When someone tells you they had a hectic week, never take it lightly. My week in New Zealand was hectic/crazy/insightful/fun-filled/organized chaos. Take your pick from the adjectives provided, and it would only cover a portion of my week. It takes them all to explain my week in Auckland.
The week all kicked off with getting a new van for our team to use to transport both people and materials needed for the campaign. I assumed it was only to help get us from place to place in accordance to our door knocking regiment. However, it was all apart of the plan to get our new campaign space prepared for the upcoming weeks, and even months to do our work for the New Lynn electorate. Our campaign space is huge. Two stories of the future of the electorate and Labour party’s success in the upcoming elections!… yes this may be a little dramatic but it motivated me to put in work! Anyway, once we were given the van for our work, the work truly did hit full swing. We set up desks and chairs, laid out an area for cutting turf for door walks, stations for our individual tasks and other housekeeping necessities. We wanted our work space to feel like a work-space rather than a warehouse or empty building, so that was an order of business. I took it upon myself to come in and vacuum, organize tables and chairs, clean the kitchen area, obtain campaigning essentials for the kitchen (coffee, tea, treats, etc.), and other little tasks that would add to a positive work environment.
I did forget to mention my roommate Ross at our host family’s home. Ross is a great guy from Dublin, Ireland who I got along with extremely well. Ross was kind enough to offer our help at 8 in the morning to help move timber for upcoming hoardings. Hoardings are putting up signs for the candidate and the party to call them to things such as public meetings or events that candidates are holding in the area. So on top of the work with the office, Ross and I hauled two vans full of expertly cut timber to the campaign space. Rookie tip: wear gloves when you are moving cut timber. As uncool as you may feel, anything is better than having multiple wood splinters. I learned that the hard way.
All of this campaign work was in addition to the door knocking and phone calling that we did everyday to assure we reached as many potential voters as possible. I did make it seem like this is awful, painstaking work, and that is what made things so jam packed. That was not the case for the week. It was packed with work and reward. A group of friends of mine from the fellowship ventured off across the big pond to a dormant volcano. Rangitoto was the name of the volcano, and it was an amazing experience. We took the long haul for the trip, and walked around the entire island before climbing to the summit. Why take a shortcut when there is so much beauty to be seen?! The risk of potentially missing the last ferry arriving in Auckland central was well worth it. The view from the summit of the volcano was breathtaking, and made you forget completely about the 8 miles you had just walked to even get to this point. If it weren’t for the rain that began shortly after our arrival at the summit, I could have admired the sights from atop the volcano for hours.
So yes, my week in New Zealand was busy, but it was a beneficial busy. Our electorate team is ahead of the game, we have means of transportation in a new country, and we were able to experience an incredible hike and view as a reward for our work. All of this was a cleanse to see that even when things get hectic and crazy, there is always insight and a fun-filled experience waiting to be found.