Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Labour Day Field Trip

Today the archives was closed for New Zealand's Labour Day so the McVey's and us decided to see what New Zealand looked like outside of Wellington.  It is very beautiful.  We took Highway 2 and saw the following sights.                                                       
 Te Marua Water Treatment Plant.  They have a lake there where they process the drinking water for the area.  One lake is empty and the other one is full.  This is the full lake and the empty one is just left of this one.
 We went past the towns of Featherston and Martinbough -  They are very small quaint towns with green rolling hills full of sheep and sometimes cows.

 Cape Palliser -  This is on the southern most tip of the North Island.  It has a lighthouse on it and to get to the lighthouse you have to climb 249 stairs.  At this point is where the Cook Strait Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.  The road actually ends at this point.

 Seal Colony -  Not far from the lighthouse is a seal colony.  There were a lot of seals.  They just lay on the rocks and then the adventurous ones swim in the ocean.  We got pretty close to them but if they feel threatened at all they will go after you.  However, they move so slow I'm not sure they could catch us.  One of them was nursing her baby and when we got near she growled at us.  We knew not to go any closer.
 This is an anchor from a ship that wrecked in 1903.  The nameplate called the ship the Borque Ben Avon.

 Ngawi -  This is a small town by the ocean.  The boats come in and they have tractors that then pull the boats out of the ocean.  The pink one if named Babe and it was our favorite tractor.

 Pinnacles -  This is located in the Aorange Forest Park.  Part of the Lord of the Rings movie was filmed here.  He hiked about 3 miles round trip to see them.  The map said the hike was easy but it was down a river bed with rocks and we had to cross a large stream a couple of times.  Don only fell in once.  It looks a lot different than the rest of New Zealand.  We were thankful the weather was warm and nice.
Since rugby is such a big sport in New Zealand they thought everyone even the sheep should have a chance to practice.  When we saw them they were having a game with the sheep against the cows.

Last Sunday the New Zealand Rugby Team (All Blacks)  won the World Cup Rugby.  The score was 8 to 7 against France so they just barely won.  New Zealand was very excited.  In fact Wednesday they had a parade down Lambton Quay and 100,000 people showed up.  It was the most people for a parade in the history of New Zealand.  We didn't go see them on the street but we could see the crowd from the stairwell at work.  It was a sea of people and a lot of school children who should have been in school.  You can tell the school children because they all wear uniforms.

Monthly Dinner

 We arrived at Paraparaumu early so we took a sidetrip down to the ocean.
 We saw the circle in the sand and figured it was made with a plant blowing in the wind.
 Outside the restaurant the seagulls seemed to like the top of cars.  They even smiled for the camera.
Once a month all the Senior Couples around here go out to dinner.  The couples are Don and I, the McVey's, Brazzeals and the Patchetts.  The Patchetts live in Levin so we decided to meet halfway in a town called Paraparaumu (which is called Pram by the locals).  It was nice getting together and meeting the Patchetts.  They are from Mesa, Arizona and have been out a little over a year.  He is the branch president so he is very busy but she says she was bored at first but she now sometimes goes out with the young sister missionaries.

October 21, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011


Today is a quiet 35th wedding anniversary for us.  This morning we went to the outdoor market in Newtown to buy some fruits and vegetables.  Then we went to the southern most point of the north island and I decided it was time that I tried driving.  So I drove from the point to the Warehouse to buy a picture for our anniversary and then I drove to the grocery store to buy food which is a weekly event. It wasn't bad out there because the streets are wider and not so much traffic.  I only turned on my windshield wipers twice to turn. This evening we are going out to dinner.  It doesn't seem like 35 years but time seems to be going fast these days.


We have two missionaries that live directly behind us and we have them all once a week for dinner.  The one of the left is Elder Lott from Burley, Idaho.  He comes from a family of 5 boys.  The one on the right if Elder Bonofoyjenkinson from England.  He comes from a family of 1 boy (himself) and twin sisters.  They always take their shoes off when they enter our flat and Elder Bonofoyjenkinson always wears very strange socks.  See picture above.

Books for Fiji

 Today instead of going to the archives we spent the day at the church doing a service project.  Last November the Wellington Stake decided to do a service project by collecting books for the school children in Fiji.  During the past couple of years Fiji has had natural disasters which have destroyed a lot of their schools.

 During the year they have collected over 10,000 books so yesterday we labelled, sorted and boxed them all up.  In the end we had over 160 shipping boxes ready to be picked up.  All the young missionaries in our zone were also there helping.  It was a very long day since we arrived at 8:00 in the morning and didn't finish until 8:00 that night.

 They fed all the workers lunch and Lorraine Ditchburn was in charge of the food.  She was so dedicated that she actually had a minor stroke the day before and spent time at the hospital but still insisted on coming that morning to help.  She left about 11:30 to go back to the hospital for another CAT scan.  She is so compassionate and service minded.  They had sub sandwiches, meat rolls and cookies for lunch.  Ann McVey and I spent all morning making sandwiches.  They put beets on their sandwiches.  I would never think of beets on sandwiches.

We put labels in the front of every book that said collected in New Zealand by Mormon Helping Hands Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That was one of the most time consuming jobs of the day.
Here are some of the boxes that are being packed or already packed and ready to go.  A big van will come on Friday to pick up all of the boxes and transport them to Fiji.

