Fitness. Healthy eating. When I say those words, it makes me think of getting up early for my Health Dynamics class in the Dow. However, those two words easily define the lifestyle of almost every Kiwi (referring to New Zealanders) in the Christchurch area. I learned very early on, that if a Kiwi recommends a scenic “walk”, pack in you hiking boots and poles, because you’re going mountain climbing.
The level of health and fitness here is astounding. The entire city is biker friendly, with automated stop lights just for the bikes. Everyone walks as well! I consider myself fairly fit and able to keep a good pace, yet I can be walking along the sidewalk and a group of mothers will overtake me and keep on going! It is unreal! To add to that, Kiwis have a very healthy diet, consisting of lots of meat and “veg” which I assume is short for vegetables. 🙂 Almost every meal is supplemented with fruit and of course – kiwi fruit.
Here in the Christchurch area there is a farmer’s market every Saturday morning
along the Avon River in a local park called Dean’s Bush. I only just found out about it and was excited to see what it was all about. When I got there it was PACKED. There were hundreds of people bustling around, yet the chaos was controlled. Sporadically placed throughout the market were several fiddle players whose spunky playing added almost a festive atmosphere. As I talked to people and learned more, I found out that a large number of Kiwi’s actually rely on this market for their supply of “veg”. For all the people that I saw, they were market regulars and this was a way of life for them! Did I get anything to eat? Of course I did. Maybe not vegetables, but I had a freshly baked chocolate muffin!
Back in the U.S. we sometimes have little farmer markets, but I have never been to one that has been so integrated into the life of a city and its citizens. It was incredible to see how this rich piece of culture was still very much alive and active as a part of Christchurch.