Final thoughts on NZ, and re-entry

January 16, 2006 – Part 2

  • “I don’t wanna see no more waterfalls, no more sheep, and no more bays!” (Diane in a NYC accent after 8 hours of kayaking).
  • “Exactly how does this work? Do you have flares? What are the mortality statistics for this adventure sport?” (Christine, before every adventure activity).
  • Hokey pokey flavored ice cream! And lethal-smelling tevas.
  • Pupu Springs, the Pipi Patch, and Tekaka Springs, Tekaka Road, Tekaka Falls, Tekaka Drive, Tekaka Hill, Tekaka Valley, Tekaka Mountain………
  • Was that 25 hours we spent in the car? On which side of the road?
  • Any negative insinuation about Kiwis duly rescinded! Any impressions of them as sterile and boring transformed into virtuous when I began to notice all of the monuments, memorials and testimonials in various parks and churches honoring such great virtues as bravery and heroism. They are a heroic lot indeed and just happen to combine that with a peaceableness that enables them to utter “cheers mate, no worrries” with sincerity.The contrast to Americans was very clear today when I returned to LAX (which likely embodies the worst extremes of our country), where I was confronted with a grumpy, self-seeking, depleted lot of folk. Plus, the bathrooms are a lot dirtier here.
  • Another bummer on re-entry: a happy, smiling framed photo of none other than yours truly as we walked into the terminal. Sigh…I’d spent five weeks of bliss having forgotten about him.

And with all the logistics and transfers I’ve done over the past 5 weeks (drumroll please: SFO to Lima to Cusco to Lima to Santiago to Buenos Aires to Santiago to Valparaiso to Santiago to Auckland to Queenstown to Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau to Queenstown to Arrowtown to Nelson to Pohara to Abel Tasman to Nelson to Picton to Wellington to Auckland to Waitomo to Auckland to KeriKeri to Auckland to LAX to SFO) — yes, with ALL of these potentials for mishaps, the ONLY glitch was right here, back home in SFO when our beloved TSA had to detonate some sort of bag before we could enter the gate.

An ignominous end to a fabulous, blessed, refreshing trip…may 2006 be different because of it! God is GOOD. Looking forward to His work in 2006!