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Picking up the oil in Tauranga

To begin with let me just say that it wasn’t easy finding a job in Mount Maunganui. But, as they say (even though I don’t know who “they”are), hope is the last thing you lose.
We arrive to New Zealand on the last days of November. Oh wait, I forgot. You don’t know who WE are. I’m Gonzalo, and I came to the kiwi centre of the universe with Juan from Argentina, the Dulce de leche centre of the universe. Now we can go on with my story. As I was saying, we arrived to New Zealand on the last days of November. We stayed in Auckland for two days and then moved to Mount Maunganui. It’s a 6 hours drive by bus with a short scale in Rotorua. The road to the Mount is quite amazing. You get to see beautiful  prairies and mounts. One expects to see Heidi or the Von Trapp family coming down at one moment or the other. (They don’t, in case you were wondering).
So. We got to Mount Maunganui, and we were thrilled to see the place where we were going to live. I mean, you see the beach, you see the sea and a big mount at the end that sums it all up. How could one not be amazed by that?! Of course we were two, but the rule still applies. We stayed at a backpackers on one of the main roads but a bit aside from the city centre. Great place. And the very next day started looking for a job.
We couldn’t find anything.  We went into every shop, motel, hotel, drive in. We even went into a tent, but that was just a mistake. Although the couple that was in did offer us some work! But I aint ironing no one clothes!! So we just kept on looking for a whole week. Now, for those of you who don’t know this… a week is made of seven days. And that brings you down. So we were ready to leave the mount, feeling defeated, when the girl who works at the backpackers said: 
“Hey guys! I think I got a job for you!”
"Well take it!" we said fill with joyment. 
So, she made a phone call and on we were into the bus all the way to Tauranga city. What a moment of happiness. We could already see ourselves with our pockets full of money, and our hearts filled with pride. But mostly with our pockets filled with money. Then again our pockets werent that big so it didnt need too much money to fill them. Anyway, we went to this employment office and told the receptionist that we were there for a job. The man asked us if we had a car. We said no. He said he didnt have any job for us.
Sad again.
But we werent going down without a fight! So we told the guy that we would get a car and come back the very next day. And we did. And we got the job.  Now in order for you to understand what was it that we did, I need to tell you about a little disaster that happened on the New Zealand shores. 
There was this big boat coming from I dont know where to I dont know where (not a long trip I suposse since both places have the same name) carrying a lot of stuff in it. And rumor has it that it was the captains birthday so everyone was drinking. You know how they say that you must not drink and drive? Well it seems that it also applies to driving big boats full of stuff. So the boat hit the rocks and the oil started to come out and float its way to the beaches. And our job, was to pick up that oil and put into bags so the beaches would be clean and pretty… and safe once again.
Its actually a pretty good job. You earn money and you are doing something for the environment. We had to use this white overall, gloves and boots so it felt like you were in a movie starring Dustin Hoffman. Have you seen that movie? Its actually really good. You should see it. In fact I advise to go right now and rent it. Go. Go now.
Have you done it? Have you watched it? Wasnt it awesome? See? I told you!
Now lets go back to my story. 
The pay was good, and we had a 30 minutes lunch. Now, the lunch time was unpaid but they would give us a big lunch consisting of two sandwiches, a muffin, a square of cake, a fruit, and chips. So it was great! Since we were working on the beach under the sun, they supplied us with plenty of water and sunscreen. Every morning our supervisor would tell us the safety rules of the day. And you know in the beginning it was hard to understand what he said. Kiwis have an accent thats difficult to understand. But between me, my friend Juan, a guy from Paris, and two check girls we were able to understand what we should or shouldnt do. At least most of it.
We did this job for a whole month and we loved it. But after a while, there just wasnt that much oil in the beaches. (Thanks to who? A-ha! Thanks to us, yes sir. Good workers arent we?) so they told us that the job was over and that only a few would continue working.
We werent part of that few people group.
And off we went in search of another job. But thats another story and maybe Ill tell you about it in another letter.
Now go, enjoy the beaches and know that they are clean of oil. 


Submitted by: Gonzalo Silvela
Date submitted: 21/05/2012 9:39:00 PM

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North Island Notes Wed Apr 20

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