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.

Monday, 21 September 2009

A place in the world to belong and a sense of belonging: Balloon People and Cycling in Auckland

Today was a day of firsts. Community Waitakere received a fleet of (two) bikes at the end of last week from the council (proper fnacy ones) and I was the first to go on them! It's not that surprising considering everyone but me depends on a car to get around. I haven't cycled for a few years; some of you have seen my bike chained at the bottom of the stairs covered in dust...Anyways, on the way out to work there was a slight incline so my legs felt like jelly and tomorrow I'm sure I'll be walking like a penguin. Serves me right for not regularly exercising.

So today's been the first day I facilitated a full session and it was with the Teen mum's group at He Wero, part of Henderson High School who received government funding to extend a Teen Parent's Unit onto the main building which is under construction and won't be ready until next winter here (our summer). They were absorbed in the activity of making balloon people of another mum in the group. I have a feeling that they get bored having no programme of  activities that engages them in other ways other than motherhood... in the evaluations they wanted more time creating their balloon people. It went way better than I thought expected. They leanrt more about each other and I learnt loads about them.

A few things that didn't sit right were that the favourite food of a few of them is Burger King and Mac Donalds... they are young and lack life experience living out in the big bad world, but they have tonnes of experience caring for their babies, a different kind of experience but as valuable as every other. I suspect that they enjoyed that it was about them and each other. Being a parent involves sacrifice, a letting go of themselves and their identity to make space for another that's only beginning to take form. But what if those guiding hands haven't yet found their own identity? A place in the world to belong and a sense of belonging too...we never stop learning. The difference is that some of us are more stubborn than others.

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