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Bonnie Willow in New Zealand: Part 9

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 1003 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... BONNIE WILLOW IN NEW ZEALAND: PART 9 A Report from
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1 9:52 AM
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      A Report from Bonnie Willow
      Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
      Reporting for NHNE
      Mid March, 2004

      Imagine the stark beauty of a towering oceanside cliff with a cave tunneling
      straight through it, jutting out from white sand into clear turquoise sea.
      The two Garys went on a kayaking trip in Cathedral Cove, in just such a
      place. Although the dolphins didn't show up to accompany the kayaks, another
      unexpected treat filled that void. While the kayakers rested on the sand
      with mugs of latte, they got to listen to a music video being filmed inside
      the cavern's arch. The singer was a 17-year old beauty named Hayley
      Westenra, whose angelic voice echoed and soared like "chimes" as one Gary
      said, in the hollow of the rock cathedral. The normally non-effusive men
      both raved about the ethereal quality of her singing, and how it touched
      their hearts. We later bought her CD, called "Pure". Her website is located
      here <http://www.hayley-westenra.com/>. If you go to the "Media Center" of
      her website <http://www.hayley-westenra.com/stream/index.htm>, you can
      actually view the video now! The song is a traditional Maori song called
      Pokarekare Ana. The singing you hear was done within that cave, although
      they added other scenes of her walking along Cathedral Cove. According to
      her website, her music will debut in America on April 6.

      Back at the rental house, our friend Julie formulated updated astrological
      charts for each of us. She is a master astrologer and researcher. (She
      doesn't have a website, but can do readings by phone or email. Contact me if
      you want to contact her.) While her chart readings do cover the basic
      home-career-relationship issues, she specializes in tracking the higher
      purposes or missions in one's life. A fascinating development came to light:
      Gary and I both have something called a "Pluto Transit" over the next two
      years. Not many people have this in their chart, formed when Pluto's orbit
      crosses one's ascendant. It causes absolute, utter transformation in
      whatever area of that person's life is affected. The fact that both of us
      have the same thing happening at the exact same time is a stunning
      "coincidence". Or maybe not! At least we can be assured that we'll both
      utterly transform in tandem. The process is clearly underway already in both
      of our lives, as illustrated by our traveling across the globe looking for

      Our gathering of healers was less structured than I expected, but the
      connections we made in groups of twos and threes were deep. One of the
      larger gatherings, at the beginning, featured a woman singing the
      traditional Maori women's song of welcome in her sweet voice. Its haunting
      beauty brought tears to my eyes. Then two adolescent boys, one Maori and one
      white, performed the Maori Haka war dance, which is used as a welcome and
      challenge to visitors. When performed by adult tattooed men, it is awesome
      and terrifying. When performed by grinning boys, it is still powerful and
      touching. I was glad to hear that Maori studies are on the increase in
      schools. Another of the larger gatherings occurred when a local woman
      demonstrated her version of Hawaiian Bodywork. We also gathered for some
      guided meditations, for some prayer meditations, and to exchange holistic
      healing techniques and ideas. I did many healings myself (a combination of
      Reiki and Christa Healing and other methods) and was pleased to receive
      excellent feedback. Then there was the night we all gathered for a party
      under the full moon. Gary, Gary, and Miles spent hours on the deck with wine
      and cameras, photographing the exquisite sight of a golden full moon and the
      Southern Cross over the sea.

      Some nights Miles fascinated us with stories of the history of the island,
      backed up by his handy stack of reference books. First the Waitaha lived
      here, then the Maori overtook them, then the whites arrived and took over.
      As our friend Gary pointed out: "It's the human way. Conquerors will say 'We
      discovered this place, and as soon as we kill all these people who already
      live here, we can prove it!'" He does have a way with words.

      The next day we planned to visit a nearby farm run by a permaculturist. Our
      mate Gary opted to spend the day boogieboarding with J&J and Barbie the
      Boogieboard instead. My Gary and I braved the left lane of the winding roads
      by ourselves, in a borrowed car.

