Despite my red hair, freckels, and gleaming white skin I am a sun-lover (sun-ophile?). Part of the allure of coming to New Zealand was that I would get four summers in a row due to my niece Tilda’s birth and my upcoming graduation from SIT. My tatoo is of a sun and I even briefly thought of changing my name to Sunny (OK, that was a lie). But this weekend I found my limit.
Yesterday our friend Paul brought us to the Tainui Tribal Pride Festival, a Maori music festival. Yes, I was by far the whitest person there. He was hired as a consultant to help them organize their recycling system. He needed on-the-ground help, and offered us free admission to the festival if we helped keep the recycling system up and running all day. If I am a sun-ophile Nelson is surely a recycle-ophile and the offer of spending a day sorting recyclables was too good to pass up.
It turned out to be quite a long hot day of reaching into rubbish bins and recycling bins to pull out rogue items. People were generally pretty good about sorting, but one item kept throwing them off. I must have pulled at least a hundred watermelon rinds out of the recylcing bins. They were being sold cut in half with vanilla ice cream in them. Delicious? yes, recyclable? are you kidding me?
We saw some of our favorite New Zealand bands, learned some new Maori words, helped save the world and got home around midnight. A pretty good day. But, today that viscious orb of death in the sky is wreaking havoc on my internal organs. I suppose, even though I drank gallons of water and put on heaps of sunscreen, I got some kind of sun poisoning. I’ve been throwing up and fevery all day. Nelson has been a dream, cleaning puke buckets, dragging me into cold showers. Ugh. Finally around 7pm I’m feeling barely alright. Yuck.
This is how kiwis talk. Seriously. It’s hilariously true.
I love that we live in a place where hitch hiking can be our main mode of transportation. Yesterday we traveled 350 kilometers hitching and didn’t wait longer than two minutes for a ride. True, we do live in Raglan, a hippie surf town. And true, we were traveling from the Parihaka Peace Festival. I suppose you’d have to be of extraordinarily questionable character to not catch a ride from the peace festival to the hippie surf town. We apparently looked reputable enough to get picked up at the gates of Parihaka by a van full of kind anarchists who deposited us only 40k from home.
Hitching home was the end of a great birthday weekend at Parihaka. Nelson arranged some free tickets for us in exchange for volunteering at the Permaculture New Zealand tent. Work for two hours a day giving presentations and helping in various ways, in exchange for spending the rest of our days, as my little brother would say, chillaxing amongst the music, food, and good vibes of the festival. Definitely a good way to transition from my mid-twenties to my late twenties… Ugh.
Getting immersed in the Aotearoa (New Zealand) music scene was good. We saw our local band, Native Sons, perform on the mainstage. They were great. Like always.
I found more fresh-fruit yogurt. It was great, like always.
And I had my first hangi, a traditional Maori roast cooked underground on hot rocks. It was pretty good.
I think, though the highlight of the weekend was Olmecha Supreme. Here’s how they are described on their myspace page:
“olmecha supreme is afro futuristic roots music. painting sky pictures through light speed sonic fiction… it has been described as an intense surreal sound scape complete with giant robots powered on pure spiritual energy in combat for the future of our planet and life as we know it throughout the galaxy”
Um, how could they not be totally rediculously awesome. I danced my bum off. Hooray for being 27.
Times have changed. I have found some ispiration to jump start my blogging again. Must be something good, right?
Today I went to Roll-up, a kabob and fresh ice cream stand in town. I actually don’t know how I could have lived in raglan for nearly 2 months and never have frequented this fine dining establishment before.
I skipped out on the kabob (I’ll save that for another post), and got a large fresh-fruit frozen yogurt. What is a fresh fruit ice cream? Well, you take plain vanilla ice cream (or yougurt), throw it in a funnel, throw some fruit on top (I chose boysenberry and banana), and then use a giant drill to blend it together and shoot it into a waffle cone. Genius.
I wish I had a photo of the ice cream blender/ potential torture device. Picture a giant plastic drill. You know in the original Sonic the hedgehog game how Dr. Evil rode on this floating drill and sonic had to bounce up and hit him without getting spiked? That’s pretty much what they use.
The results are amazing. You should all come to Raglan to get a taste of it.
Since our camera got stolen I haven’t been in much of a mood to post. Sorry. I’m still not. I will say that we had an amazing New Year’s Eve which involved a parade, a circus, and live music. Nope, don’t have pictures of any of it.
We are going to Hamilton later this week to our storage unit where my little old trusty Nikon point and shoot is waiting to rescue me from my camera-less life. Until then I will try to entertain you with witty prose.