My last post was about our upcoming major move from Alpharetta, Georgia, to Christchurch, New Zealand.
We arrived in New Zealand with our 15 pieces of luggage and nothing else. Warren's new company arranged a furnished home for us in Ilam for our first two weeks here. Thankfully we had a long term rental to move into - but we had an 18 day gap between when we had to leave the first place, and the earliest we could get into the long term place. Unfortunately, housing is currently in great demand since there have been several major earthquakes over the past 18 months - and many of the displaced residents and all the new workers are looking for temporary housing in the areas that came through the earthquakes undamaged. I searched the internet for hours and sent out over 100 enquiries. We even considered hotel, motels and campgrounds - but everything was expensive, had limited availability, and was going to be very cramped for a family of five. After all my searching - I finally decided to call the church we had started attending (Life Church). We were very surprised to get a call within one day to let us know there was a family that lived 'out in the country' who would love to host us - if we didn't mind the drive. Whew - what a relief and what a pleasant surprise to find out that this family, Fenton and Barbara Woods, lives in Ladbrooks, a lifestyle farming community just outside of Christchurch - and is the area where Warren's ancestors settled in 1857, after first arriving in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842.
Fenton and Barbara were a lovely host family, patient, kind and helpful! Their home was big, lovely and set on 25 beautiful acres. There was a pond with ducks and geese, sheep for neighbors, a horse paddock, and amazing sunrises! The boys also enjoyed the wide open green paddocks and ample space to fly kites! Staying with the Woods was a huge blessing for our family and we hope to keep in touch with them! I am so thankful that we contacted the church for help and that God provided such a lovely place for us to stay. Even though I thought I was running out of options - the Lord had an even greater blessing in store for us! The photo below shows Anna-Kate enjoying some time by the lake, but she wasn't the only one. It was so peaceful and relaxing ... just what I needed after the hustle and bustle of an international move.
Fenton and Barbara woods also have a Wasabi farm and produce some of the only 100% pure Wasabi paste in the world. Check out their site http://www.coppersfolly.co.nz/ If you order some -please let them know you heard about it from me!
Mom's Recommendation - if you are planning a trip to New Zealand -make sure you make time to stop in Christchurch! And if you are looking for a home stay - I highly recommend you contact the Woods and inquire about availability!