Today I just wanted to share with you all a topic that is close to my heart - my parents. In fact, my main goal in life is to make my parents proud, and I think I have done that well thus far!
I'm from a small town community called Kaikohe, and my parents - Tania and Allen - taught me everything I know and value from the great upbringing they gave me. I was taught how to show respect to others, how to demonstrate care through hospitality at home, to value people from all walks of life and treat people with the deepest kindness and love. They are also a pillar of support for me in my life. My parents have always been there for me regardless of what my needs were and they have been patient in watching me grow and make my own mistakes and learn from them. They've helped me emotionally and physically as well. I'm very in love with my parents.
The strong message I am trying to get across here is - never take your family for granted. Especially our parents. Treat them with love, care and respect while you still have them here in this lifetime. Take the time to stop and talk with them - that they may impart their worldly knowledge upon you.
Formative years for Sarah
I am originally from a little place called Te Kuiti, which is down in the King Country. I grew up on a farm there for the first eight years of my life. Mum and Dad ran a farm there. We then moved to a bigger farm in a place called Piopio which is even smaller, but we went to a bigger farm when I was about eight.
I was there for the next seven years of my life, so I spent a lot of time in the King country. I had an awesome childhood where we would go caving, swim in local rivers on tractor tyres, and ride horses. I always wanted a horse of my own but could never afford it and so I ended up earning money by doing jobs around the farm to buy a Shetland pony. The work on the farm could range from bagging up poo to sell for compost to filling up the pens behind the shearer's with sheep during shearing season. I grew up in that gritty background. With stable, strong parents to keep me grounded and focused in such a typical Kiwi farming lifestyle - the world was my oyster.
We then moved to Auckland, where my parents ran a business selling meat to hotels and restaurants. They also owned and operated a butchery business which was based inside "The Warehouse" before going on to do ready-made meals with McDonald's (that's right - actual McDonalds!) So I have generally been in and around the food industry pretty much all my life.
My little family and I have been living here in Paihia for the last ten years. Before that, I spent four years living in Thailand, where I met my husband, Jonny.
That's myself, Jonny and our little girl Scarlett. This is where I am, this is where we're based now, where I see us being for the foreseeable future is here in Paihia, in the Bay of Islands. I love living here. It's just an awesome place to bring up children as well, so accessible to the beaches and nature. We are so lucky to live and work here in Paihia.