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Aroha Nui, Aotearoa – Part 1


I greet you with the most beautiful snow-capped mountains you have only seen on postcards. You must have been puzzled because you were told that spring has sprung and your suitcase was not ready for winter. But awhile ago the captain announced that you have crossed halfway between the equator and the south pole. Have you miscalculated, you wondered, perhaps it won’t be so cold down there, you silently hoped.

Touch down, and the cold air did not make you shiver, surprisingly, but instead greeted you with a warm familiarity you knew ten years ago. The strong wind sent an echo only you can hear, my familiar voice saying haere mai, which means welcome in Maori, if you still remember.

Familiar, yet foreign. You explored the modern North Island a decade ago, and this time, you are in the natural South. Before flying here you have read my promises of nature’s masterpieces bound to wow you, and now that you are here I only hope I won’t disappoint.

Shall we begin? Pop your suitcases into the car you rented even before you flew here, thanks to the wonders of technology. You decided to explore the earthquake-stricken Christchurch much later on, as you began your journey to one of my prized gems – Lake Tekapo.

Along the way, you made a stop in one of my many little towns, Geraldine. You were slightly disappointed that the shops are closed by the time you got there, yet you couldn’t help but be fascinated by the storybook-like shophouses that you can only find in, well, storybooks. A few photos here and there as you warm up that camera of yours. It’s an old camera, but it’s new in your hands. I see the smile on your face and was amused that even a quiet town with everything closed could interest you as much.

Your parents decided to carry on the journey to Lake Tekapo before the day gets darker, and you arrived just as the sun had set. You being you, even the dimmest scene catches your eye and you decided to capture a few more stills before you proceed to fill your hungry stomachs and call it a day. A cup of hot chocolate will do it nicely for you, as you and your camera batteries recharge to capture Lake Tekapo in the brightest of day tomorrow.

I will see you again when the sun rise, my dear.

Aroha Nui,

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Fueled by coffee and thrives on kindness. Generally pleasant.


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