I went to Tiritiri Matangi Island (see previous post) with a group of 7 other people, 3 of whom I knew. While we were eating on the evening, it occurred to me how amazing it is when a common language and common interest can unite people.
The group consisted of 2 English, 2 Spanish, 1 Brazilian, 1 Polish, 1 Korean and 1 Italian…and yet everyone was united by speaking English and also by a love of New Zealand wildlife and conservation.
It is incredible how a common language can break down barriers and expose us to greater knowledge, understanding, experiences and a deeper insight into other cultures…but I must say it would be nice to have the challenge occasionally of that language not being English.
Picture the scene…I was about to go out in the car when I spotted a bumblebee sitting on the drive. On closer inspection I realised there were two and that they were mating. The female was noticeably larger than the male and seemed to be doing some kind of leg waving dance…maybe she had had enough and was trying to dislodge him. Who was I to disturb their fun (and maybe run them over) when I could wait ten minutes and take a photo?
Help the bees because they help us.
While in the Wairarapa, I had the pleasure of staying in a bach (a kiwi term for a cottage, as close as I can get it) which was a shepherd’s house at one time. No TV, no internet, no mobile phone coverage and about 5kms from a main road. Waking up to the sight and sound of cows, sheep, horses or even donkeys wandering around just outside. What could be better?
While visiting the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, I went to the Pukaha Mount Bruce national wildlife centre. This is primarily a location where they assist with the conservation of native species, including many of NZ’s birds.
One of the highlights is undoubtedly the native Kaka, a woodland parrot. They sure know when feeding time is and queue up in the trees for 3pm. Clever, and beautiful, birds. Hopefully one day they (and others) will be able to spread out across NZ once more as mammalian pests are brought under closer control. These Kaka are wild but sure know where they are best to hang out!
On the east side of the north island of New Zealand, within the Wairarapa district, lies Castlepoint. It is noteworthy because of the majestic lighthouse which stands proudly overlooking the Pacific Ocean, lovely beaches and a large sheltered lagoon – complete with baby fish swimming along the shore in the shallows.