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Traditional Maori hangi

My name is Nis and I am travelling through New Zealand in a Van together with my sister since mid of December. At home in Germany we got a Working Holiday Visa in the internet and planned to do some harvest work here in New Zealand. We started in Auckland, made our way down south and took the ferry to the South Island between Christmas and New Year.
When we arrived in Wanaka we started looking for jobs because we were running out of money. The first job offer we got was on a Berry Farm near town, where we picked raspberries for two days. But because it was only a few hours a day and not every day we still applied for other harvest jobs in the Central Otago region. In the internet I send a Mail to the PickNZ office in Alexandra, a few hours later we got the phone call and with it a job on a cherry orchard in Lowburn near Cromwell. We should start a few days later so we still hat time to explore the beautiful region.
On Monday the 9.1. we arrived on the cherry farm in the morning and got introduced to the sorting of cherries in the pack house. We had to sort the incoming cherries in three categories: All perfect cherries were export quality, all cherries with little scratches or steam less were domestic and all the rest of rotten and squeezed cherries were thrown into the rubbish bucket. It was a lot of rubbish because of the rain in the last days.
We were payed by every bucket that we emptied. On our first days sorting we thought we could never get faster and we would not make any money here at all. But after a few days we could already double our number of buckets. It is amazing how you can improve your skills and speed in sorting just by training, doing it again and again.
For three days I did another job in the pack house. Because one of the bucket boys, who carry full unsorted and rubbish buckets was absent I did his job which was a completely new experience. Instead of standing around and only moving my hands I had to do really hard work now. Although I liked this kind of challenge I went back to sorting after the three days mostly because of more money that I could earn with this.
My sister and I slept in our Van on the big camping ground on the farm where all of the workers lived. It was a very nice community and after we all got to know each other it was hard to say goodbye and move in different directions after the season finished.  After the last day we had a lunch together with a traditional Maori hangi. It was really declicious. Now we are in the Hawkes Bay area and looking for work again. Probably we will pick apples soon. We are looking forward to all the nice people we are going to get to know here!

Whats a Hangi?

Submitted by: Nis
Date submitted: 17/02/2011 11:17:46 PM

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