I mentioned to David Lawson, the marketing chief at Habitat for Humanity NZ, about the idea of bringing Bike and Build to NZ as an Habitat fundraiser. He has run with it! First, he connected with a public relations class at AUT and a group of young women made it their senior project. In the time they had, they did some research on what Bike and Build NZ might look like and they designed an event called, "Cycling with the Stars." David told me so much about these young women that I wanted to help out today at the event. After 1.5 hours on the bus with a transfer, I arrived early to help set up. As events often go, lots of things fell through and came together at the last minute. The students handled it all with grace and enthusiasm. Two stars showed up--one from television and one from politics. The friend who manages a gym brought the two exercycles. They set it up so each person cycled for 3 minutes and whoever cycled the farthest won that heat. There were prizes for furthest distance overall.
The event went really well and everyone had a terrific time. It raised awareness about Habitat for Humanity--most people in NZ are not familiar with the organization, yet. One woman who came by the event is going with the women's build to Cambodia in November. (I am going to send her the info on Michelle's restaurant in Phnom Penh.)
This Monday is World Habitat Day (first Monday of October). The team and David created a brochure for the inaugural Bike and Build NZ to take place the first 2 weeks of October next year. They already have a brochure! Lots to do still.
David gave me a ride to downtown so I only had one bus ride to home. I stopped at the wool shop at Britomart, which is in the Rugby World Cup fan zone. It was fun, but I was ready for a nap when I finally got back to St. Heliers. Tomorrow is another big day and then I can recover this week. I have some immigration chores, but mostly I am going to get back to my sabbatical frame of mind.
I have some awesome films clips but the internet connection is so slow that it will not load without an error. So just imagine a terrific event at a shopping center, a man walking his dog with cat riding on shoulder (cat wearing a hat!), an English bulldog puppy named Arnold Schwarzenegger drinking the rain as it fell, and a Scotland rugby fan with a kilt and all visible body parts painted blue crossing Queen Street yelling FREEDOM.