Thursday, June 4, 2009

NZ details

50 days until New Zealand! So let me give you a little rundown of my schedule. I depart Chicago O'Hare on July 24th and end up in Auckland on July 26th.

From there, I'll get used to the time difference and head to Matamata, NZ. More time for jet lag, some introductions to the country, culture, farming practices, banking, etc. So after a 3 day stay, I'll set off for my first farm. Not sure where it's going to be, but I know I'll be at three to four different farms during my stay throughout the country. I did put in a request to work at a goat dairy, but their kidding season doesn't line up with the calving season, shucks!

So I'll stay at the first farm the longest, working my butt off calving in hundreds of cows. Average farm is 500 cows, and it's not as diverse as in WI. (You know, you'll see a 1000 cow freestall barn down the road from a 30 cow stanchion barn...) At least this is the impression that I get from the research I've done, so I'll keep you posted if my assumptions are correct.

Housing is provided at the farms, and it said no one has complained about their accommodations, so I'm not worried. Oh, you should check out the website!

Marvin Farms

My return flight is booked for January 27th. I actually arrive an hour earlier than when I leave. :-) I've heard from travelers that the trip to NZ is ok, but the flight back to the US is brutal! Not looking forward to any of that because:

1)I hate sitting for long periods of time. I hate reading or watching movies for long periods of time. Or playing games for that matter.

2)It's a 20 hour trip, and there ain't no stopping for rest breaks.

3)I HATE flying. I feel like I'm on a death bus... at least in my car I have some control, so even if I get into a crash, it's somewhat my fault. Weird, I know. I get very panicy and anxious before I go on a plane. Before I flew out of Augusta last week, I sat in a bathroom stall freaking out and crying. I think small commuter planes bother me more than big ones. All I have to keep telling myself is that if the flight attendant is doing ok, I'm doing ok.

My visa lasts for up to a year, so I have until July 2010 before I have to return. To change the plane ticket is only $150, so if I need to return early or stay longer, I certainly can. More on that later...

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!

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