Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spectacular views

Our first beautiful picture is of our grandaughter Taylor in her halloween costume. On her right is cousin Alissa.
On Thursday, your Wednesday, we took Elder Wilson to the Hokitika airport. He was being transfered to Wellington after 7 1/2 months in Greymouth. His replacement would not be here for another 5 hours, so what to do?
Thought you would like to see how they move baggage at Hokitika airport.
The following is what we did. While as you can see below, the weather did not look promising. We headed south east of Hokitika to "Hokitika Gorge". We passed dairy farm after dairy farm. Now I know why there is a huge milk processing plant in Hokitika. That is where all the milk trucks on the west coast end up. The cows here do not need supplemental hay as there is grass all year long. They do stop milking for two months in the winter.
We ended up on a gravel road that led to the gorge. We knew we were in the right spot because there was good signage. The gorge river is fed by glacier waters which are filled with the minerals extracted by the glacier which gives it this beautiful color. We were blown away. This picture is taken facing north from a swing bridge shown later. We took other pictures from the rocks on the right.
This picture is looking north from the bridge.
Looking west from the rocks.
Elder Palanite looking north from the rocks.
After we left Hokitika gorge we back tracked a few K's and continued on to lake Kaniere, a lake surrounded by tree covered mountains. As we traveled we passed more and more dairy farms and the road got narrower and narrower and then became a one lane gravel road. Still having faith, we pushed on and were rewarded with these beautiful views of "Dorothy Falls". That is when we knew for sure we were on the right road. This first picture is from the bridge crossing of all things, Dorothy creek, which emptied into Kaniere lake.
Elder Palanite enjoying the falls.
Notice the little falls at the top of the picture.
Then we walked down the path next to Dorothy creek and came to the lake. While it looks like a bright sunny day, behind us were some heavy clouds.

We came to this beautiful spot where the road became paved and there were finally facilities for us older folks. There weren't any at the gorge.

Happy Birthday Amie

Labor Weekend and Nelson Trip

Action-packed week! Pictures at bottom are of our trip to Nelson with our seminary students. These are of a "Labor Weekend" activity this last Monday. We had forgotten that it was a holiday and showed up for our community service at the library and it was closed. Later we went to teach reading to the bigger boy in this picture and found a Tongan feed going on. It is too late for a candid shot when Tongan's see the camera. They are great. I had my first raw fish that day. That little boy in the bottom left is so cute and ended up in a lot of pictures. Watch for him.
I am going to show you the progress on the little garden. Tomatoes look pretty good from last time.
The men gathered round the cooking fire. No pig today. They really enjoy each others company.
Here are the Sisters enjoying the food and the conversation.
Taufa is on the far right. This is his trampoline and he finally did a complete forward flip this Wednesday when we came for piano lessons.
For the scripture chase the had three teams. President Venables participated on the middle team. They won. President Rob Venables and his wife, Sarah, moved from England 2 years ago for her health. He is an executive with Sealord, a fish packing company. We stayed in their lovely new home that evening. Sarah is from South Africa and is most charming. Their kitchen is equal to any up scale kitchen in the US.
Here are our students waiting for lunch. I guess Pony did not see me with the camera. The Nelson District leaders did a wonderful job with the lunch and then our dinner. They are just wonderful people who also feed the missionaries at zone conference. Because there are so few really talented members they are asked and willing to do far and above the call of duty.
For a couple of hours in the afternoon the kids played games. Our Tongans did not do very well, having never played the games before. During the board race below, they won the biggest laugh maker award. The girls just could not figure out left and right. Pony on the back was so frustrated.
From Left to right, our mission car, Pres. Venables, a good sister who organized the games (sorry we did not get her name), and Brother David Bell, the CES coordinator for the south island.
Potty brake at Merchison, on the way to Nelson. The roads are very windy in a lot places and particularly in the Buller River Gorge. I was following President Kinikini who was in his truck and I thanked him for that "Grand Prix feeling" he provided Sister Hoagland and me. I was glad I was not in the back seat with those kids. They were packed in there like sardines. Pres. & Sis. Kinikini were in the front. We could not take anyone with us (mission rules).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More pictures from Last Week

A week ago last Saturday we were invited to dinner at the Kinikini's after the video conference (general conference). This picture was taken while we waited for dinner to be ready (we served ourselves). Left to right is Tim (Peki) a seminary student, Elder Palanite, Taufa (hidden), Elder Wilson, whom we just learned his transferring to Wellington to be a Zone Leader, Maui, and George, a newly arrived Tongan who is working for Pres. Kinikini. I asked him today how he liked his work and he replied it is too cold here. He has a wife and family in Tonga that he also misses very much.
Here is dinner, with barbecued sausage, and chicken in the dark blue pan, mussels, and potatoes. The white container has a very thick fruit (pineapple, coconut Orange), drink. You chewed it more than you drank it.
Here is Elder Hoagland being dramatic about his first taste of mussels. Very nice!
Above is Sister Paula Carpenter with her scrapbooking talent. We thought Jenni would enjoy this picture. Paula spent considerable time and money on her vacation to Hamilton in pursuit of this hobby. She also enjoyed the temple. She plans to move back there in April.

Had a lot of comments on the flowers from last post so here are a couple of more. The first is a rhododendron flower. They grow to amazing sizes here, from trees to very large shrubs.

Don't know what this flower is but we saw lots of them on this walk around the neighborhood.
Here is a view looking east from the Brunner Mine on the Grey River.
Here is Sister Hoagland looking across the river. She didn't want to walk across the bridge.
I took a walk along some trails on the mine sight and found this water fall.
This is taken from a short walking trail near our flat. Walking is about all the exercises we get and we limit that to fair weather.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Local activity

Here are Bro. Doug Thoms and Sister Hoagland in front of the Clematis at Bro. Thoms home. We went for a visit to give him some moral support as he and his wife are being evicted from their home of 25 years. It is hard for them but in reality it will be much better for them. They have not been able to keep up the house for many years and it not a healthy place for him and his ailments. It is very damp and cold.

On the way back from the Thoms we again stopped at the Brunner coal mine memorial and took some more pictures. Including the bridge, Grey River, and the coke furnaces where they turn coal into coke by taking out the gases and other contaminants from the coal. It makes for a much hotter burning product.

The flowers are from Doug's yard. We took home a bouquet.

We took this picture of Mele when she came to visit her father.

No man can pass a hole in the ground without taking a look inside. They are putting new storm drains in our neighborhood. What a mess.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just pictures

This is the last picture we have of our Grandson Jeremy who had just graduated from boot camp. He is now in Mississippi training in computers.
The little boys are two Tongan brothers.

The valley scene is at the location where we photographed the deer farm. Some more pictures of the dairy, the coast heading for Westport, our zone picture, and the only lighthouse we have photographed so far.

We noticed the gas station sign the first trip to Nelson. I wanted to show the milk truck as milk products are now one of their most important exports. Sheep farmers are switching to dairy as fast as they can. You can see 4 or 5 of these trucks running through Greymouth every hour.