Above: Sebastian, Myself and Gabrielle at Zebra Vineyard.
Nothing like the harsh weather conditions in the middle of Summer and everything that comes with it. Stinky sweaty palms, feet and underarms- bugs, spiderwebs and dust up to your ears+ sunburn..... and the occasional snowfall. All of which are just apart of Central Otago Summer. What??!!
On Monday and Tuesday it hovered around 90 degrees, then on Thursday evening a cold front (most likely from the Antarctic) moved up into Cromwell and it Snowed that night on the mountains and hills of the surrounding area. When we started work that day it was around 40 degrees, which is a tremendous shock to the system. I bundled up like a Eskimo from the loaner pile of clothes at work as I wobbled around the vineyard. Shortly thereafter, I couldn't feel my fingers as I mentally willed them into the grape canopies covered in what felt like nearly freezing rain water. The clouds effectively blocked out all of the suns radiant warmth until 2pm when the day was nearly finished. We all asked ourselves if that really had just happened. Crazy.
Above: Thursday. Noah Pendreigh and I mini golfing for his 14th Birthday.
Above: Friday Morning
Today Lauren and I will move out of the Pendreighs guest house as we make room for their friends from up north visiting. We will be shifted into a (massive) beautiful house on the lake that is closer to work (woohoo, we get to sleep in to 5:40am now!) being hosted by David and Francis Stewart from Cromwell Presbyterian. Lauren and I are both extremely grateful for the hospitality shown us over the last two months by the Pendreighs as well as the excellent dinners cooked! We are now looking forward to our own rooms in this new house as spending almost literally every moment of the last weeks together can be a lot. The time though has been very special and will probably never happen again, so we are doing our best to enjoy it.
Our time in Cromwell is slowly winding down. On my physical birthday in the United States (February 23rd here as NZ is a day ahead) we will be flying back home to Auckland from Queenstown to celebrate with friends and church family etc before school starts on March 5th. Big plans have been made for my 1+ week holiday in Auckland showing Lauren around the area. The tour will include, snorkeling at Goat Island, 4 nights at Laidlaws Piha beach guest house, go carting and more; a perfect way to end the summer. I thank God for the blessing of 'normal' health, sickness free. I don't take that for granted. I'm currently in the best shape of my life, and feel as strong as ever. I recently dropped a huge chunk of change on a iphone that I have been waiting to buy for around a year. When I first arrived to NZ two years ago, I slowly sold off my items of value to make ends meet. It's a great place to have paid off school and future school and have the ability to buy “extras.” It's currently loaded with all of my Hebrew flash cards and soon to be Greek cards to help me learn the language. I've also discovered that I'm capable of listening to sermons while keeping a solid work pace. What a blessing that was to have been able to listen to 12 sermons in the last 4 days while still having the ability to respond to the bosses text messages and calls out in the field. If anything, hearing teaching from Habakkuk gets my heart pumping and blood a flowin' and I work even faster. I just need to remind myself not to cry in front of my coworkers when Matt Chandler retells the story of how Josiah found the Torah after years of perverse kings ruling and the subsequent revival the Law brought. So good.
Above: Nothing runs like a Deere.