|Catching the last of the sun|
|Deep post dinner discussion|
|Out on the town|
Last week – WWF’s all-staff hui (* A Maori term meaning to congregate, or gather together). The quarterly meeting itself was… well… a meeting. But on the second day of the meeting we visited the Nga Manu Nature Reserve – 13 hectares of protected, preserved land sandwiched in between endless fields of farmland and urban centres. It is home to over 700 different species of native plant including grasses, ferns and 400 year old kahikatea tree. It is also home to over 56 different bird species including kiwi, tuatara, tuis, and fantails that come and go around the wetlands, bush, and surroundings.
|Nga Manu Reserve visitors' centre|
|WWF-NZ team in the kaka bird enclosure|
|A kaka bird (a NZ parrot)|
|Fun educational tools throughout the woods|
|This lake used to be swamp land. After 30 years of protection and responsible management, it's good as gold!|
|checking out the view from the treehouse|
|The WWF-New Zealand crew|
|Beautiful flowers on a pohutukawa tree (one of NZ's best known and most loved trees)|
This past weekend – grey and rainy days; but we still made the most of it. On Saturday, we joined some friends and headed to Petone. Located across the harbour from home, Petone was the first European settlement in the Wellington region. It’s cute shops and cafes are what attract many weekenders looking for some time away from the central city. It’s also home to the beautiful Dowse Gallery. I’d really wanted to check out YIELD: Making Fashion Without Making Waste. International designers from London, New York, Mexico City, Auckland, and San Francisco collaborated to create a zero-waste fashion exhibition (ie. garments that are created with zero or minimal fabric waste). It was quite surprising to learn just how much fabric gets wasted with everyday clothing design and production.Lots of people are starting to explore this idea of sustainable fashion and it seems to be catching on.
|Possibly (nope. definitely) the strangest installation I've ever experienced|
|Thumbs up if you dig this installation (ps - 2nd strangest)|
|A fountain that sources fresh, clean water beneath the valley surface from a local aquifer. The sculpture represents a 'water oasis' and provides access to the free water supply for the town's inhabitants.|
The rest of our time has been spent relaxing, going for bike rides, running along the bay, and booking flights. I can’t believe we’re at that point, already! While I’m starting to get really excited to see everyone back home, meet my new nephew, and pat my canine and feline on the heads, I’m still going to find it difficult to step on that plane in June. Good thing we’ve got one last kick at the can for adventure before we return home!
After some weeks of chatting and organizing, it looks like our travel plans are officially as follows:
NZ – Borneo – Thailand – Cambodia – Vietnam – Laos – Nepal – Tibet – Abu Dhabi - Home.
… If that doesn't help cure the farewell blues then I don’t know what will! In all seriousness, though, I am really going to miss this incredible place. And I am worried that if I blink, I’m going to miss it all.
So what am I doing typing away right now at this blog? I’m off to hit the beach!