Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Matzah Boat is Late

After my experience trying to find Hannukah candles in NZ, I decided I should start early in my quest to find Matzot for Passover.

Thanks to the genius of the World Wide Brain*, I tracked down the one store in Christchurch that does actually carry matzah. Not only that, they carry matzah meal and matzah Balls as well!!

If only I were so lucky... When I called before making the trek to the store, I was told "usually we have those items several weeks in advance, but we're pulling our hair out right now... the Matzah Boat is Late!".

I never realized that there was a single boat that sailed the seas in preparation for passover, delivering matzah to the Jews of the world. I hope they aren't soggy.


*The Internet to those who aren't familiar with Grace Dalley's (our illustrious flatmate) terminology

Monday, April 7, 2008

More Tramps

Elizabeth and Caleb visited us from Boston recently. This visit had been in the works for months and was all planned around us getting to finally do the Routeburn Track, which is quite justified in being called one of the best walks in the world. At the last minute, we got a surprise: another visitor! Eva (who lived with Mekayla and her mom for a year in 1995) decided to come visit all the way from Berlin. She had no choice but to join the intrepid trampers.

It is about 32km over three days. It turned out to be a lot easier than we thought it would be. I originally read the elevation change to be 1200 meters. Mekayla and I had done one walk recently that was that steep, and it was grueling. We were surprised by how quickly we arrived at the first hut until we realized that the map we had was nicely translated into feet for the foreigners. Apparently I now think using the metric system. 1200 feet is a lot less daunting than 1200 meters.

But even though it was not as difficult as we had expected, it was really magnificent. So without further ado:

Mekayla and I are heading off tomorrow to tramp the Kepler Track. It also should be amazing.

What in the world have we been up to?

My, how time waddles. Time is flightless here just like many of the birds. For instance, the penguin:

We've been exploring all over the South Island the past two months, both on our own and with various visitors who have accompanied us. Tomorrow we head off again to meet up with more visitors, so we thought we'd try and post a few pictures before we leave again.

We went kayaking up in Kaikoura.

Where we walked through a vast colony of seals (and took 300+ pictures).

We went tramping in Arthur's Pass where we stayed one night in this great little hut.

Mekayla attended a Permaculture Design Course (which she says she'll post on eventually) up in the Tui community near Abel Tasman NP. Here is one of the houses there. Unfortunately we never saw it while the dragon was smoking because it wasn't cold enough yet for them to be using the fireplace.

And here is a vast set of sand dunes near Farewell Spit at the northern tip of the South Island.

These photos are just to whet your appetite. We spent the past two weeks sorting and editing all of the photos we have taken in New Zealand. 7500 photos has now been reduced to 1600. When we get back from the two week trip we leave on tomorrow we'll start uploading sets of them for people to enjoy.