October 11, 2011

October General Conference

Don and I have attended all sessions of General Conference this weekend.  We are a day ahead so we can't watch conference when it is broadcast in Salt Lake so they broadcast it here a week later.  On Saturday we saw the first session at 1:00 p.m. and the second session at 3:15.  Then on Sunday the third session was at 10:00 a.m. and the fourth session at 12:30 p.m.  That gave everyone a chance to eat between sessions.  It looked like a giant picnic outside with everyone eating their lunches.  Luckily for us today it didn't rain.  Don then went to priesthood session at 5:00 Sunday night.  It is hard getting to church because of the rugby games.  We could barely make it to church on Saturday because of the traffic.

October 9, 2011


Another fun Family Home Evening.  LJ had the lesson and he started with an activity.  He brought out ice cream and all sorts of toppings including catsup.  He asked Guy if he wanted a sundae.  He said yes and he offered him different toppings.  When LJ came to the catsup (tomato sauce) Guy said he didn't want any.  LJ asked if he didn't like tomato sauce and he said he did but not on a sundae.  Then LJ said that some things are good in some cases but maybe not on a Sunday.  He then did a lesson on Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  Afterwards everyone got ice cream sundaes for a refreshment.  They always do such a good job with their lesson.

Sidenote:  They had sprinkles as one of the toppings but they don't call them sprinkles they call them hundreds and thousands.  We were a little surprised when they ask us if we wanted some hundreds and thousands on our sundaes.

October 3, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Driving on the Left Side of the Road- by Erma Bombeck

I suppose a lot of you think your ancestors came to America to escape religious and political persecutions, don't you?  Did it ever occur to you that these brave emigrants migrated to the New World so they could drive on the right side of the road?

My husband and I have just returned from a vacation to a British owned island (New Zealand) where drivers drive on the left (wrong) side of the road, and frankly, we are lucky to be alive.

From the moment we climbed into the rental car, we sensed something was wrong.  My husband said, "Where's my steering wheel?  I said, "I have it."  I thought you didn't want to drive.  "Crawl over the gear shift and it's yours."  He eased the car out of the parking lot and into the traffic.  I'm here to tell you, we have lived life in the slow land, and life in the fast lane, but until you have spent a few weeks in the left lane, you have nothing to talk about.  Every time a car approached, my husband came to a dead stop and shut his eyes until it passed.  Everything about the car defied familiarity.  When he tried to turn on the lights he succeeded in releasing the hood.  When the windshield wipers began racing back and forth, I asked,  "What are you doing?"  Signaling for a left turn, he said.  In the entire two weeks we were there, we never passed another car, put our car in reverse, parallel parked, or made a right hand turn.  About the 50th time I told him he was drifting to the wrong side of the road, he reminded me that he was doing the best he could while I just sat there and sucked in my breath.  That's when I exploded,  "Being a passenger in this car is no day at the beach!" I said, "I have been flogged to death by tree branches, drenched by gutter water and have seen fear in the eyes of pedestrians that will haunt me for the rest of my life."  I don't know why the Europeans make it so hard on themselves to drive.  They've got enough problems without driving on the wrong side of the road.  I'm just glad my ancestors dreamed of a new land...a land where passengers didn't have to impale themselves on the brake to get to their seats...where you didn't have to be left-handed to shift gears, and where the tranquility of the country side was not interrupted by the hysterical wife shouting to her husband,  "Idiot!  We're turning left!  Put on your windshield wipers!"

This was given to us the other night by a New Zealander.  Elder McVey kids Don that he must be praying a lot because when we go down a narrow crowded street where there are usually a lot of cars there are no cars and all the cars on the street have their mirror put in.  It's as though Heavenly Father is looking over us.  However, Don it doing a great job it just seems strange to me to be on the other side.  Every time I get in the car I want to put my foot on the brake and my hands on the steering wheel. I even sometimes as a passenger go the driver's side of the car and Don will just laugh.  Hopefully, I will get use to it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Festival of Carnivale

 On Thursday, September 29 eleven destroyers came into the harbor.  They haven't been to Wellington in over 20 years.  When they entered they did a twenty one gun statute which you can see by the smoke behind them.  We saw them come in from a distance and saw the smoke but couldn't hear the guns.  They will be here over the weekend.

 On Friday we was finally a really warm day. It got up to 17 celius so we decided to play hookie for an hour and go up to Mt. Victoria for the nice view.  It was very clear and we could see in every direction.  It was really a beautiful day.

 On Saturday October 1st the sailors from the destroyers did a parade down Lambton Quay.  There were sailors all over Wellington for the weekend.

 Here are some of the destroyers up close.  People were allowed to go on them but the line was extremely long so we decided to just enjoy them from a distance.

 At Te Papa Museum there was a couple who did tape art for the festival.  They used the blue painters tape to do a mural on the side of the museum.  It will only last for about 2 days and then it will start to peel off.  So if you ever wonder what to do with your painters tape maybe you can try this.
After the festival we decided to go for a ride along the coast and then up into the hills.  This is another view of Wellington.  We still get our directions mixed up because of the ocean on the wrong side on the town.  This view was taken from near the most southern tip of the north island.

On Monday at Family Home Evening they had sundaes with toppings.  They had sprinkles that go on top of the ice cream but they don't call them sprinkles they call them hundreds and thousands.  We were a little confused when they asked if we wanted some hundreds and thousands on our ice cream.