Thursday morning we woke up at 6am at the Jellick's home so we could have an early start for heading back to Auckland and returning our beautiful rental car we'd grown so fond of. Once our car was returned, we would rush to the airport - hope to God that we'd be there in time to catch our bus, which would take us to another town, where we'd anxiously wait for our next bus, that would take us to Waitara where we would stay with the Jury family and work on a farm. :)
So, it's about 6:15am in the morning and the Jellicks come to knock on our bedroom floor to make sure we're awake. Such nice people.
6:30am, we're all packed and dressed and we come out to the dining room to find that the whole family has gotten up early to prepare and eat breakfast with us.
Right before we left, we took a couple of pictures with the family, said our goodbyes, and Lenore gave us a cooler with snacks she'd packed us for the road! these people... wow.
Jump ahead 12 1/2 hours, through some of the most incredible sights you've ever seen, and over to the West coast, JP and Ashley get off the bus and are welcomed by the lovely Sharyn Jury, who is surprised by the amount of luggage they intend to lug around with them for an entire year - and takes them to her home.
Here is Waitara (just referencing the map... not the weird page behind it).
We're surrounded by shire - full of cows, alapacas, and sheep, with 2 dogs, a cat, and a goat. We got a lovely view of the ocean, and when the clouds should choose to part, one can see the heights of the grand Mt. Taranki. :) it's similar to home when you think about being near the mountain and water.... but it's different.
The Jury family is composed of 4 members:
Tony - husband / father / beef farmer / landlord / manly man / wedding photographer / lead guitarist in his band. :)
Sharyn - wife / mother / home-maker / farmer / human resources lady in town hall / Maid Marian in the local Robin Hood play / song-writer and singer
Jesse - 9 year old son - going on 20 / Rugby player / incredible singer / spitting image of his father / academic achiever / down-to-Earth / new fan of the board game Carcassonne
Corbin - 8 year old son / Rugby player / fastest cross country runner at his school (even faster than the big kids) / freaking adorable / new owner of the 5-day-old lamb, "CJ" / also new fan of the board game Carcassonne
the Jury's live at THE top of the hill - overlooking Tony's mother's property, Tony's brother's farm, and all the other farms in Waitara. They own 200 acres of land - and over one of their hills - past where we can see from the house they own a race track, which Tony made himself, where they hold an annual motocross race to raise money for the local school.
Our first evening with the Jury's, the evening of Thursday the 16th of September, we enjoyed TACOS! for dinner, spent some time talking with the Jurys, met their cat, Scooter, and set up house in our very own bedroom in the basement. They've pretty much given us the basement to ourselves - which has been awesome. It's very cold down there - so we spend most of our time upstairs with the family.
We'd completed our first week in New Zealand and felt certain we'd made a good decision in coming. :)