Two months passed by. I was running away from Queenstown and I got into the car with these three Argentinians. They were so nice. They even tolerated my attempts to say random stuff in Spanish. That was a bloody long lift as well- Wanaka to Nelson.Oh dear..
So we started looking for a job together and ended up in Rimu Grove. A little vineyard in between Nelson and Motueka. Run by this awesome dude Luke.
There were around 10 of us and the most camped next to the vines, glaring at NZ’s beautiful, clean, star-sky when the job was done and the night took over.
And when we worked, we chatted away as we picked the grapes. Picking only the good ones.
Luke would never check on us. It was a simple job. But we still appreciated his non-interference kind of ‘managing style’. I can’t remember the last time someone earned my respect so quickly.
A city girl like me, of course, struggled with some back pain the whole time. But it didn’t matter. I was outside. The weather was lovely. I had positive and friendly people around me. An amazing boss. Life was good.
You have to work in a country in order to truly get to know the place and the people. Although hitchin helped, it was not always obvious to spot the kiwis in New Zealand.
You do though meet some interesting Europeans like Anne and Gill. Two ladies running their own businesses and helping out Luke with the picking. My first reaction- why the hell would they work with a bunch of dirty travellers who haven’t had a hot shower for at least a week?
Personally, I was still getting used to the idea that I’m working outside with a degree in Business.
I would think one should be focused. Put all your energy into one career, profession, task or whatever. I would put so much effort in suppressing my curiosity. Not always successfully, but still. I’m grateful I met these ladies that challenged that thought.
I never really asked them directly the reasons why would they risk being bitten by a bee at Rimu. Something I feared very, very much.
We all became one happy short-term family so quickly. It just seemed obvious there’s something about this place. And why not work outside for a couple of weeks?
I miss these vines. Which reminds me- I can’t wait to see the labour of our love.
Luke is an artist. Every year he makes a single release bottle. Like this one from 2014:
I know he meets a lot of travellers every year. But I hope we also managed to inspire him for a single release 2015. Can’t wait, Luke! No pressure…