woody the gardener
after the earthquakes took out a lot of the businesses in the area of christchurch, many people were forced to move to other cities and find jobs to survive. a lot of those people have landed in auckland, as it's the largest city in NZ which means more job opportunities. i've met quite a few people in shops and taxi drivers that have all recently made the move, but the most interesting person i've met is a gardener from christchurch.
hi name is woody (as the sign clearly states) and he was a gardener who was forced to relocate after the earthquakes. i can't say i have the full background story as it's not exactly something you walk up to a perfect stranger and ask them about, but woody has been spending his time in a "garden" near one of the main roads here in auckland.
he tends to a flower bed and essentially makes his living based on any tips people choose to leave him in a cooler he has left near his work. talk about the honor system.
without getting too cheesy on you guys, i think it's absolutely amazing and speaks volumes of the people here, that woody has been gardening and surviving here in auckland based on these tips since i've been living here (going on 9 months). it's great that he's able to do what he loves, even without finding an official job per say, and that the people in the city appreciate the work he does beautifying the city enough to leave him tips to live.
and considering how expensive it is here, that's a huge deal. i mean, i find it hard to make ends meet on a 9-5 salary. maybe i need to run through my finances with woody.