What I’m amazed behind Aotearoa (New Zealand in Maori Language)

As we all know, New Zealand is a land of better opportunities. To many people, it is a dream. To some, it is a luxury getaway, but for me, it is a blessing. I never expect that I would land into this beautiful paradise. A place where you can see lots of stunning jagged mountains, raging river, pristine lakes and heaven-like beaches that you can see in the movies.

For the several months I have stayed here, I never felt any pressure or any kind of stress. It feels like Heaven on earth. Very laid back, peaceful and safe place to live in. Local Kiwis were very nice and approachable, they are also kind and empathetic. Approachable in any way, even when you pass by at them.

On the Verge of Winter

It all started on the verge of Winter when I arrived at Cromwell, Central Otago. It was freezing. The town is so quiet and does not have much traffic than what we have back in our place. It wasn’t a place like you’ll find big buildings and malls. The town has just few boutiques, cafes, takeaways and small restaurants. But they have all the necessities they need to live a happier, contented, simple yet productive life. I got a job after a month and it all went well, I was a Park Assistant in a Holiday Park. The people I worked with were relaxed and helpful. It surely was a blessing for me having to work and experience their way of living in this lovely place. Not only I get a chance to see and appreciate their Historic Reserve. I also get myself engage in hiking. Walking and biking trails are everywhere. So, there’s never an excuse not to be active and get oneself fit. The whole place looks like you’re living in the past, so relaxed, simple and oldschool kind of way.

Me posing under the large Fruit Sculpture built in 1990 which shows the importance of fruit growing to the region.

Living the Kiwi life

During the Spring, we could still feel the cold breeze from Winter’s break. Birds and bees start to come out and the flowers start to bloom. Sunshine rising and bring out Little, all the snow on mountain tops starts to melt and time for everyone to get busy getting their garden planted with various vegetables and crops. It was the season where Cherry blossoms proudly come out in spring. It was beautiful, colorful and abundantly blossoming everywhere in town. It’s now Summer season and fruit picking season is about to end as well. Summer in New Zealand is scorching hot. We use brimmed hats. Umbrella is not commonly used here even when it is raining not unless it is pouring hard. During summer, they enjoy going out fishing, boating, swimming on Lake and having barbie (barbeque) with friends or family where they can put up a tent or hitting down the road with their bicycles. Local Kiwis walk barefooted everywhere. Even going to the supermarket or going to the mall, which is odd. For me, it is very unusual and if you’re not used to seeing people walking barefooted down the street, you would think that they are beggars or somewhat crazy. Footwear is just an optional fashion accessory to them According to Kiwis, walking barefooted is like engaging yourself in nature. It may sound strange but this is their culture and this is how they are brought up. As respecting other culture is like respecting your own. There was once said that “the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”.

Now, I’m living with my husband and our five year old daughter. We are happy making our way to residency. Thankful that we have been blessed and have the opportunity to work here and appreciate the New Zealand culture, the people and even with other races. Loving it and still Filipino at heart.


by Ma. Kezel Desquitado

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