Sunday, February 19, 2012


Cranberry crops and raindrops.

Greymouth-Hokitika-Ross-Te Taho

Expectation: Working on a small cranberry crop is easy work.
Truth: It's not.

We settled down in Te Taho, a farming community of a whopping total of 11 houses, on a cranberry crop. The owners, a retired couple, are quite traditional New Zealanders as you might guess when they've spent 50 years of their lives on a dairy farm. I think this was the first time we had honest communication problems with our hosts, and these problems weren't related to the language. It was more about the difficulty that comes when two nationalities and two age groups collide with their different values.

I was told today that it's alright to take a leek just outside the crop area. I didn't bother asking why I couldn't just use the bathroom when there's one inside but my initial assumption was that the old fella didn't want to waste the working time of his Wwoofers on them running to the bathroom. I guess it's a bit different here, that's all.

The weather is a bit different as well. The Kiwis themselves consider the West Coast of South Island to be the most damp place on the islands. We got rain twice throughout the week and otherwise the sun has been burning on our necks. Cant' say I'm not amazingly proud of my t-shirt tan, though!

Learning different values is important for me in the way that I learn how to be more objective on things – instead of taking the basic subjective, personal perspective. Sitting in a bus in New Zealand with only a fairly uncomfortable amount of space for your feet doesn't feel as bad as the bus from Shanghai airport where I had the same amount of space for my feet as well as my 85 liter backpack. Pulling out weeds from a garden doesn't feel that bad when you've pulled them from a dry piece of land for eight hours on the same day.

Objective: Learn about growing cranberries.
Result: Learned about objectivity.

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