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Disclosure & Image Rights: The French National Tourist Board has covered the cost of flights and accommodation on various research trips. Image material created by Verlag Best of HR -®. The Dutch tourism company TravelEssence covered our costs for flights, domestic flights and meals for a research trip to New Zealand. 

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Job profile! in Change: Emigrant happiness & love of home

Catarina Sutter is a hand weaver from Biel in Switzerland. She stayed in New Zealand while sailing around the world. Quite different to Lionel Fonquernie: He made a career because of his love of home. Two different life paths.

catarina sutter

From the craftswoman to the gardener

1980 was still largely unknown to New Zealand - at least from a European perspective. At that time Catarina sailed with her friend around half the world. Her daughter was born on the voyage in Venezuela.

In New Zealand, she gave various jobs: for eight years she ran a small shop for craft, but people, she says, now prefer to buy on the Internet. Today she looks after the Victorian garden in the villa of Bishop Pompalier.

"Do what comes!"

It was designed as a traditional English garden, but not so easy to maintain in the New Zealand climate: “Apple, pear or plum trees, for example, suffer from fungal attack. Other plants grow endlessly and have to be constantly cut back so that everything continues to look Victorian. "

Sutter worked as a gardener today and states: "You have to work what comes and you can't just do what you're good at."

"You can't always work what you've learned!"

In New Zealand there are too few people for everyone to be able to do what they originally learned, says Sutter: "Everyone has to work and do whatever comes up, even if that's not always what you're good at," explains their learning-by-doing philosophy.

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In general, however, it can be observed that fewer and fewer people wanted to do manual labor: “Only the supposedly 'stupid' still do it today craft, in the end a lot of people don't even know how to do manual work anymore, ”regrets Sutter.


Immersed in the Maori culture

During our interview, she has to struggle to remember many German words, because she still speaks her mother tongue too seldom. On the other hand, she has dealt extensively with the Maori culture, studied their language and the meaning of the customs - and their medicine: “The Maori had no antibiotics and no doctors. You fight diseases directly at the root cause, where the evil comes from, ”explains Sutter the holistic Maori philosophy.

On the other hand, she is critical of the sell-out of Maori culture through tourism: “Often it's just about putting on a show in a bast skirt. The older generation rightly wonder where this is going. The culture is thinning out. For example the welcoming ceremony - everyone is welcomed there today. That used to mean something! "

Tourism is still in its infancy in New Zealand

According to Sutter, the desire of many tourists to see “real” Maori sometimes has strange blossoms: “The Maori only wear their bast skirts for tourists - and the youth grow up with a completely wrong image of the traditions.”

Sutter is convinced that the tourism business is still in its infancy in New Zealand. “In the past, New Zealand was hardly known and hardly anyone came here - but now it starts here,” she fears, who herself immigrated as Pakeha (Maori for whites).

Career in the home

Lionel Fonquernie originally studied sports science and was a sports teacher. Then he works in the food industry, until he came up with the idea to make his love for sport and his Provençal home a profession.

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Lionel Fonquernie has always enjoyed cycling, hiking and climbing. He is also familiar with the local fauna and flora. A good ten years ago, he opened an adventure park and high ropes course in Plan d'eau des Salettes. Tourists can swing from tree to tree like Tarzan.

Made a profession out of the hobby

For five years he accompanies tourists on mountain bike tours. Since recently there is also a more comfortable version on electric wheels.

But for Foncarnie this is just a lame rip-off: he appreciates the sporting challenge of real mountain bike tours.

occupations pictures

Convey enthusiasm

In general, the Provencale, who is married and has two children, wants to pass on his enthusiasm for his homeland and the sport to the visitors. And his enthusiasm is palpable. In any case, he has not regretted having turned his hobby into a profession.

occupations pictures

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2 responses to “job profile! in Change: Emigrant happiness & love of home ”

  1. Christine of Kiwifinch says:

    "You can not always work what you have learned!": I can only agree. Often you do not want to do this anymore, because the priorities shift.

    • Simone Janson says:

      Thanks for the hint, exactly my opinion. Unfortunately this is still a wide field in Germany ...

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