Within the space of a week, we had no job and no home. With non-essential workplaces shut down, no health insurance covering the pandemic, and reduced flights back to NZ we began to feel nervous about continuing to live in the States. The decision was made late one night after a visit from a neighbour who had told us her husband couldn’t get hold of a gun because they’d all been sold out. The next morning, the NZ government released a statement encouraging all New Zealanders to come back home asap. We booked a flight that day. After 48 hours of packing, we were on a plane, having left the majority of our furniture and belongings in our apartment as well as hundreds of dollars worth of food. I couldn’t have felt more relieved when we touched down in New Zealand. Although we were disappointed about having our Florida trip stop so suddenly, we have perspective. Most people around the world have very little control any over their situation at the moment and we are grateful for where we have landed, literally and figuratively. New Zealand is a good place to be right now.
Daves Dad offered to have us at his orchard but having been exposed to Covid-19 on our flight we didn’t want to put him at risk and decided not to share his home for the first two weeks. Instead, we have been staying in makeshift outdoor accommodation on his avocado orchard. We’re sharing a porta com room and our kitchen is set up in an old shed. We have very few creature comforts, no hot water, oven etc, we’ve literally gone off the grid, living like Little House on the Prairie, life stripped back to the basics. Dave was made for this and is in full survival mode. He spends his days creating new inventions so we can live more comfortably. The views and the land by far outweigh the inconveniences. We are eating a lot of avocados.
I’ve given myself permission not to create and consume during this time, but I’ve enjoyed picking up my camera again. Here are a few images of our life here that I’ve taken for my own memories and to show the kids one day. I’ve tried to be honest in my depiction. It would be easy to glamourise our environment by cropping out the clutter and the flaws but I’ve been deliberate about including these. I want to remember this time for all its inconveniences, the dirt in our fingernails, the kid’s odd socks and dust-covered clothes, the good, the bad, the messy, the imperfections. Enjoy my photo story and If you have your own, I’d love to see it!