Loren and I have had a few major concerns at home in recent weeks. For example, we learned that our PO Box was likely robbed in January. It was not just ours but the whole structure of boxes, necessitating our Post Office to look to close down its outdoor boxes, and making a change of address required on our part. Not an easy decision or task. And, our financial adviser alerted us that he has moved his staff to a new base. We are delighted for them, but this also required some work on our part.
Then there are the necessary tasks of preparing taxes, continuing education courses to complete online… We are grateful to be staying in one place long enough to address these and other heartaches and hardships at home. We have so much appreciation for our family members and friends who continue to support us from afar in our Journey. I found this image with my first course, divine affirmation to work on our travel planning:
Early this week Loren read a forecast of upcoming rain, so that evening we took a long walk around town. Wellington seems full of vibrancy, art, and young adults, reminding me a little of how I felt in Berlin – happy and hopeful for the future.
Then came the severe warning of three days of “A Deep, Extra-Tropical Cyclone – Gita,” coming toward New Zealand’s wild, west coast. It even triggered a warning email from AirBnB to their hosts and visiting guests – which included us! Wellington is at the southwest tip of the North Island, and the eye was heading on a course directly between the two islands. Lucky for us though it veered further south, so all that we experienced were some heavy winds initially, and much rain one night and day from a thoroughly whited-out sky. Since that, it has been on and off cloudy or sunny here again and quite a few degrees cooler.
I am reiterating the New Zealanders’ use of the phrase wild west, reminding me a bit of North America’s historic wild west, but I believe here they are strictly referring to the coast. I read how in 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic. His fleet, crossed waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named “Pacific,” from the Latin word pacificus, meaning “tranquil.” New Zealand’s east coast faces the Pacific, what contrasts!
Of a more routine nature, Loren and I both had our crippled eyeglass frames repaired this week. We had our annual physicals too. And I was able to see a dental hygienist, which was especially wonderful because a front tooth that had been painful when flossing had concerned me, but needed nothing more than a good cleaning. Of more interest, we visited Old St. Paul’s this week, that was built entirely from native timbers. It is now an historic site, and available for weddings. A newer St. Paul’s is around the corner, much taller and more modern.
We toured Parliament too, which is partly housed in “The Beehive.” Then we sat in the Public Gallery overlooking the House during a Questions session, where the opposition and the Government seriously and lightheartedly challenge each other to do their best jobs. It was enlightening to learn about their processes from the tour guide, and, entertaining to see the political wheels of New Zealand in action.
Noteworthy too, thanks to television, we saw the thrill of the American Women’s Olympic Hockey team earn their first Gold in nearly 20 years, which you may know included an overtime that led to a shootout and sudden death finale. Yet, sadly we saw the agony of the opposing Canadian Women’s team – taking Silver, but losing out on their dream to earn the first ever five consecutive Golds in a row.
I will finish this week’s reflection with more language differences from Commonwealth to American English. Another yoga teacher at our studio here mentioned how confusing it is that the Americans use the word take, as in when we attend, a class. She was once startled when an American student told her she would like to take her class, because in New Zealand, to take the class means to teach the class! She then laughed as she told me she will take my class when I teach in early March, meaning that she will attend!