The Sweet Taste of Kiwi…More Than Just A Fruit!

After last week’s post I thought we’d switch gears and lighten things up around here. As much as I try to alter the atmosphere from one week to the next, I don’t want to get stuck running in circles. So after you take a bite out of this one, let me know what you think!

Ah Kiwi. This mouth-watering brown fuzzy berry has grown in popularity since the mid twentieth century. It’s a sweet little fruit no bigger than the size of a hen’s egg that packs a whole lot of punch. And when the Kiwi is cut open, it is then we are introduced to the splendor of its beautiful lime green center. Yes, this is a fruit with a refreshing heart.

Yet, since most of us are smack in the middle of the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice, I thought we might benefit from another type of Kiwi that is sure to warm us all up from the inside out.

New Zealand.



New Zealand is an island country situated some 900 miles east of Australia across the Tasman Sea. It sits roughly 600 miles south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. And because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.

There is a plethora of wonderful details that say much about this charming picturesque country. However, there is a unique relationship that I’d like to share with you that exists within close proximity of my backyard and this gorgeous Island nation. It involves an exchange program that was set up to benefit the youth in this area and New Zealand. And it only happens every three years.

The Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard program was launched in 1963 with an initial class of 24 students that has now blossomed into a remarkable average of 1,100 students each year. Its purpose is to educate young people in the potentially dangerous ever-changing oceanic environment.

The program is world renown for teaching safety, respect, physical fitness, instruction and discipline, along with C.P.R. and other lifesaving methods, with students enrolling from other states such as Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Utah and countries such as Germany, France, England, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico.

Since New Zealand is situated in the southern hemisphere, they are experiencing summer weather that is perfect timing for this exchange. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about this makes me warm up already. 🙂

So over a span of three weeks, starting the last week of December, a well rounded group of 28 junior lifeguards who successfully passed an interview and were able to gather the necessary $4300.00 for the trip abroad were chosen because they would represent the junior lifeguard program, their high school and the city of Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguards

Now that’s a great-looking bunch of kids!


They devoted a week in Queenstown where they took in most of the sites and hiked up a glacier, then spent time building an international relationship with fellow junior lifeguards at the northern beaches of Piha and Tairua. There, they were taught about the native culture, though most of their time was devoted to learning local lifeguard techniques.

One of their drills included a night dive into a cave off the coast of Tairua. “It was pitch black and we only had glow sticks attached to our heads,” said sixteen year old Holly Fosmire. “It was pretty scary.” That sounds like a simulating nighttime rescue which I’m quite sure left a lasting impression.

They even completed a helicopter rescue jump though there won’t be any jumps of that nature occurring in the waters of Huntington Beach since this coastline doesn’t harbor any rock cliffs. Yet, the exercise did give that group of junior lifeguards a different perspective on how to tackle rescue issues in their local waters.

Then, after they finished their training, all 28 junior lifeguards were nationally certified as lifeguards in New Zealand.

Can you imagine what an adventure this was for these young people? Besides the new technical training, every single one said they hoped to take home with them fond memories of that beautiful island nation with all its gorgeous scenery, world-class beaches, diverse culture, and the many new friendships that were made. They knew this was a trip of a lifetime.

Yes, in this case, the sweet taste of Kiwi was more than just a fruit!

It was refreshing!

So what do you think? Have you ever had the opportunity to experience an adventure of a lifetime? Were you ever a lifeguard or taught CPR? Is there an exchange program that your city is involved with? Do you like to travel? Have you ever visited New Zealand? Or do you prefer Kiwi as a sweet mouth-watering fruit?

Thank you so much for dropping by and for all your wonderful comments!


18 thoughts on “The Sweet Taste of Kiwi…More Than Just A Fruit!

  1. Lynette M. Burrows

    Hi, Karen! I’m a bit late getting to your post, but I loved it.

    Becoming a mom and getting married to my soulmate are the two adventures of a lifetime that I’ve experienced. Not quite the same as what these Junior lifeguards experienced, but it’s mine.

    Were you ever a lifeguard or taught CPR? Never have been a lifeguard nor have I taught CPR. But I know CPR and have used it. I have even used the heimlich maneuver in a public movie theater! That was an experience.

