Maori Haere Mai (Maori Welcome)

May 19, 2013

Today we arrived in Kaikoura. It’s a coastal city on the north eastern part of South Island. It’s a beautiful coastal town where you can see the mountains and beach at the same time. I’m not used to that in Florida! As soon as we got there, we were greeted by a Maori native. He was very interesting. He greeted us in the Maori language and blessed us. We were toured through their tribal areas, had a good lunch where I tried fresh shellfish, and walked through their sacred forest.

We also got settled into our new accommodations and had dinner as a big group at an Indian restaurant. This will be a short post because many of their words are difficult to spell. I won’t even attempt!

I have noticed these things about New Zealand since I’ve been here in addition to my previous observations:

  • Everything here is smaller. The portions are smaller, the cups are smaller, the cars are generally smaller… It’s definitely a change from the super-sized American lifestyle.
  • They don’t really use paper plates/cups/utensils for anything. In NZ that’s not a sustainable way to live. Apparently they make the prices of those things higher to discourage people using them.
  • On most toilets, there are two buttons. One for liquid waste and one for solid waste, so that every flush doesn’t use the same amount of water unless it’s necessary.
  • There are switches on the outlets to turn off when they’re not in use to save energy. In some hotel rooms, they also require the key to turn on the lights so they’re not on while you’re not in the room.

Tomorrow we are walking along the Kaikoura Peninsula on a seal walk with Dr. Devlin. They say it’s supposed to rain… again. That has been annoying but hopefully it stays at a light mist instead of a downpour!