November 13, 2005


The bus dropped me off on the side of the road in one of the tiniest towns I've ever been and one of the guys who had no idea what I was doing asked "You're getting off HERE?". Yup, and here I am woofing for Shona who is the most amazing woman in the world. I can't believe her energy at 60, I'm having troubles keeping up with her speed (at exactly half her age to the month!). She has started up 30 Art Houses around the whole country for children to do their art for therapy. So far we have pulled marigolds from her garden, replanted them in Bob's garden, pulled weeds from his garden and from the garden around the Children's House. I have finally seen Kiwi birds and they are so cute, right there with the Koala. A nocturnal bird with no tail or wings, the longest bird's beak and feathers that look as soft as fur. Their large (as big as a chicken!) bulbous bodies wobble around curiously.

We live in a cute little cottage in the middle of pure country side. There are tonnes of photos from all the places she's travelled, each piece of artwork with a unique story behind it, the largest and brightest roses ever, tea cups with flowers and face cloths with lace. Cole the cat is black with green eyes that match the lawn. A large, orange, run-away rabbit with a cotton-white tail is slowly befriending me. I have my own little 1 room guesthouse in the back which is pure luxury. We drink tea about 10 times a day and eat delicious veges from the garden on a table of roses from the front yard. Noisy chooks live next door and are always in the middle of the road when we drive through. Cows moo from across the street and the entire herd stops to eye me with worry when I stop to take their photo. The sheep baa with various noises and pitches that could be laughing or booing. There are mountains over there and a volcano down there, farmland all around and the cleanest, clearest, freshest air you couldn't find anywhere else on earth. This is apparently the reason I have noticed all the colours being so much brighter. The horses trot up to say hello and I really can't believe I'm here. P


  1. jesse6:05 pm

    What's the story behind the town names in NZ?

  2. I am really having a problem remembering and pronouncing them! The Maori culture (traditional to NZ before the Europeans arrived) is still alive and evident, everywhere. The language is spoken and everyone knows many of the words, many towns named by them. Truely amazing that it has survived more than anywhere else in the world, probably because NZ is so small and isolated. P