Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Namaste and $26,200

I am the opposite of the sterotypical zen like yoga person. I would like to think that I am a very positive person but I'm opininated, impatient and rather easily annoyed. I am like the anti-yoga. My idea of a workout consists of high impact work outs that leave one sweating from head to toe. If I am not out of breath, close to out of breath or short of breath than to me it is not excersice. I love basketball, running and a cold beer. I do not drink green tea smoothies and think wheatgrass is something one would use on their yard. I have tried yoga twice. And what I remembered it was difficult and boring. And I could not tell if I was burning off breakfast or just burning off time.  The first class was in  KC at a large fitness center that we belonged to. My class was filled with large breasted beautiful ladies that were there more to be seen than to work out. My second class was here in NZ that was all about closing one nostril with a finger and breathing out of the one open nostril while saying "Ommmmmmmm". It took everything I had not to bust out laughing. Are these people serious? I thought that the OM was a myth but apparently the OM is actually very important. So I had decided that yoga was not for me. In comes Sarsha. She is a yoga teacher and the Mom of one of Lindseys good friends. She is a beautiful women, inside and out. She just reeks of yoga when you meet her. Calm, gentle and free spirited. I just knew I had to give yoga another shot. So here I am 4 months later and totally hooked, I am now a yoga loving wanna bend like a pretzel kind of gal. Let's be honest, I do love the social aspect and we do have lots of fun. However, I am in awe of the bendy ladies around me and not sure if I will ever be able to do some of those poses, but I get what the fuse is all about. I think I like it so much because I am so bad at it,  but yet I love a challenge and love learning new things and who know maybe one day I will be able to touch my toes without bending my knees.
Sarsha teaches yoga up at her house. Here are a few pictures of her house and where I go to practice my new favorite activity.

Sarsha's home and the yoga studio is in the back
They built this separate room for the Wwoofers. Wwoofer's are folks that are  traveling the country  and are willing to work for 4-6 hrs a day in exchange for a free night of accomodation and food. The work could include anything from sowing seeds, gardening, making compost, milking, or cheese and bread making. Cheap way of traveling , and yet a cool way to experience life in other parts of the world. 

The out house in the back of the house.
Her beautiful yoga studio behind her house. To me it is just how a yoga studio should look, inviting, calming, not flash but yet simple and natural in its design. And the fact that it is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world probably helps a little...

The view from her house and yoga studio. Doesn't get more zen like than this!

We had our school Gala last month. The last school Gala was held 7 years ago, so this was a huge event for the school. A New Zealand Gala is kinda like a school field day/carnival all rolled into one. It is a fun, family, friendly fundraising event that was put on by the FOOS (PTO) commitee. We had food stalls, auctions/raffles, games, crafts and entertainment. The whole community came out to support our school and over $26,000 was raised in a little over 3 hours. It was impressive accomplishment for a school of 300 kids.

This was the Zorb Balls, the most popular game we had. 

This was called The Magic Carpet Ride, the second most popular ride. As you can tell from the picture it was a piece of fabric pulled by a car that the kids rode on. Let me repeat that one more time, it was a piece of fabric pulled by a car that kids rode on!! They loved it and the line was 20 deep the whole Gala. Brad and I were trying to envision this happening in the states. First, you would have to sign your life away. Second, safety gear would be required of all body parts. Third, there would have to be a safety talk about what might happen, what could possibly happen, and what to do if all that did happen. And fourth, there would have to be some type of extra insurance purchased by the school to safe guard themselves from getting sued if something were to happen. So basically this would never ever happen in the US, but Kiwis with their attitude of "she'll be alright" are able to pull off some Dodgy activities. Another reason we Love living here!!
I was hoping to see some more carnage on this, but boringly enough nothing no one got hurt or fell off, and all the kids had loads of fun. 

One of our food stalls.

Art work done by the students that went for a premium price. 

Football game

Toss the Coconut Game

Quad bike rides. 

Fairy Tent
I also mentioned in the last blog that the year 7 and 8's were going to have their outdoor activity week so I wanted to post a few of those pictures as well. This was the dam dropping, talk about a dodgy activity. But the kids loved it and honestly so did I. It was fun and exhilarating, with a tiny bit of danger thrown in. Keep in mind that the kids missed a whole week of school for activity week, they just got to play with their friends while being pushed to their limits. Too bad this is not part of the curriculum  for every school system. I witnessed kids refusing to do this activity but after some deep thought and lots of encouragement from peers and parents, they went for it. One of the girls I took down was crying she was so scared, but after we had made it to the bottom, she was smiling from ear to ear and asking to do it all over again. Priceless.

Even Dad took the day off to be a part of dam dropping. 

These next few pictures are of the mud run. Which smelled and felt more like mud/cow poo run. Some of the kids were loving the throwing/slinging/hurling mud at each, the parents and teachers. The others kids politely put a smile on their face received the allocated mud balls to various body parts and counted down the minutes until they can get clean again. Skyler (and I have to admit I was right there with her) fell into the later of the two catergories. I asked her at the end of the run, if we should bring Dad, Lindsey and Owen on this trial. She looked at me as if I were some giant blood sucking alien and just kept running.
The last few moments of being nice and clean.

Heading up the river to the mud pit

Disappearing up into the steep trail. 

The track down to mud hell....


Skyler is standing off to the right hoping that no one spots her.  And I was  hiding behind the bushes taking photos  (it was water proof but I told no one that as I hoped they would take mercy on me).

This was a mud slide. The Mom in the jeans managed to stay clean the whole hike. She did this by turning into the exorcist every time a muddy kid looked as if they were going to slime her with mud. It was the kind of day that one just had to surrender to being covered in mud and getting soaking wet,   and not be bothered by it, or you too would  have your head start spinning and smoke coming out of your ears. 

And a few last photos of what we did during the kids two week break. We were quite keen on going on a road trip but the kids just wanted to stay in town and play with their mates. So that is what we did and enjoyed every minute of it!

This was a great bike ride we went on with 2 other families. It was 17 km round trip, a perfect distance for young kids. We had a 5 month old black lab puppy with us, so I volunteered to run with Samie, the puppy. It was great fun, and it took me back to 12 years ago when I use to run with our yellow lab, KD, when she was a puppy. She was a hell of a dog, still is actually. She lives with my parents in KC. It is a great match, as my Dad enjoys exercise as much as I do, so he takes her out everyday for a walk, they go home pop their vitamins, have a snack, and lay down for an afternoon nap. It is a win win for all.

I am holding Samie in my arms

Brad running back with Samie.

Owen and his mates at a Surf Comp. 

Enjoying a beautiful sunset on the beach

I wanted to end my post with a tribute to our good friends Orlagh, Arvind, Aoife and Connor.   They are our good friends who moved here a year ago from Australia, and we had to say goodbye to them last week as they headed back to OZ to start a new chapter in their lives. It may seem odd to some to hear me use the term good friends to describe someone you have only know a year. But that is what happens to families who are sharing the same experience living abroad. We are all a long way from our families, and friends back home and all we have is each other to rely on. The bond can sometimes be instant and fast because we immediately know what the other is going through. So we react/respond to their needs/emotions almost as if they are family because it is all we have. So to make a long story short, this is how we felt about this sweet family. The kids became best friends, and we spent many days hanging out together. Orlagh even talked me into going tent camping with her one night, and that is not an easy feat. But with her, I forgot about the fact I was sleeping in the dirt, having to pee in the middle of the night not once but twice, and getting a few sand fly bites. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to seeing them again.