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Archives: Habitat

NZ Trip – FINAL NOTES 8 May 2006

The photo now above is my own of Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, and is one of my best. Thank you Andrea, for getting it loaded! I have *finally* finished expanding the Milford Track post with more detail, and loading and annotating all of my New Zealand photos, including from the Habitat build and the Tongariro volcano crossing – there are a LOT of photos, so I hope you can just enjoy them as you have time. I took about 1700, and I think about 40 are really good and/or representative – see the ‘Top Forty’ album if you want a quick glimpse. I have about 140 real favorites from the whole trip. And here is a map of my journey (click twice on it for a good full-screen view). Map of my travels

I flew into NZ via Auckland and then directly on to Christchurch for one night. The green leg is my bus trip to Mt. Cook, where I stayed for 2 nights. The blue line is my bus trip to Queenstown, where I stayed for 2 nights, then the orange is the Milford Track guided walk (5 nights), returning to Queenstown for 1 night. The pink line is our car/bus trip via Fox Glacier (just above Haast) all the way north to Nelson – that took 2 days, with the overnight in Fox Glacier and 1 night in Nelson. Then I flew back to Auckland for the Habitat build (12 nights). Then the bright blue line is the GV team’s van trip to Waitomo Caves near Otorohanga (1 night) then on to Taupo and Rotorua (2 nights). The red line is my bus trip to Tongariro National Park where I stayed for 3 nights, and the yellow line is my train trip back to Auckland to fly home.

I have also heavily edited the Milford Track entry from March 2 with many details of that absolutely amazing adventure – it was definitely the highlight of my trip, with Tongariro close behind (since my camera was broken, I found some great photos on the internet). The Milford album also has the most photos by far, and I think they tell the story of our 5-day adventure pretty well.

If any of you missed some of the early posts of my trip and want to read from the beginning, just click on New Zealand on the right and you will see them all – the earliest dates are at the bottom. And I recommend opening up a second browser window for the photos related to the post so you can see what I am talking about as you read. But most of all, THANKS FOR READING!

Cave Tubing! 17 March 2006

Thursday early morning we all headed out in a van hosted by Adventure Specialities, a NZ non-profit group whose mission is to work with at-risk kids and families. Our destination was Waitomo Caves, toward the central west of the North Island, about 4 hours’ drive. We made it about 1/4 mile and the engine overheated, so we spent a little over an hour waiting for a replacement van, on the grassy portion between freeway ramps! (more…)

Last work day 15 March 2006

Today was our last day, and I will …sort of… miss it! :) It has been hard work, and it has been really great to be able to switch work sites, though I *did* get tired and sore from painting. Today I was at the experimental house site most of the day, but it was quite hot and I am coming down with a cold and I found myself losing steam so I bugged out the last couple hours and went back to painting – out of the sun. (more…)

Exotic black flower 14 March 2006

My *sweet* little camera is broken. I am so bummed. I think what happened is that something was dropped on it, or it was (unknowingly) stepped on! I pulled it out tonight to take a group shot at dinner, and found an exotic-looking black flower on permanent display with delicate lines through it. (more…)

From dirt to boating 12 March 2006

Yesterday, Saturday, was our 6th workday, and I **really** worked (not that I hadn’t been already!) – I got to work on the new site for the first time.

In case I had not mentioned it earlier, our team is actually working on two new houses under construction. The one most of us are working on is the traditional Habitat house here in Auckland, made out of a heavy, thick “tri-board” (wood chips and glue – very strong) with aluminum siding and roof…very nice looking. The other house has just been started, and is using an experimental design by a local university student architect, who is also supervising the build. That one is using a type of concrete block (I’ll have to find out more later), and we are preparing the foundations for the garage and the house. (more…)

Sanding, sanding, and more sanding… 10 March 2006

Today was our 5th workday on the house we are building for Juanita, the single mom who will be the new homeowner. She had sick kids on Monday and Tuesday, but has been at the building site for several hours the last two days, working along side us as much as possible when she is not at work. (more…)

Habitat, Manukau, NZ 7 March 2006

Wow – what an adventure this trip has been! When I arrived in Auckland on Sunday (March 5th) at 9am, I was just an hour too late to join the team’s short city tour, so the director of the Manukau Habitat affiliate picked me up and took me to their house to help prepare for the big brunch for the team and all the other kiwis that would join in. (ALL New Zealanders refer to themselves as kiwis.) And it turns out I was really lucky I didn’t make that tour… when they were stopped at a high point above the city and the stadium where the All Blacks (national rugby team) play, the van was broken into and 3 lost passports, IDs, tickets, money, cell phones, cameras, etc! So that was a rather inauspicious beginning, but we have had a great time so far, in the midst of those three having to deal with that. (more…)