Thursday, November 20, 2008

Palmerston North

Our first week on the North Island was spent in Palmerston North. The whole reason for this trip was the lectures that Brendon needed to attend from Mon 17th to Friday 21st. The farm agreed to pay for the ferry trip and petrol rather than a plane ticket for Brendon. So we were very thankful that the whole family could get to have this experience.
After much e-mailing it was organized that we stay with the Fuller family. What a blessing it was. We arrived on Friday afternoon and Rachel was very happy to learn that their two boys are home schooled. It was funny to meet a family from Brittan whose boys had names that sounded Afrikaans. They are actually Welsh names: Ioan (sounds like Johan) and Steffan.
Thankfully they had an extra bike and helmet, so Rachel got to enjoy much time on the bikes with the boys.
We stayed in their "flat" - to the left of the bikes. So it was like a home away from home.
Ruth had an adjustment this week as she has never had Dad be home when she wakes up and then have to say goodbye to him. Since Ruth's birth Brendon has been working on a farm and so is always off at work when she wakes (and on weekends when he is home when she wakes up - he STAYS home). The dear girl was in tears and could not understand why Dad was leaving. Eventually our only distraction was to say "Lets go say hello to Mrs Fuller", which she was always excited to do.
On Monday Rachel joined the boys at their swimming lessons. They organized a swimming costume for Rachel from a friend she had made at church on Sunday and so she got to enjoy the morning out with them. (I never thought of bringing costumes).
Although Hannah does look wonderfully happy in the above photo, she did have a hard week. She had her 3rd tooth push through (first top tooth) and it really gave her a hard time. I was therefore VERY glad that we had managed to pack our double pram into the car. I did a LOT of walking this week (and had painful muscles at the end of it too).
What a magnificent place to walk though. It was quite windy some days (so we understood why there is a "wind farm" on the mountains around Palmerston North) but we still enjoyed getting out every day (and sometimes 3 or 4 times a day).
All of these houses have water tanks that they collect rain water in from the roofs. There is no water pumped into this area. That is the "town" in the background, so you can see they are on a bit of a hill. Well their road is VERY steep as you come into the area. And Brendon found out how steep as he cycled to the lectures on Wednesday. It was fine going in, but coming home he was exhausted. He had to admit that he had not made it all the way up (he had to walk some of the way). He was very impressed when I told him the family had cycled into town for their piano lessons on Thursday and they all manage fine in getting up that hill. It shows you what a lot of practice can accomplish. They are supa fit.
The Fullers also had a lovely vegetable garden and so they inspired us with ours. When we had the car on Wednesday we popped into town to get some seeds. We look forward to planting them when we get home.

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