Summer is gone

In addition to my last post I now have to say that I paid the price for not sleeping more lately. I got sick with the flu on the weekend ;-/ Sore throat, couldn't swallow because it hurt so much, runny and/or completely blocked nose, feverish feeling, annoying cough... just felt really yucky... had to stay home on Monday which was good for my body because I am slowly feeling better - but bad for my pocket because I am not entitled to paid sick leave yet. Bugger!!!

Speaking of work - some of my friends are getting a bit confused as to what exactly I am doing here (jobwise). Well... five days a week I now work with special needs children (which means mainly delayed, disabled, handicapped...) for a few hours until lunchtime. It's called Education Support Work and my job is basically to help these children integrate at kindergarten, interact with others, work on whatever weakness they have and make sure they can participate in any activity kindergarten provides. I really enjoy it, the staff is lovely and helping me a lot and the kids absolutely adore me =D I wish I had more hours, but there might be something coming up in the near future.

Three to four afternoons I then work as a so called Community Support Worker (CSW). It's mostly cleaning for older, injured or disabled people who can't do certain tasks anymore but still want to maintain a certain amount of independence and mobility in their own home. The way it works in New Zealand is - your doctor or health specialist can make a referral to one of the companies employing CSW when they think a person is in need for help. Together the company and various health specialists then come up with a plan where they decide what tasks need to be done around a person's house and how much time is to be allowed to do that.

For me at the moment it's mainly vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry and cleaning. But it can also include grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, showering, cooking, ... always depending on the degree of mobility and capability of each client.

In the last few weeks I have met some really interesting characters doing this job. Starting with my very first client that I will just call "my darling old lady". She's in her 90s but doesn't look a day older than 70! I was only meant to help out while her cleaning lady was on holiday. Well - she was so impressed with the speed AND the quality of my work plus my honesty (if I work only 2 hours instead of 2.5 as allocated I still only put 2 hours down on my time sheet) that she decided to keep me on *yay* So I now see her regularly once a week and we always have some really great chats.

Last week it was her turn to impress me. We were talking about fishing and I told her about the MASSIVE snapper Matt had caught a few days before. Unfortunately my phone had been acting up and all the pictures were gone. So guess what she asked me... "Do you have them on Facebook?" I repeat - this lady is in her 90s!!! My own mom, in her mid-50s, doesn't even know how to turn a computer on and my darling old lady asks me about Facebook! How cool is that =D

But anyway... so that's two of the jobs I have at the moment. Tuesday and Thursday, in addition to that, I still do night shifts at the restaurant I have been working at for more than a year now. Hence my last post. But working mornings at kindy, then doing home support and then working a night shift at the restaurant - only to get up early the next morning to go back to kindy and home support - it's really killing me. If it wasn't for the money I'd never gone back to the restaurant. And because I know how it feels like to get close to being burnt out I am finally leaving hospitality at the end of March.

Life is too short to be wasted and I'd much rather keep exploring the country with Matt and improve my fishing skills. So that maybe one day I'll be as lucky as he and catch one of these big beasts...

It's called a snapper and this one here weighs almost 10kg!!! Here's more pictures if you'd like to have a look at how I'm spending most of my weekends these days...


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