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Jan 2024

I am Edgardo Rivas, originally from Chile. I decided to come to New Zealand after finishing my professional career in Applied Agricultural Engineering in 2019. I applied for an internship offered by Fonterra, called Prolesur. This internship focused on bringing young people with agricultural knowledge to work in New Zealand for a year on dairy farms. I arrived in New Zealand alone; my family is back in Chile.

After working for four years in the dairy industry, I decided to challenge myself by looking for a job in the professional agricultural industry with a New Zealand company. Since September 2023, I have been working as an Irrigation Technician at Agri Water Services.

New Zealand has given me the opportunity to grow both professionally and as a person. I like challenges and that is why I am still here.

What I like the most about living in Ashburton is that it is quiet, and it has everything I need to live a peaceful life.

Here, I have formed many meaningful friendships, crossing international borders with former bosses, co-workers, and others. I have a wide range of friends, both from New Zealander and from other countries.

I have had many challenges being away from my country. One of the first was facing loneliness. Then there was creating a new life from scratch, learning to speak a new language, and adapting to a new culture.

I trust in God –I give all my plans, goals, challenges, and fears to him. I fully trust in his perfect plan for my life, and that has been a pillar of my physical and mental health to this day.

In the beginning I missed my home country a lot. I missed my family, friends, culture, food, and emotional relationships. However, over time, you get used to it, and technology helps a lot to be close to your family when you are overseas.

One of my goals this year is to apply for my Permanent Resident Visa so I can continue to grow professionally in my agricultural career. I also plan to travel to other countries, learn about different cultures, and meet more people.

A message for our readers:  When you step out of your comfort zone, you begin to know yourself, understanding that barriers are mental, and limits are set by your perseverance and willpower.

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