Without doubt I have thoroughly been enjoying the experience of being outside and working amongst apple trees. I have the pleasure of working with a caring and humorous site manager, even if the owners/bosses aren't worth talking about unless it's in the negative. Unfortunate, but not atypical of the conditions throughout the New Zealand Horticulture Industry. Today a report was done on Kiwifruit growers in the Bay of Plenty, but this kind of worker exploitation and not living up to Labour Rights is rife across most of New Zealand (and very much so in the area that I am working). However, I take the good with the bad and am in a privileged enough position to be able to refuse working over 40 hours to meet a standard minimum wage rate knowing that the owners have to top my pay up if their contract rates don't meet that minimum rate. That's fine. Not so for the migrant workers who are hit the hardest due to their desire to make as much money as possible to return to their families and communities.
On Sunday I moved out of the work accommodation and into a new flat with a fire and two friendly flatmates. In fact, I may have sprained my thumb and over night it swelled somewhat and this morning I fainted in the kitchen while making my coffee and talking to Emma. I woke up on the floor wondering what had happened and Emma asking me if I was okay. After calling an ambulance and having me fully checked out, Emma left for work late, and Matt drove me down to the hospital for a follow up consultation. I generally don't cope so well with pain and injuries so it may have just been my body reacting to the injury. But it's great to have supportive people around me. It's something we all hope for.
On Saturday I took a trip to the beach, or estuary... It's an estuary. I come from Gisborne. I've lived in Whangamata. Maybe this stretches into the beach, but where I walked and took photos, it's very estuaryish.
It's not often I use the word 'beautiful' to describe things, but the sunset was gorgeous! :-)
She’s so young, so early out of childhood, yet so soon to become her own adult.
Sometimes J’nata wished she could trade the long arduous quarters of day for more time in her own life to experience and watch children become the same adults they were. Better adults. But it was never to be. Death came to parents within moments of children being born to their own children.
Had any adults ever lived to see children of children grow to fruition?
J’nata took the garden knife and started chipping away at the hardened dew-sap that had formed between the top of the apple and it’s stem.
Ch’rie watched her curiously. “Why doesn’t it fall off like all the other fruit?”
“All the excess sap from the previous dim day has hardened around the top of the fruit. It’s too hard to pull straight off so I’m cutting it down instead. The fruit’s fine, but it’s just a consequence of there being too much light during one of the dark days – all that excess sap caused by extra light has to leave the plants. Most of the time it simply drips into the ground from the plant leaves. In fruit-bearing trees is has a tendency to gather at the stems of the fruits themselves.”
Ch’rie was eating into one of the fruit.
“Those are supposed to be for the stalls," J'nata said.
She stopped, teeth buried deep in fruit flesh, voice spluttering juice everywhere: “Still tastes pretty good!”
A wry smile passed across J’nata’s face. “Hurry up and get that basket away to the stalls, otherwise people will be wondering what’s happened to you!”
Some updates to keep me updated.