Te Karaka and Napier

Kia Ora & Happy Birthday Barb

March 4, 2005

This morning we looked around town so I could call Mom and wish her a happy birthday. Her birthday is the 3rd, but it was the 4th for us here in New Zealand. After finding a pay phone and talking to mum we headed to the beach to relax and read for a while. We are waiting for JT's uncle Mike to get off work and meet him in Te Karaka which was about 20 minutes west of Gisborne. After getting in touch with Mike he showed us his and JT's Marae (meeting house). The are both of Maori descent and Mike performed a powhiri (traditional Maori welcome) for us. After our welcome Mike showed us around the Marae and explained what each part of the of the building met and he also gave some history about the Maori culture. This was an incredible experince for the both of us and we really appreciate JT calling Mike for us and for Mike spending the afternoon teaching us about the Maori culture. Here we are at the Marae.

Mike gave us one of his first whistle carvings and we hit the road for Napier. In Napier we found out the almost the whole town was booked up because New Zealand was playing Australia in cricket the next day. We ended up having to stay in a hotel for $85. This is twice what we are paying per night to stay in a hostel.

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