Thursday, 27 February 2014

On a plane again

I've just had a bit of a treat, a trip to Rotorua for work. A work trip might not sound like something one might enjoy. This trip was amazing, I had the privilege of attending a hui (meeting) on a marae (meeting place) with my colleagues, some of whom I had only previously talked to on the phone. Many of whom I'd not had contact with as yet.

Being home in Aotearoa I've had a few special treats. Staying on the marae for two days, sleeping in the wharenui (meeting house) with my new friends, enjoying the kai (food) served in huge quantities while exploring the area and hearing the stories is way up there as special. Treats like steam pudding and custard, fish and vege, short bread and apple crumble, all home made in the whare kai (kitchen and place to eat) enjoyed with wonderful company, debate and discussion. 

The warmth of welcome as we visited te kohanga reo (Maaori language nests) and joined the tamariki (children) enjoying their day. Singing action songs and joining in the fun. Priceless. I was a bit surprised how much I understood of this partner language to English. I've been away a while and it didn't take me long to hook into the context and make sense of much of what I heard. 

Many conversations were had, work and personal, hilarious as we wound down in the evening. Lots of music. That sense of belonging to this place and pride for how far we have come. Humbled by the people who cared for us so well. I really wish I'd taken my camera, taking pictures in the wharenui is not allowed and I didn't think I'd be able to get out and about as much as I managed so the extra weight didn't seem worth it. Bad mistake, it's just not the same on my phone. Below are some attempts. 

The mist off the water is steam, it's boiling hot as is the road alongside. The people of the village use the thermal activity for their energy needs, cooking in the pools and steam vents. No need for pots, and soaking in their very own thermal pools. Sulphur smells waft over the lake, the air warm from the ground up. Steam vents pop up through the tiles in a nearby whare courtyard, a road cone channeling it up and away in one place serving as a warning not to drive in this place. An awesome display of the power of ranginui (mother earth). 

Morning light over the steaming water

The wharenui

Evening stream


Roger said...

Hi Jules
Ecellent blog, you capture the atmosphere well & in a way your many
international followers will understand. Some things can't be
captured on film!

Jule's Short Story said...

Thanks Roger.
It's hard to catch the feel of the place sometimes, the wairua. You are so right, film doesn't do it. Possibly why I write and not just post pics. I'm pleased you're enjoying my blog.