Monday, January 17, 2011

A new panda in the family.

One thing I have found really amazing about the WWF-New Zealand family is that it is one big smorgasbord of International faces. Our team is currently represented by the UK, kiwis, Sri Lanka, Canada (yours truly), Australia. And now, we are lucky enough to add Germany to the mix. On Saturday we welcomed Annika - a member from the WWF-Germany team - to New Zealand’s panda headquarters. She is joining us for 6 months to work with the marcomm team and help us out with our campaigns. I’m really looking forward to having another fantastic team member in the office! We spent the weekend cruising the city, exploring the sites and getting her settled.

While we were checking out the waterfront on Sunday morning, the lead boat of the Velux Oceans 5 race rolled in to the harbour. The Velux 5 is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race. The leader – Brad Van Liew from the US – had been at sea for more than 30 days straight! He had been living off of dehydrated food, sleeping on the floor, and trying to enjoy the pleasure of his own company without slowly going insane. I can’t imagine what was rushing through his mind when he was greeted by his family and the Wellington welcoming committee.
First place!
An amazing set of sails

On Sunday evening we made our way to the botanic gardens where we celebrated Jen (my colleague)’s birthday by enjoying a fabulous concert under the sunny skies. We set up blankets in the grass and wined and dined ourselves to the beautiful music of Bella Kalolo. She has such an amazing sultry voice.  Melodic and beautiful. It was a fabulous evening under the clear blue skies with great company. A perfect way to end a glorious weekend.

Pete and Annika waiting for the band to start
Opening band. An acoustic trio + bongos. Awesome.
Picnic feast!

Brilliant (and oh-so stylish) cup holders!
Panoramic crowd.
The audience grows.
Jen's homemade birthday cupcakes!
Where has this invention been all of my life?!!!
Now. Back to work.

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