Weekend Warriors and Green Peace Lasagna
Like always a last minute decision found me running back to my flat from work.
One in the morn on a Monday stuffing speedos, two singlets and sea coloured duvet into my rucksack before cycling round to a friends for a solid three hour sleep. Waking on the floor with a smell not familiar to my nostrils we shot out the door and made our way from Grey Lynn city to Mount Manganui. The last minute trip inspired by watching so much of this Rena spill happening on the tube and being only two a few hours down the road, the easiness of a simple change in channel had now became to much.
I knew I wanted to do something and with 6 other close friends agreeing, lead by the ever peace loving haz brutes we all arrived a few hours later on the camp site of green peace. In truth expecting to find a small cult of naked man and women burning cell phones and rolling in mud, we were simply greeted by a small collective of conscious zealanders who after introductions, hand shakes and hugs invited our tired bums into the dining hall for a feast of coffee, teas and array of exotic flashy cereals. Man o Manny! I was in student heaven!
I figured this was all a sneaky green trick, treating us well and good then letting us starve for the next fifteen hours while get drilled by the green peace staff sergeant..Instead after filling my belly with a small food baby made from the love of coffee and high class muesli, we drove off to the port awaiting a pickup to the small Island called Matakana inhabited by seriously grateful local maoris who welcomed us with head shrugs and effortless laughs. We drove through bush, now 15 of us all hungry to change the world one hug at a time. Arriving on Matakana beach after an half hour drive through overgrown forest, which at any moment could of covered a huge crop of the real green. The beach at first with perfect barrels, golden brown sands and complete emptiness for 30 ks either way seemed almost unreal and a perfect postcard oppo for New Zealand tourism until I focused my head from the waves to the little pancake sized oil spots that were everywhere.
The oil covered the beach up and down and it almost looked like god had taken a page out of Jackson Pollocks google images and had a go himself. We looked through determined eyes and started our mission.. We managed between a small group to pick up a disgusting amount of these oil spots that in texture felt like marmite and ranged from button size to head size. We called it a day around three pm after huge yarns about life, love and unsustainable living pretty much nailing the spirit of green peace right on the noggin. We were righteous weekend freedom fighters..yayayayayaaaaa!
My belly rumbled but was kept at bay from a monstrous amount of pre made sammys supplied again by the more than generous GP team! Special mention goes to the lovely Fran (haz bruts love lady) who destroyed the sammy charts and gave me a new appreciation for how ruined Harrys bank account would look after a dinner date! We arrived home boating then driving back to humble little cabins. Yarns, teas and coffees were the main events of the night while at all times keeping an ear on the shipwrecked boat Rena which was apparently in for a heavy night at sea with Tauranga weather packing in.
Before hitting the pillow we made a last minute run through the forest to Thermal pools found at the top of this bush walk which (I was convinced about) was holding a group of bushmen with night vision goggles frothing over our every move. I didn’t let the girls know what was happening since the place was creepy enough without thoughts on old deer hunters having a drool over this pack of fresh meat. We all walked back silently memorizing our wills, just incase. heads hit the pillow soon after and that was the first and very long day covered. Special mention to the Lasagne prepared once again by the GP team who definitely didn’t skim on the edam cheese. RESPECT.
We woke around 6 after about 200 cellphones alarm had been put back on snooze, a bad student habit it seemed that would take more than a day to fix. Night had passed through quick and the storm was rolling in when we set out for the beach. The surrounding mountains and glass lake that welcomed us a day earlier at the port had now disappeared behind heavy cloud and sleeting icky rain. Back on Matakana we had the absolute pleasure of meeting the local Marae leader an older Maori women with short black hair and a hardened look in her eye whom greeted us with tea and milky island coffee. I asked (politely) for a double shot mocha extra froth please but was promptly kicked in the balls by that glare in her eyes. She looked like she had seen a bit in her time and commanded the room with ease holding her self strong at the front of the table, we all sat quietly picking every word that fell from her lips. She introduced herself and began to thank us for taking the time, not even 15 words had fallen from her mouth when a slight whimper broke out (a strong maori-women-whimper type of whimper) no tears where seen but the pain of the spill was definitely present in the Marae tha stormy morning. I was and sure everyone in the room was touched by her honesty and her true connection to the land that we were helping clean that day. We said our goodbyes and again were farewelled by a big toothy grin and a beach warrior fist pump. TUUU MEKE!
On the beach the second day mirrored the first in most ways, even the surf remained supreme and after another twenty bags picked up we headed in the van and on our way back to Auckland. A short but supremely sweet trip, I was honored to be apart of such a moving experience. The opportunity to help the community and make a real difference was an experience I will not forget and seriously hope I can do again soon. Special mention to our roadie team from Auckland City including Harry Burt (Commander of the 2nd Rainbow warrior van), Trent Hicks ( Legend and conscious foodini) and Rosaria, Rochelle and Fran ( The green peace babes and all time good company)!
Photos- Big ups Rochelle V (Even if she destroyed the thermal pools in the nud.)
I told you life wasn’t all peaches and cream..you little fool.
Rough Sketch, yet to put on illustrator.