Monday, 13 February 2012

Fa La La

Karangahake Gorge. It's where we went this weekend but why does everything in this country have to be so hard to pronounce? The names don't really roll off the tounge now do they. So many of the words are Maori, which is New Zealand's native people and language. Perhaps you saw the movie Whale Rider, a beautiful film about a young Maori girl. Anyway, here in New Zealand the letters Wh are pronounced F, obvious I know. For example the town Whangerei would be pronounced, Fawn-ga-ray. The ski resort Whakapapa would be pronounced... well I'll let you sound that one out on your own.

The Gorge was beautifiul. It's an old gold mine and full of neat bridges and tunnels:

 After our hike, we stumbled across the Paeroa Highland Games Festival. After maxing out our capacity to listen to the bagpipes we moved on to the real action. Sidebar - I have realized that I think bagpipes are really awesome for the first minute and a half of hearing them and then they quickly turn to nails on a chalkboard for me. What did not get old, however, was this:

The Axeman's Chopping Competition. We got to see men chop their hearts out and compete to be the first to get through their piece of wood. It was highly entertaining.

Other parts of the weekend include a dinner out with the Canadians and more barefoot sightings:

I did check out a church on Sunday and was the youngest person there by about, say 25 years. I sat patiently when the pastor was going through announcements and said he wanted to wish a Happy 75th Birthday to one of the members. I thought oh that's nice and then had to control my laughter as the organ started up with music and the whole congregation broke into "Happy Birthday to you.... " It was definitely a first.

Stay tuned for my next post about my first improv class and our first Kiwi Valentines Day!

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