Tucked Away on D’Urville Island Part I

It’s been a while, eh? I sorely apologize to those of you who check back often, but I must admit our neglect has been intentional. As you may know we accepted a job on D’Urville Island, the largest island outside of the two main lands with a population hovering around 40. So it’s safe to say it’s a bit secluded. Because of this seclusion we wanted to really submerse ourselves in it. We limited our internet use and communication with friends and family to hold true to that. We actually ended up focusing heavily on the family we worked for, but I’ll write more about that later.

I intend to make this a multi-part post for a couple of reasons: First, for you the reader in hopes that it will be easier for you to digest. Second, for myself, I have a lot swirling around in my head and I think it’ll help me compartmentalize it all.

I’d love to start with the scenery. Our time in NZ thus far (6 months at the time of this post, half of our allotted time here) has been marked by breathtaking views. And I’m not just talking about the places you’re told to go, I’m talking about places you just stumble upon. D’Urville Island is marked by (almost nightly) breathtaking sunsets, sprawling forests, and the ocean right at your doorstep. Now, it’s not all “rainbows and sunshine” as the locals would be quick to point out. One local sums it up quite well, “The island always wins.” But for us our luck played out. We may have had some window-rattling, trampoline-blowing, roof-tearing winds in the beginning, but all-in-all it’s been sunny and warm for 2 months straight. We lived in a little bay tucked between mountains on all three sides called Kupe Bay. We ventured out in every direction we could. We kayaked out as far as the wind would let us. We trekked the road that runs the length of the mountains around us (5.5 hours long). And hiked to the tops of mountains for breathtaking views. D’Urville has a wildness to it, the kind of untamed that feels like many have tried and failed.

Living here has been an honor. Mother Nature allowed us to see Her beauty and even some of her wrath. To permanently live here would be a feat. For us this was always temporary, but for many on this island, it’s life. The constant natural beauty woundn’t be enough to make us stay.

Stay tuned for Part II soon! I’ll spend some time talking about what we spent our time doing: our accomplishments and setbacks.

-Ethan Masselli

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