By Thursday (27th) we had left the Fijian sun and warm breezes behind and arrived in Auckland that afternoon. We took a bus from the airport to our hostel downtown. We didn't have anything to do until the next morning so we decided to walk around the city a bit and get our first taste of New Zealand beer. (Delish!) Turns out, after that evening, we had left rest and relaxation behind in Fiji as well. By Friday afternoon, after a 4 hour orientation with the work abroad organization that had helped us get our work visas, reality had set in. We were unemployed and homeless.
The next few days were spent opening up bank accounts, buying a cell phone, and anxiously scanning a handful of New Zealand's job websites. We found that there really are tons of jobs aimed at backpackers and temporary workers. There were dozens of posts looking for waitresses, hostel cleaners, nannies, farmhands, etc. Truthfully, this only made me more anxious. We'd always said, "Oh we'll do anything! We'll go anywhere!" But now it was time to decide what we wanted to apply for and where in the country we wanted to go. Since Cody had a friend he wanted to visit near the city of Christchurch we narrowed our jobsearch down to the South island. We then caught a cheap flight to Christchurch and met up with Cody's friend, Will and his roommate Jeremy.
We stayed with Will and Jeremy for a week and during the day while he was at work, we worked on our resumes, wrote dozens of cover letters, and applied for about 50 different jobs. It was exhausting and frustrating for both of us. After a few days and a couple disappointing emails and phone calls, we were both beginning to panic. So we began responding to all the posts on the job websites - even those that we weren't all that interested in and ones that didn't specifically say they were looking for more than one person. But it payed off.
A day later, we were offered jobs at a greenhouse in a city named Timaru. We couldn't believe it! Our new employer informed us that we would have to work 20 hours a week (between the two of us! Ha!) for accomodation. Okay...so we don't get paid but at least we won't be homeless!
Our last few days with Will and Jeremy involved a rowdy night of karaoke for Cody's birthday
and one successful trip to a used-car auction. At this time, we'd like to introduce the newestdition to our family: a 1988 Mazda Bongo. She's a beauty all right. On the way home from the auction, we bought a used mattress to throw in the back along with some dishes and pots and pans. Now that she's all decked out, the Bongo will be our home in between jobs. This is the life.
Next stop: Timaru