01 Jun Christchurch Mission Complete
Here are a few tales from the deep south, over the past seven and a half weeks. This trip was dedicated to support the greater Christchurch community, after the Mosque shootings in March. Proudly brought to life by 62 people who donated their hard earned cash to our crowd-funding campaign in order for us to get to NZ and gift our work to schools for Koha (donation, contribution, gift). All names are honoured at the end of this story. Forever grateful.
This is a long one, so feel free to just hit these bullet points for an overview, or flick the kettle on, sit back and have a good in depth read of our tales from the road over a tea.
- “We can do anything”. A personal realisation that was clearly shown to me in NZ.
- I was brought to tears hearing those students in school speak and share vulnerably again, ahhh “this is WHY I am here”, Kat.
- Kat and I get heated on the road, though continue getting signs of life long commitment.
- We worked with 8 schools in Christchurch. Which ones? Read the story.
- Adventures in NZ are easy, just drive and you will be gob smacked by beauty. 10 day trip exploring and restoring in story below.
- We’ve spent $7,154 total and give you a break down on those costs below.
Bodhi – “We can do anything”. NZ has shown me this, so clearly. Before this Christchurch Mission, I was feeling stuck. Stuck in my head, stuck in negativity and a real limited view on what I thought was possible, since becoming a father. I had been doubting everything, and then NZ opened my mind back up to infinite possibilities. The moment, was standing on stage with Kat as she held Taya and spoke with such beauty and clarity to 350 teenagers. I was struck with awe in my eyes, and an overwhelming feeling of love and a sigh of relief at the same time. We, as a team can do this, and if we can do this, “we can do anything”. I have had solid realizations since, and have honoured my coffee drinking days and said goodbye (HUGE for me). My voice is coming out stronger, and Im feeling more comfortable to go to new places in workshops, and Kat and I have been having more fun in there too, bringing fresh creativity!
Kat – Since being on the road, for nearly two months, I’ve really settled into this new chapter and life of mine. Baby Taya can seamlessly become a part of our lives, parenthood can feel cruisey and we can have fun. Things I didn’t feel were possible before we left home. I’ve ridden a lot of waves since being here in NZ. It started with feelings of “why the f*** are we even here, was this crazy ridiculous to come here, what are we even doing????”, until being reminded of all those answers when I was brought to tears hearing those students in school speak and share vulnerably again, ahhh “this is WHY”. Honoured. I’ve really had to continually let go to be in that flow, especially in terms of projecting and planning. It’s just been almost impossible to know anything more than 2-3 hours ahead. I’ve also realised just how much Taya is teaching us. I know we hear that saying all the time, but literally. For example, Taya being a champ in school all day, then as we’re driving to where we think we’re going to park up, she’s screaming like never before, so we pull over and eat and sleep on the side of the road, only to wake in the morning to see we’re out the front of the aquatic centre, and I had just been saying I wanted to go swimming. That purity and intuition is powerful! My last leaning has been how to love my new being, my new body, my new way of life – I’m feeling proud. Thank YOU!
Where do I start with this. The past couple of days Kat and I have been talking poorly to each other and nit picking certain small things. Our sensual energy for each other has been covered up and I’ve been noticing a lot of old ways resurfacing that I haven’t seen in myself or Kat for a long time now. Our Christchurch mission is coming to an end and we both are feeling a bit uneasy. This has just been the past couple of days. But since been in NZ, we have had a MASSIVE DEEPENING in our relationship. We’ve had tests of commitment in many areas and we have been constantly pulled in together to make co-decisions. We have been learning how to lead, and how to surrender to the other’s lead. We have been remembering how to honour our own needs and dreams, and be supported by the other wholeheartedly. We have really seamlessly found our new roles as parents and in this new relationship, with our daughter here too. Naturally I have been cooking and cleaning daily, morning walks with Taya, boiling the tea pot and sharing posts on social media. Kat has been holding down so much solidness and presence for Taya, feeding her, changing her, and helping her sleep each night, taking her out of the workshop when needed, school emails, bookings, and financials. We have both shared the driving, direction, guidance.
Side note: We have been seeing two paradise ducks (male and female) together in many locations over the past few weeks. These birds stay together for life and have been strongly representing that commitment to co-create life together. Something we both talk about, but personally I still resist at times.
Who we got to work with: Lincoln Primary School, Christchurch Rudolph Steiner School, Christchurch East School, Casebrook Intermediate School, Ellesmere College, Sumner School, Redcliffs School, Greta Valley School.
