Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Preschool and Kaikoura

Ella had her first morning at Peebles preschool yesterday.  The school is in a sweet victorian style heritage home just around the corner from our house.  The women who work there are very sweet and hopefully Ella will love it just as much next week when Gillian and I aren't there.  Highlights included morning tea at 10 AM (snack time!!), making play dough with sparkles, and getting really wet in the water play area out back.

first day of preschool!!
Clean hands- I swear!

Ella with the mother lode
We finally made our first road trip (yeah!!!) and spent the weekend a few hours north of Christchurch in Kaikoura.  Dave was leading a group of NOLS students on a cultural component of their semester course so we joined in on the experience.  Hmm, does that mean that Gillian is the youngest NOLS student in the branches' history? : )  We were hosted by members of a Maori tribe in Kaikoura and spent the weekend visiting sites of signficance to the tribe and gaining a better understanding of their spiritual and life practices.   

The archway into the Maori Marae
We stayed on their Marae (compound) and were formally welcomed into their wharenui (meetinghouse/spiritual home) in a lovely ceremony that included exchanging song offerings between our group and theirs---the NOLS students sang 'Ring of Fire' and 'Three Little Birds' : ).  Among other things, we spent the first morning collecting cockels (clams) on the beach while divers collected pawa (abalone) and prepared a traditional seafood meal on the beach.  
Dave digging up cockels

3 lovely ladies....
Then we left the NOLS students as they went into the field for 3 months and we hung in Kairkoura for the day.  We went for a walk at a seal reserve- beautiful weather in the town where the mtns meet the sea.

I am adorable...and yes, I am a bad ass.


  1. What a journey you are on! You all look beautiful and happy and I look forward to following your travels (as I'm sure Marc will too!). So glad I found your blog. Miss you all, and sorry we weren't able to connect on the east coast this summer. Next time, eh?

  2. you and your family are an inspiration. thank you for sharing!

  3. dave digging for cockles!!! ha ha ha ha. so glad to hear snippets of your life on the other side of this world. we miss you here but are super excited for you and this journey. it's so awesome you did it!