    No doubt there are several exchange programs in my city but I’m not tuned into it. *head hung in shame*

    I love to travel. Haven’t had much opportunity for quite a few years now. But New Zealand is second on my ‘going to visit one day’ list. 🙂

    And I LOVE kiwi. Yum!
    Lynette M. Burrows recently posted..Going to Mars Word By Word via a Time SlipMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Lynette! Not to worry about being late. As you can see, I’m late in answering. We all have a lot going on. “Becoming a mom and getting married to my soulmate are the two adventures of a lifetime that I’ve experienced.” I second that emotion girlfriend! I love that! It’s exactly how I feel. Although I do love to travel and would some day hope to see New Zealand. Now this is interesting. Most that commented know CPR. I have got to get with the program. It’s just makes good sense to learn it. And what’s not to love about Kiwi? Yummy indeed! Thanks as always Lynette! {{Hugs!}} 🙂

  2. Debra Kristi

    I would have loved an opportunity like this one when I was younger. Probably still would, if I didn’t have to worry about the kid care and all that good stuff. How awesome! I know CPR. I’ve never taught it. Love Kiwi, can’t get my kids to try it. Haven’t taken the trips I want, only the stuff the hubs wants so far because everything I want to do is out of the country. So I guess that would be a NO to New Zealand. Since I got married I haven’t been anywhere cool. Bummer. No money.
    Debra Kristi recently posted..Too Close for Comfort: Asteroid Flyby Inside the Satellite RingMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Debra! How are you? I hope things are settling down a bit in your neck of the woods. Wasn’t this a great opportunity? Okay, you know CPR, but you’ve never been taught? How did that happen Debra? Do share you secret because I think at this point in our lives, CPR is a great thing to have in our hat. And I hear ya on the money thing. But once your kids get older, things might loosen up a bit and that’s when you have to push for the New Zealand trip. I hear it is amazing there. So there’s always hope for us Debra! I have the travel bug too! 🙂

  3. Melinda VanLone

    Nope, never been a lifeguard. There wasn’t much opportunity for that in the desert. I’ve done at home CPR training through the AHA, but not sure that counts. I’d love to go to New Zealand, because it looks beautiful and I hear the people are really nice.

    And I love kiwi, but don’t like the fuzzy skin 😉

    How cool that those kids got to do something like that. Truly once in a lifetime stuff there.
    Melinda VanLone recently posted..Do You See Her?My Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Melinda! I’ve never been a lifeguard either, although I wish I had some background in CPR. Not sure what the AHA is girl. But I’m glad you have training. Yes, New Zealand is beautiful and I’m ready to go. How about you? And I love kiwi too. But what’s up with the fuzzy skin? I would’ve loved to joined those kids in that incredible experience. Once in a lifetime indeed! Thanks Melinda! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Pat! LOL, I cannot believe you fit all those comments into one sentence! Let’s just rack it up to pure talent girl. I think everyone who has left a comment here are ready to fly to New Zealand Pat. But unfortunately I am too old for the HB juior lifeguards. Darn. I miss my chance. Yes, what an experience! 🙂

  4. Patricia

    Wow, that’s a lot of questions.

    I love Kiwi.

    I’d love to visit New Zealand!

    I learned CPR a long time ago, but I’m not sure I’d ever attempt to save someone’s life if I had to use it. I’d probably try, but . . . because I work in the legal profession, I’m always thinking that someone would sue me if I failed to save a life of someone’s loved one. I hate to be tainted, but I see so many crazy lawsuits, it’s hard not to think like that.

    Anyway, great post. That program sounds like it wold be a blast and what a wonderful opportunity for those ambitious young people. I hope they all find satisfying careers in this field.

    So, how about it – you and me – first flight outta here to New Zealand?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Karen Post author

      LOL Patricia! In my attempt to engage readers, I may have gotten a little carried away today with all the questions. Sorry about that. And yes, I know what you’re talking about. Everyone is sue happy these days. But I do think that it’s a good thing to have the training. If someone’s in a life threatening position, you could save a life. Now that’s a good feeling, eh? And I’m with you Patricia! I am outta here! New Zealand here we come! Let’s organize a Wana trip, shall we! Great idea! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Coleen! That’s interesting. So they send kids to study in Isreal. How did your Daughter like it? There is certainly a lot of history there. I think travel is so educational, don’t you? So glad you enjoy my adventurous post! 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Hey Prudence! He, he, he, you are so funny! And see, I knew that I could thaw some of you snowbirds out with this post. Well, at least you had a little break from the white stuff. Y’all stay warm in your neck of the woods Pru! 🙂

  5. CC MacKenzie

    Great post, I’ve never been to New Zealand.

    The kids look fabulous, what an experience for them. Both my girls were lifeguards for their Senior year in High School, they were eighteen and policed their school swimming pool. Learning CPR was all part of their training.
    CC MacKenzie recently posted..I’M IN TROUBLEMy Profile

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Chistine! Not been to New Zealand? Have TP with aloe, will travel! So both girls were lifeguards? Well, they could have come to Huntington Beach and joined the junior lifeguard program. I won’t tell you the temperature right now or how beautiful it’s been lately. But CPR is good to have in your background. I just hope they never have to use it. {{Hugs!}} 🙂

    1. Karen Post author

      Hi Jennette! So you have taken CPR. You’re handy to have around girl. Yep, it was a fantastic experience for those kids. I’m a bit jealous myself. I too want to go someday. Let’s plan a Wana New Zealand trip! 🙂


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