Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Closing down the shop for a volunteer trip to New Zealand March 15th-April 2nd

I've always wanted to travel, but just didn't know how I wanted to move through the world. After finding IVHQ, I knew I found the perfect organization to partner with on my world adventures.

It combines traveling to all the exotic locations I have on my list with wonderful volunteer service opportunities. I've chosen to focus on child care/education and ecological conservationism, two areas that are very personally important to me.

My first trip was to Guatemala for child care/education and this trip will be in New Zealand focusing on ecological conservationism.

It's a daunting task with many steps to complete even before you get to New Zealand. I've already done all my homework, handed in all my applications, background check, fees and paperwork and now just need to pack up the correct gear to spend my days working outdoors for two weeks.

Here are the program specifics:

Your role in New Zealand: Native Forest and Waterway Restoration

Volunteers on the Native Forest and Waterway Restoration project work predominantly on whenua rangatira (traditional Māori land) where they will engage in a wide range of activities in effort to restore the health of native forests, fresh waterways and surrounding land. Four to five days per week, volunteers work on the land, gaining cultural insight and traditional knowledge on organic and spray-free techniques for restoring the land and water. The work is seasonal and volunteers can expect to do a range of noninvasive activities in sync with the natural cycles of the plants, animals and waterways at the time of year they volunteer. This may include collecting seeds, planting native plants, weeding, removing invasive species, organic small scale farming, mulching and composting. Additionally, there may be opportunities for volunteers to be involved in various monitoring programs, such as for birds, insects, invertebrates, plants and fish. This project is an amazing opportunity to get close to Māori culture and customs and we strongly advise volunteers ask many questions of their hosts.

I'm so excited to visit a different country and not only meet New Zealanders and Maori tribe members, but also my fellow volunteers from all over the world. I plan to visit Hobbiton on the one free weekend and hike as many mountains and trails as I can find.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing now, I NEVER, EVER would have dreamed that I'd be going to other countries and volunteering in meaningful (to me) ways. I get so much more out of these trips than I can ever give back, but I'll try my best!

My shops will be closed down and even though I will still be accepting orders, I will not be shipping anything until after Apr 2nd. But, I do have some fun special sales planned for you while I'm gone!!

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