Friday, May 8, 2009

NZ is really growing on us

If you've read any of our posts in this blog's six-month history, you know that Jake and I are totally psyched to be here in New Zealand. It's been an amazing experience that's been overwhelming positive. I'm hesitant to mention this next topic because I don't want to offend anyone here in Kiwiland. But in the spirit of sharing our experiences, good and bad, in an open and honest way, I'm compelled to proceed.

It's been getting a bit colder and rainier lately, and I started getting a scratchy throat a few days ago. As a consumer of news, of course it had to be swine flu. Okay, obviously not, but perhaps a normal flu, a cold or anything. It never got worse. Then it hit me -- it's mold. In our house. Around every window and door. We've noticed little traces of it now and then, but with the weather changing and the house all shut up, it's becoming a problem. Don't worry, I didn't take any photos of it, just shots of the moisture that we find on our windows most mornings.

To be fair, we knew this before coming to NZ, and we were prepared with the fact that most of the houses here weren't built with much insulation. Many of the building practices for a time were of low quality. I'm not exactly sure where our place fits into that, but I think our place is better than many others.

So last night I went around with my kitchen cleaner (not sure what works on mold?) and a towel to all of our 10 windows, two sets of sliding-glass doors and the glass door downstairs. Whew! I'm also wondering how to clean our giant curtains that hang over our sliding glass doors...?

But I'm not worried, and I'm certainly not afraid of mold. In 2007, I joined a brave group from Rockhurst University to battle some mold a thousand times worse as we helped clean out a couple of New Orleans houses flooded by Hurricane Katrina. I don't know if you can imagine what it's like to take out a still-soggy carpet from a house that's been shut up for 18 months. And Rule #1 was to never open the fridge. Under any circumstances.

So this isn't a big deal. In our case, I just need to talk to our friends and neighbors about how they handle it. We'll probably go buy the right cleaning product and start washing windows every week. 

On a lighter note
Everyday after work, Jake and I get off the bus and climb 460 stairs to get up into our suburb of Khandallah. (Keep your eyes out for more info and pics about our daily commutes.) And I shot this the other day from the top of the hill just down the street from our house. 


Happy Campers said...

Hubby & I are new readers of your blog...thanks for your interesting posts on daily life! WE are just beginning our journey to NZ from Texas & have found your thoughts very helpful. What a beautiful view in that last picture!

Joggeli said...

I can't believe I'm hearing an american talking about another countries whimsical house construction. interesting. I guess the swiss are a bit overly secure bunch, building everything to be bomb proof.