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Monday, June 21, 2010

Fairy dust and Pixie sticks

April 27-30, 2010
One day while wwoofing with The Pringle’s (native vegetation folks) we had a big day out attending a Native Tree replanting at a nearby beach, where Aerin & I would meet our next wwoofing hosts, AKA the “Crazy Americans”. My skepticism was high, particularly considering wwoofing is an ‘exchange,’ primarily between two cultures, so what kind of exchange would be had with an American couple? “Surely not much…” Boy was I ever wrong!!

In wee Waikouaiti, New Zealand (1-hour north of Dunedin) I sat in the living room of an outrageously strange American couple's home pondering how and why I was looking into a crystal ball.  I equally wondered why there were mini table and chairs sitting on top of cupboards and bookcases? When I say strange, I mean it to the N-th degree. Fairies, tarot cards, pagan ceremonies, crystal balls... the works! Perhaps some of this is standard fare for you, but truly I was baffled. Let’s just say, there was indeed a ‘cultural exchange’ that occurred! Through many odd conversations with the wife, whose locks were dyed bright orange, I learned that there was “a place for the fairies” in every room of the house, which explained the mini furnishings and décor scattered on top of cabinets and cupboards.
Aerin & I slept in the 3-car garage, one car area of which was transformed into a “sleepout” with a double bed, nightstands, furnishings, and a toilet encased in a London public telephone booth. The oddities continued.

One of our jobs was to transform another car area of the garage into the library for the couple’s enormous quantity of books. This day was the turning point of my understanding of ‘being owned by your possessions’. This couple collected books seemingly as a hobby, with some occasionally read, but most purchased because the title or front cover was appealing . This couple are the people that go to library book sales to purchase boxes and boxes of books because they can, but might only read 4 of them, but keep them all around to make themselves feel smarter. A good 30% of the books, i.e. 200 or so, were on magic, mysticism, and tarot card reading, and I’d say approximately 20 had been read cover-to-cover. So confusing. Oh, I suppose I am being a bit harsh, but 3 nights with these Crazy Americans would do anyone in!

Indeed there was a cultural exchange that occurred during three very long nights with the Crazy Americans, but unfortunately there was a lot of difficult micromanaging as well. The days were often mentally painful, but physically easy. I believe that only good was intended, but reality was too far out of reach, obscured by some other magical world.

Despite an open mind, the supernatural was a bit too far for me to grasp. To boot, it was laughter starved environment that made the days longer and the skies grayer. However, I *did* take advantage of the wife’s tarot card reading skills (which I have always been a bit curious!). I leave you with an exact quote from the orange-haired wife, “I can become clairvoyant when I look into my crystal ball and mirrors.” The future is looking bright!

Cheers, Jessie

Crazy Americans

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