kia ora !!
for my last post from NZ, i imagined finding the perfect picture of me and ash from some sun-soaked beach, or on some picturesque cliffside…
but this picture taken by lola a few hours before we left waiheke is more honest.
these past few days, there was so much to do, donate, return, ship…
this is what i have learned about the kiwis. they are understated, but they show up and mean it.
i’ve never thrown a party here – small or large – where the guests did not insist on staying to clean the kitchen. (they also don’t really “insist”, they just start dishing (they also leave dishsoap ON your dishes but that’s a post for another day about weird kiwi customs.)
so, on my final moving days (with trusty michael newly at my side to help with the shift back to america), all my new friends just… showed up. koro and frankie folded clothes. lil and hine watched ash. danika helped sort the car. aura ran ash around the playground. susi did dishes. bianca did multiple trips to the charity shop.
we didn’t make the 4pm ferry, or the 5pm, so we settled on the 7pm, and i took everyone out for pizza. susi said maybe the ferry was 7:15 and i said “ooh YAY” and checked the wrong timetable and susi drove us and we got to the ferry dock at 7:05. bianca and her kids and koro had swung the car around to wave goodbye. but the ferry was at goddamn 7, so we had to wait for the 8, so we decided to go swimming in the freezing water and susi and bianca had towels in their cars because waihekeans always have towels in their cars.
ash was in seventh heaven, hollering gleefully and running around in the dark throwing off his clothes onto the beach, belly full of pizza, splashing in the black salt water full of hyper joy.
i remember being a kid and sensing the magic of the spontaneous human family, feeling this kind of belonging.
so this picture says everything needed about the last two years of being waylaid in this country:
here are the kiwis, holding me, holding my child, making us feel not alone, and doing what kiwis do better than anyone: just getting on with things, with an added drop of subtle yet anarchic joy.
i love you with all my heart, aotearoa, land of the long white cloud.
to all my adopted whānau here –
thank you for everything.
we will be back soon.
he aha te mea nui o te ao? he tangata! he tangata! he tangata!
(and for any of you reading this who are not patrons, i posted a goodbye song from the tarmac of auckalnd. i’ts here;
and i’ll release it to the public someday when i have the energy. for now, i’m going to collapse for a while).
———THE STUFF I SAY AT THE END OF EVERY POST———
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