Okay, I am going to approach this with full honesty. The school uptake on Breathe Project was slow in Christchurch. We were beginning to panic and I had many thoughts of “we crowd-funded to be here and had all these people donate and now we’re not in any schools…”. We were extremely lucky to have the director at Ministry of Education email it out to all principals, which got momentum. So the tables did turn and we ended up working with 8 schools in Christchurch. 2 of these schools had been directly affected by the Mosque shootings in March and all of these schools had children affected by the major earthquakes 8 years ago. Redcliffs School, after their school was destroyed, is still waiting for there new school to be built for them. The kids have all been super interested and engaged. It’s been beautiful listening to their responses in the workshops and also seeing the peer support so strong at times. For a few schools, they already had mindfulness programs, so the students were well aware of what we were talking about. For other schools, it was super foreign for them, but most of them gave the Mindful Breathing a go, and we had big breakthroughs in the sharings. We also heard new examples from some young students, like, when asked “why would you bother to stop and just breathe”, a young boy said, “So I know anything is possible”. Amazing to give teachers a moment of space, freshness and calm as well. We got to work with our first Rudolph Steiner School, which was cool, but it almost didn’t happen after some push back from teachers. Many phone calls later and even a pre-workshop meeting with the Principal to make sure we weren’t doing anything out of ‘Steiner’s scope’, and we got there, bringing some of our most powerful workshops yet! Lincoln School came about after one teacher there, Jade, messaged us on Instagram. Next minute we are staying at her home in the beautiful Banks Peninsula, having dinner together, I had a surf with her man, and we got to work with her class and a couple others too. That was our first time teaching together again since Taya was born, and what a trusting exercise it was. Success!
Toward the end, Kat, Taya and I took 10-days just for us. To explore and restore. It started with pumping waves in Kaikoura with an old friend Levi, a beautiful drive through to Blenhiem, a stop in at Moa Brewery (W.C IPA is epic), Nelson Farmers Markets (best chai ever), and then a spontaneous camp out at Mapua beach, where we stayed for two nights and grounded into this magical place. Kat had her first solo time since we have been here and got to explore the Motueka Markets while Taya and I walked the town and chilled out. Then we drove over the crazy big hill to Golden Bay and enjoyed freezing cold water dips in the river, exploring the sacred springs with friends (Chris and Kat) and the quiet beaches (no one). Kat had a dream to hike the Glacier that had been sitting with her for 8 years, so we drove 7+ hours down to the West Coast and reached Franz Joseph Glacier for Kat’s dream to be lived out! Taya was fully in on backing this. That was a super special experience for her, and a real test for me. I had Taya for almost 5 hours solo. After a big walk, chai, and a few “what am I going to do?” moments, Kat arrived back and Taya was fast asleep (perfect). That arvo we all bathed in the hot springs together to celebrate. Taya has been loving swimming here! We drove late arvo with no plans and no destination. Honestly our whole trip has been made up as we go. Any plans we have had, have been shattered and we have constantly been asked to surrender to the present and trust. Breathe! We had a school booked in back on the East Coast, in a small place called Greta Valley, in a couple days, so that was one thing we knew. Driving NZ is an adventure not to miss in itself. Every twist and turn is something spectacular to look at. Topped with cold water dips in pristine rivers and creeks! We visited Hamner Springs on the way, loved the hill climb together but not much to say about the pools there though…hmmm, average. Then a stop at a vineyard for a cheese platter and wine tasting and we were back in Christchurch to freshen up and reconnect back here. Well, that was one adventure.
Below is what we’ve spent on our base essentials.
Our extras (adventures and outings) have not been included.
Campervan Rental: $3358
Incidentals (like laundry, parking, NZ phone): $171
*Our crowdfunding campaign is sitting at $5487 (as I write this), so we got really close. This will officially close on the 5th of June as we fly home.
This is a space for all of the people we would LOVE to thank for supporting us ($$$) and the next generation and many generations to come. Huge love for helping us help Christchurch!
Breanna Mann, Malcolm Lyons, Andrew Holt, Tracy Gray, Erin Sanderson, Jenny Minogue, Nina Ryytty, KT Orthodontics, Allan Tucker, Jess Lane, Kela Gurnsey, Malcolm Whitaker, Daniel Thwaite, Alfred Loffel, Niikee Schoen, Katie Smith, Stu Martin, Christie Carter, Lucy OBrien, Kristin Van Kester, Nullah Pedersen, JEMMA Kennedy, Kim Michelle, Maria Napier, Ahi n Monique Newby, Carol Arnold, Taro Taylor, Melinda Buick, Meagan Jarrad, Sandra-Lea Murray, Heather Henley, Amanda Rootsey, Tom Rawlins, Raelene Byrne, Stephen Whittaker, Nicola Laye, Linda Trent, Josh Tucker, Matt Devine, Dan Horton, Kate Gadenne, Naomi Nettleton, Trent Banyan, Jiro Taylor, Ashley Shanahan, Sue Logan, Jan Winslade, Janette & Rocky, Sarah Preston, Lauren Wilson, Leisa Porteous-Semple, Cindy Prosor, YogArt Nidra Sunshine Coast, Michele Speck, Katie Smith, Drew Neiht, Julie Allan, Vivianne Barry, Christine Maudy, Nirvana Pilkington, Shelley Horton.
In this space I wish to honour all of the people who shared our posts, tagged friends, sent beautiful messages, gave us a home to stay in, a car, got their school on board, gave Taya clothes and everyone who was a part of this journey in NZ.
Thank you, and your breath.
Kat, Bodhi and Taya 🙂
P.S – What adventure is coming next…