All I Want for Christmas is a Job!


Well, the long-awaited New Zealand job hunt has begun. True to form, we chose our spot on a whim – Wanaka (WAH-nuh-ka) is a resort-like small town (a few thousand) surrounded by Mt. Aspiring National Park. It fit our requirement of being located near the South Island’s outdoor playgrounds and was recommended by like-minded individuals.

The view out our “front door” – the Wanaka dock (jetty, they say…)

We looked for a wwoofing spot there, but instead landed an hour up-lake at a farm in Makarora. We spent two weeks with an amazing family – Emily the incredible super-mom-farmer, Chris the accent-laden-park-ranger-handyman, Hunter the six-year-old bundle of imagination and energy, and Evie the four-year-old Shirley Temple impersonator complete with red ringlets and an adorable accent. The whole family says “wee” instead of “little,” “as well” instead of “too,” and “tea” instead of “dinner.” Just imagine a little Miss Shirley Temple saying, “I’m going to have a wee bit of soup for tea as well.” It happens!

Our job-finding efforts so far consist of ideas and contacts of Emily’s, two New Zealand job websites, registering with the local job agency, and cold-calling businesses we think would be interesting to work for. The caveat is that in 15 days, we’ve only been to Wanaka on job-hunting business three times. I did have one lead at a cafe that gave me a one-day trial. I had a blast assisting the chef and got invited back for a second go. Before the second-interview day arrived, a former employee walked in looking to fill the spot, so I got bumped. Bummer!

Now the weekend is here and we’re going to play and forget about job hunting for two days. On Monday we head to another woofing spot in a location that will allow us to get serious about getting a job. That’s all I want for Christmas!



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