This is a pictorial list of my favourite things that keep me going while living away from home in Saudi Arabia. A visual “About Me” page. Peruse at leisure.
I’m a Kiwi. Maori and proud.
New Zealand is my home regardless of where my wanderings take me. We’re called Kiwi’s because of our national bird. Brownish colored, flightless and nocturnal. A peaceful looking critter if ever there was one.
Our country is beautiful. There are mountains, forests and beaches spread over two main islands, with a few small islands nearby to really get away from it all. You can swim, boat, sunbathe, fish, shop, eat, bungy jump, sightsee, go white water rafting, black water rafting, horse trek, tramp, camp or just lie around….there’s all manner of things you can do in New Zealand.
There’s only 4 million or so people. The natives, Maori, of which I’m one, are friendly these days (mostly). Our ancestors named New Zealand Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud. You’ll find a mix of ethnicities from around the globe residing in New Zealand now. We speak English, though Maori is considered a national language as well.
If you come to New Zealand, you will likely be greeted with ‘Kia ora. Hello’. And most tours will expose you to Maori culture to some extent. My mum wrote a book called Collins Maori Phrasebook and Dictionary – New Edition that will help you out with the Maori language when you visit Kiwiland.
She and my Dad wrote Te Marae, a book about the cultural practices that go along with visiting marae in New Zealand. (A marae is a cultural meeting place). It’s a pretty good if I do say so myself. If you plan on signing up for a Marae visit once you get to New Zealand, or if you run into one of the whanau and they take you to a local marae for a hui, (Maori word for community meeting), then you’ll be set after reading this.
Getting to NZ is easy. Fly. We have a national airline – Air New Zealand, though most larger international airlines have regular flights into Auckland city – the starting point for a lot of travellers.
Once you’re there, the options for getting around are numerous. My favourite option is by car, but that’s probably because I still have one being looked after by the whanau (Maori word for family) at home – at least I presume they’re looking after it. No messages have arrived saying it’s mysteriously stopped working.
*Authors Note – My car blew a head gasket and has been retired. If none of the whanau have a spare car when we go back for a visit, we rent, usually from somewhere cheap like Rent a Dent.
My favourite part of New Zealand is Northland, more fondly referred to as ‘Up North’. Whangaroa in particular is a special place – the jewel of the north. One of my favourite things to do there is nothing. Simply enjoy the view from my mothers porch. But there are loads of things to do up north. Fishing and diving. Visiting beaches, rivers, farms or forests. And you’ll find true, down to earth Kiwi’s up there, as well as my mum and a few of the whanau (a.k.a relatives).
|Our whanau boathouse on Whangaroa Harbour|
Maybe one day you’ll decide to travel to my place, New Zealand. I hope so. I’m sure you’ll like it. I do, but then, there’s no place like home, is there?
My Favourite Things List
|Hubby. He has to be a bit of a favourite doesn’t he?|
Whanau: Here’s some of the tribe.
Love them heaps, don’t see them enough.
|Stop at the Mobil in Kaeo you’ll find the Jandal Fence|
Coffee: Preferably latte from a café. Almost always with cake.
|Pavlova- Kiwi invention|
More of My Favourite Things
- Foot Massages
- Coloured socks with toes
- Cycling – purely for leisure these days
- Watties Tomato Sauce
- Newspaper wrapped fish ‘n’ chips with Watties tomato sauce. “It must be Watties”.
- Kiwi sweets – Minties, Pineapple lumps, Whittakers Chocolate.
- Big screen movies and hot, buttered popcorn
Real Cream – as in Reeeaaalll Cream. (I said that before didn’t I?)
- Learning Languages