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my, how time flies

November 4, 2010

It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for a MONTH already!! My, how time flies when you’re having fun! Our life here is worlds away from our life back home, as is to be expected of course. We just left our second host family, and are now at our third stay in Whakatane. We are enjoying and learning quite a lot from the experiences of living amongst the locals and living as part of each family.

For those who don’t already know this, (the majority of) our trip looks like this: we stay with a host family, most often on a farm or lifestyle block but also possibly at B & B’s, backpacker’s, or small homes. In exchange for a room, a shower, and three meals we work four hours each day. Our work usually looks like clearing bush, weeding, planting, other gardening/lawn work, building, hauling wood, painting, cooking, cleaning, and occasionally minding children.

Other than doing work, we get to explore the native bush, head out on adventures, hang out with our hosts, and watch the Office episodes (its keeping us American-ized. or something. :P) At our last stay, we got the chance to explore Mount Maunganui with our host, had a day-off picnic in Tauranga, read in the fresh air and sunshine, and enjoyed great conversation and AMAZING food!

the "back yard" of our hosts

using our picnic set on a day off!

view from Mount Manganui

Having been here a month we can tell that having this adventure is going to be one of the best things we could have done for us as a couple. We have already grown closer together and learned to lean on the Lord all the more. We both would greatly recommend “Growing in Inner Freedom: A Guide For Today” by Philip St. Romain. Using Scriptures and the life of Jesus, it gives day by day practical tools for how to live a FREE life. Amazing stuff-and always seems to say just what you need (but may not want to be faced with yet :P). This book has been essential to the growth we’ve had these past few weeks.

Another big change has come about! As many of you already know, Justin and I are very interested in health and are passionate about good food. After quite a bit of self-education, discussions, thought and prayer-Justin and I have decided to be vegetarians. We are very excited about this new change, and welcome any suggestions, recipes, encouragement, etc.! If you are  curious about our reasoning, feel free to shoot us an email and we’ll go over it with you. What’s exciting is that while we’ve come to this as the best step for us, we’ve also been learning about the power of the mind, will, and intent. Basically, we are at a place where vegetarianism is the right decision for us. However we have the understanding that if John Smith has the belief that eating meat and potatoes is the way to go, then in his mind he is justified. Anyways, all that to say we don’t want anyone to feel isolated because of our decision but rather would encourage healthy discussion and conversation about it.

Thats about all the updates thus far, oh, and right now we are outside of Whakatane with a homeschooling family of ten. The days are a flashback to my past. (Shout out:) Thanks Mom for home schooling me the way you did! You’re great!

love and blessings,


3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2010 9:42 am

    Great video!! 😛

    Happy One Month-iversary!

  2. November 18, 2010 9:08 am

    Welcome to the veggie side of life! Ethan became a vegetarian when he was in Afghanistan last year, and I became a full-time one in July. I had been mostly meatless since March when Ethan came home from his deployment, but in June I started eating meat again. After a week or so I felt…heavy, lethargic on the inside. I didn’t like it at all so I decided to just completely switch over. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

    If you want any recipes let me know. I have a giant cookbook and two spirals full of recipes. Also I feature a Vegetarian Wednesday on my blog where I share a new recipe I’ve tried recently.

    Are you going to be ovolacto vegetarians or are you leaning more towards vegan?

    • January 14, 2011 10:58 pm

      Hey Lauren!
      Just realized I never posted a reply! Oops! We lived as vegans for a little over a week, and after research and thought weren’t convinced of it’s benefits over typical vegetarianism. I guess we would describe ourselves as whole food vegetarians: we don’t drink anything dairy, instead using rice, almond, hemp, or other grain/nut milks. We both get really mucousy when drinking dairy milk, even if it’s raw. We do eat soft cheeses, mostly goat, and if we do use hard cheeses, it is minimal and we make sure it is hardened using vegetable rennet and not animal rennet. We do eat eggs, and eventually would prefer to eat them from chikens we own solely for that purpose. Also, when cooking for ourselves we prefer to use gluten-free flours. Also, we don’t eat soy. Hope that answers your question! I look forward to reading your blog! What is the website?

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