Hi family and friends,
The girls started school 2 days ago at the Raglan Area School and so far, so good. They were a bit nervous but now state that their days are “good, very good” and ” I don’t like it, I love it.” Cool. It is a public school, grades k-12 and with 450 kids, quite small. There is a large Maori population and a part of the school is devoted to Maori culture and language. They opened the term with an assembly that included some prayers in Maori. Although their Spanish is not used in school here, I think being immersed in a foreign language in NM has helped ease the transition here, new accent, some new language, new routines. The school has several playgrounds, lots of access to the nearby bush (forest) and water in the estuary and and incredible view of the ocean. The kids all get a break for “morning tea” and lunch..outside several times a day. I love that. I don’t have a picture of the view, but here is a link to a video about how the school is one of NZ’s “enviroschools”. http://tvnz.co.nz/meet-the-locals/2008-episode-94-video-1898249. You can see some of the school grounds. I feel lucky, again, for all of us to have this experience.
Dan is settling into work and after some initial gasps at the inefficiency has learned where some of it comes from, is enjoying working with the ED residents and says that everyone is so nice. There also seems to be a higher acuity/illness of patients (fewer who don’t have primary care or a seeking narcotics) and lots of procedures. He had Monday off, and we went for a hike in a local reserve, with labeled trees which is great for me as they are all different. Hiked along a stream, up a ridge, across a cow field and onto a great view of a local surfing beach. It was gorgeous. Then we had a picnic on the beach near our house before picking the kids up at school-can’t complain.
For our biking friends, there is a mountain bike race here in its 4th year and growing all the time called the Karioi classic-50 Km around Mt. Karioi. Our friend John rode along with a few hundred other folks. There are some professional and serious racers and some locals who hop on what ever bike they have and just do it. One of the local people rides the whole thing on a single speed bike. I notice that the “gear” here is not so important. People seem to ride/walk/hike/run/live with what they have and not need the latest or greatest. I am awed and inspired and humbled by that. So if anyone wants to try out it next year, keep it in mind.
I haven’t taken any photos recently-probably a shame b/c the last two days have been sunny and glorious, as my friend says. Soon.
Much love to all of you!