After Australia denied my entry to their lands, I was faced with a conundrum. Should I changed my flight and go back early or stay and explore New Zealand? Money issues got the better of me; exploration can be quite expensive. So, I decided to change the flight. Yet, after hours of speaking with Emirates excellent customer service, and finding no way around their uptight change fees and regulations, I realized that changing the ticket would be more expensive than actually staying. So, the decision was forced. Airlines suck by the way, expect an article in the near future on why.

Considering my situation, and considering I had no idea what to do or where to stay, I did the only rational thing: go to an ultimate practice!

There, I started tossing the disc around with a Canterbury player who happened to have a universe point against Magon at Nationals land inches away from his hand as he layed out to become a hero.

This was Hannan, who after hearing my story, told me he had an uncle with a farm who took willing workers and gave them accommodation and food for their daily work at the hazelnut farm. He made the connection and that was that.

That is how, a professional videographer and cinematographer, made his way into the farm life. I took it as an adventure, and saw it as anything else I have done in life, a chance to learn new things, and make new acquaintances. Keep it positive was my motto, considering I was practically trapped in New Zealand, about to work in an unknown job, in an unknown city, in an unknown country.

Yet, I found the work easy to learn, easy to do. Harvesting the hazelnuts was quite fun, had a little physical demand to it that made it better, saw it as a training ground and had a great time. Picking them and sorting them was a different pace, but chit chat with other workers around the table made it better. Getting to know these workers and our present boss was the best part to this adventure.

Uncle Alan has had an interesting life before he bought the hazelnut farm. He started working in the telegraph, then joined training to become an Air Force pilot, got through 12 months of training before falling short before graduation. Afterwards, had a few jobs piloting helicopters, became a volunteer firefighter, and bought the famous hazelnut farm and factory. He owns his own helicopter which uses regularly as a transport mean and to give his workers a ride around the lands of Rohan.

His wife, Janet, is a dedicated home keeper, and works hard to cook awesome meals for all the workers, finding time in between cooking to accompany us in the table, exchanging stories and giving us nut picking advice to improve our performance.

In the end, things always take a turn for the best. Storytellers need stories to tell and characters to fill them. Australia would have probably had great stories and characters, as well as ¬†great tournament experience with the up and coming ultimate squad “Heads of State”, but staying stuck in New Zealand has definitely been better than going back home, and I still have almost three weeks to go. So, bring on the adventures!

David Picon

About David Picon

An esteemed Masters graduate from the International Film School of Paris, Barcelona's David Picon brings a refined vision and rich sense of place in his work. A versatile photographer with an expansive resume, David has captured everything from fast-paced sport to the detail-oriented catalogue of human emotion in film.