Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Aotearoa - reassuring, humbling and emotional


Since my last post, we experienced some interesting, reassuring, humbling and really questionable days and to top it all off, we experienced the emotional connection to our Aotearoa.

Let me explain:

It all happened so fast, so quickly. First, we got a phone call from our local Queenstown Council. They are responsible for the roads here in Queenstown and they had to inform us that our beloved Skippers Bridge - one of the highlights on our unforgettable Skippers Canyon tour - had to be closed. They needed to repair the bridge - but it would only take them a few days to do it. Today, I received a message that the work is more or less done. Our local Council worked closely together with the New Zealand Heritage Places Trust to repair this 100+ years historic Bridge in such a way that it continues to pay homage to the Goldminers of Skippers Canyon.
They did it! They repaired the Bridge and with this reassured us of its safety. They made sure that the beauty of this remarkable structure does live another day, month, year... Job well done!

The second thinking point was the volcano Tongariro. It was sleeping for soooo long and now decided to... turn in its sleep. It spit out some rocks, it opened some new insides for the scientists and it left some ashes around the local area of Tongariro.

You have to know that this volcano has always been here. It was and STILL IS a tourist attraction for all those travellers who like to experience nature up close and personal. I have to confess, I was twice near this mountain and tried to do the Tongariro Crossing - but the weather never allowed me to indulge in this true and unique Kiwi experience... I soooo wished I could have done it! But look: I will have it one day. I will have a close look at this living volcano of ours.

At the end of the day, we live on an island. Aotearoa is the youngest island we have on this planet. It is quite humbling to be one of the few who live here: to enjoy the beauty of this God's given creation. For me, it is a privilege to call New Zealand my home; even though the earthquakes and this latest volcano activity is a sober reminder that we have to live WITH nature.

The third and the last exciting topic was the award of the second Gold Medal for our Shotput athlete Valerie Adams. We salute her and congratulate her to this success. We understand that this event was and still is very emotional for her, for her team and family - as well as for the rest of us Kiwis. We did not want to be cheated. But the truth prevailed. Now that we have the result that 'our' Valerie does hold the current Olympic Gold Medal in Shotput makes me extremely proud.

As I said at the beginning, this past few days were reassuring, humbling and emotional. But hey, this is New Zealand - this is Aotearoa - this is why we live here - and this is why we like to share it with you!

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