      Outside a town called Whitianga (pronounced: fit-ee-angh-ah), where the
      rolling forested hills meet the sea, Roger Harwood has been farming his 13
      acres for decades. There was not a sound except cicadas in the breezy air
      when we arrived. Sweet butterflies performed twirling duets in midair
      between all the plants. Roger served us tea on his deck, while we gaped at
      the tranquil landscape and breathed the earth-scented air. He disappeared
      into his orchard, just beyond the grapevines, to pick fresh lemons for our
      tea. His dogs followed his every step while he prepared our "cuppa".

      Discussion of his application of Permaculture took up most of the day. It
      was fascinating to realize that in New Zealand, the sunny windows face north
      for passive solar heating. Cold winds come from the south here rather than
      north. We really are on the opposite side of the world! When we watched the
      full moon from our deck the night before, we had seen that the patterns on
      the moon's surface were different from those visible in the northern
      hemisphere. Complete reversals such as these can be mind-boggling.

      Some of the plants he grew to replenish nutrients in the soil were familiar
      to us, but others were not. Two edible plants were growing around the
      perimeter of Roger's house because of their completely fireproof nature,
      their drink making capability, and their benefit to the soil. They are
      coffee trees called "Karamu" and "Taupeta".

      Roger is dedicated to removing invasive foreign species of plants and
      animals that are destroying the indigenous flora and fauna of New Zealand.
      He spoke at length about the problems created by invasive animals. Imported
      ferrets and dogs are decimating the wild kiwi population. It is expected
      that kiwis will be completely extinct in twenty years, if nothing changes.
      Twenty-three kiwi birds live on Roger's back acreage, thanks to his efforts
      to keep out invaders, and the native rabbits are returning. Non-native
      possums, magpies and weasels infest the island and cause great damage to
      native bird populations, orchards and farms. Imported pine trees are having
      similar effect on native forests. Roger and others like him are active in
      reversing those trends.

      Admiring the inside of Roger's hand-built home took a good while that
      afternoon. Like his garden, it shows his dedication to recycling and giving
      back to Nature. He made his own handsome furniture from fallen local trees.
      He had hauled in some gargantuan stumps of ancient Kouri trees that had been
      found in a swamp. Carbon-dating showed that they were knocked down by a
      tidal wave 1300 years ago. His life and home contain endless stories of the
      history of his beloved country. I could have spent a week happily listening
      and taking notes. Some of his stories were a little more lightweight,
      though. I loved hearing about the day his kids caught a 4 inch weta bug and
      a centipede. They put the bugs in a jar together, and a vicious fight broke
      out. His kids cheered on the ugly weta bug, but the centipede won, "in a
      brutal annihilation", according to eyewitness reports.

      Much as we would have loved to pack our bags and move onto Roger's farm with
      him, we eventually had to leave. Our departure was brightened by discussion
      of Gary's upcoming surfing lesson.

      Though he spent his teenage years as a surfer boy in Hawaii, Gary hadn't
      surfed in 30 years. He scheduled a surfing lesson from Tairua Surf School,
      on the Coromandel Peninsula. (Their website <http://www.surftairua.co.nz/>
      is under construction, so try again later if it doesn't load yet.) His
      instructor was Alison Smith, a young lady so gorgeous that everyone was
      teasing Gary about spending the day with her. One friend who was with us is
      not inclined towards women, but he proclaimed Ali to be so beautiful that he
      briefly considered "switching teams". As an unbiased observer, I would like
      to state that although those claims are true, her intelligence shines out
      just as much, and she is a lovely person to spend time with. Her second job
      is as a writer for the local newspaper. She took us to Pauanui Beach for the
      day, and what a day it was! Perfect weather, amazing scenery, nice little
      restaurants. We even took a ferry boat ride. I had a great time watching the
      surfing lesson. Gary did quite well, didn't hurt himself, and loved every
      second in the surf.

      I have had so many unanticipated adventures here. What a world we live in!
      It contains everything a mind could possibly imagine, and more that we
      can't. These two weeks are unlike any other two weeks in my life.

      Now I'm back at home, finishing up the last stories. Life shifted into high
      gear the day after we arrived home, despite our best efforts. If you asked
      me, though, I would swear to you that part of me is still walking in

      I will try to wrap it all up and make sense of it, in my final report.



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