and eat, several motorhomes where he stayed, the house where he lived and in addition to many Greenhouses and some animals, hundreds of meters of green hills where vegetables of all kinds were planted and harvested.
But although everything seemed idyllic, the work that we did every morning for 4 hours, not a minute more, not a minute less, was not easy and at the same time quite physical. Keep in mind that being organic, no type of chemical or product is used, so the weeds or weeds that grew around the vegetables had to be removed by hand and kneeling, thus covering a long line and sometimes up to two.
What was day to day like during my volunteering at an organic farm?
Regarding meals, it worked as a group: all the volunteers got together and put together a list of the things we needed (with some limitations that the owner had already told us about costs), and being able to take advantage of everything that was produced in the farm, so vegetables were never lacking and they were very rich, so it was something to take advantage of.
The milk was not lacking either, and it was very fresh since there was a cow that was milked daily and from there milk was obtained for everyone: yes, from the cow to the direct refrigerator. You couldn’t ask for cheese, because he taught us how to make it ourselves with the milk he gave us and a little vinegar, something new that I also learned there. That was how we handled ourselves, every 2 or 3 days we made the list again, we filled the refrigerator, and then each one could use whatever they wanted for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All meals were included.
Someday we would break with that routine and go to the only “bar” in the little town to eat something different, play pool, and have a beer. And I say bar in quotes because although it looked like one, it was as or quieter than the town, but the only thing necessary to have a good time was the good vibes of the other volunteers with whom I met: Belgium, Holland, New Zealand, Argentina, Tahiti, and South Korea, a beautiful cultural mix that gave that extra touch to another experience that after almost 2 weeks came to an end.