Sorry that it has been so long! However lots of stuff have happened since I last wrote you all but I will save the people whom have ADD like myself and summarize to the best of my abilities, Oooo something shiny! :)
Since the last time that you heard me, Emily had 2 weeks of school holidays between terms. During that time we took a road trip around the North Island in "The Beast". We first went to Napier, the Art Deco City of the world where we were able to see all the Art Deco architecture, I met an old anagama wood fire potter named Bruce Martin, and traveled through the area's wine country! Next we drove up to Taupo, which is on the northern coast of Lake Taupo and looks directly across to the snow caps of Mt. Ruapehu. We took a boat tour of the lake and got see the Maori Carvings that it is so famous for. Then we drove up to Waitomo to see the glowworm caves and all the stalactites and stalagmites formations. It was awesome in the Glowworm cave, it felt like you were laying on your back staring at millions of stars only they were bugs and were only a few feet away!! Then we started to Hamilton only we were certain we were lost on the curviest road know to man, this was the "short route" that added another 2 hours to the trip and at one point led us to the middle of a paddock (pasture). But we survived with a few drops of petrol left and made it to Hamilton, visited the community clay center, more on this later, and headed off to the Coromandel. The Land of the Beaches! Gorgeous area around the coast, sand beaches, Barry Brickell's Driving Creek Railway and Pottery Studio! I almost Forgot the hot water beach! After several days in the Coromandel Paradise we headed to Auckland, we had dinner with my friend Joe, also known as Foof, and his lovely lady, which might have been the highlight of the trip! Also we had intended to go to the All Blacks vs South Africa test match but.....didn't, it's a story. We almost missed our flight! but then flew down to the northern tip of the south island, famous for is Marlborough wines, and spent the next four days with our host families' parents who were wonderful. We took a ferry and visited Wellington for one of the days, drove to Nelson, the home of pottery for another day, and walked part of world famous Queen Charlotte's Track which is part of the Marlborough Sounds and is distinctly gorgeous! And that wraps up the 2 week holidays so back to Whakatane!
Emily had 2 weeks left of student teaching and this was the home stretch. I on the other hand took this opportunity to dive head first into my last course, online, for UND and my undergrad degree!!! I was also able to go snowboarding on Mt. Ruapehu with some mates which AWESOME!!! The mountain is New Zealand only dessert therefore no trees, oh yeah, Its also an ACTIVE VOLCANO, as recent as 5 years ago :) During this time I also found out that I was accepted as a resident artist at the Waikato Society of Potters in Hamilton for up to 6 months. Emily looked for jobs in NZ and had little luck.
Well, we said our good byes to all of our friends in Whakatane and headed off to spend our last few days together in Tauranga. We climbed Mt Maunganui, a no dormant volcano, hung out at the beach, and enjoyed a few relaxing days. We drove to Auckland and got to airport early this time. Eventually it was time for her to go and I dare say their must have been a stiff breeze that activated the tear ducts.
Well, for the past nearly 2 weeks now I have been settling in to my new home of Hamilton, been to my new studio, which will be my home away from home for the next only 4 months. Also I am staying with a lovely family the Henry's, which I work in their garden, and do some landscaping, feed the chicken, etc in exchange I have a bed and food, pretty sweet deal! It's called Wwoof'ing, search it, wwoof, its worldwide and quite fantastic. Oh yeah, they built their house 3 years ago and it is the only straw bale house in the city and surrounding area, its actually quite warm compared to most of the NZ houses
That is all for now, you will here from me soon!