WWOOFing it Up in Kiwiland: organic farming in New Zealand 2012

3 years later and life brings me back to New Zealand. This time for a longer period, for a different purpose, with a different outlook on life than last time. I hope what transpires from a few years of travelling as far and as wide as possible across this beautiful country is a basic but decent knowledge and experience in organic farming, self sustainable living, and food production. Come and join me, there's loads of room in the car.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

YMCA in Auckland, touring the city with Christine

Christine had been in touch with me weeks before I left for Auckland, and like many others I had made contact with, offered to look after me and pick me up from the airport. My sister is looking after me already but her kindness like that of many others who have welcomed me here, makes this trip evermore meaningful. Those global connections between people with nothing more than working for a common cause are powerful and they are the ones that create change in the world and nurture that hope, that without, I wither.

Christine gifted me with "Mind, Body and Spirit: YMCA Auckland Celebrating 150 years 1855 - 2005" by Colin Taylor and I'm going to get it back to the UK, somehow; the books pretty heavy and I already came with my 20kg limit of luggage...but there's a will so i'll find a way...The book's not available to buy in shops either. I was considering posting it home but it might go missing and I can while away the hours on my 27hr flight home delving into the history.

There's a big difference between the focus of YMCAs in Edinburgh and Auckland however the values have very much in common. Although some of the Ys here are recreation (leisure) centres only, and other are recreation and community centres however both had that community feel. Kid's birthday parties and artwork line the walls and every centre we went to was packed with people who were in all sorts of groups or using the gym and sports facilities and ususally interacting with others. The core values are not Christian per se but they are ones that most religions would promote: Caring, respect, honesty and responsiblity.

It was a lovely day and the weather cleared up too. Take a look at the photos. Shakespear nature reserve, where the YMCA here have a campsite (retreat) was beautiful and San Ting is probably going to go camping there soon.


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