A small country 
Two events showed the true nature of New Zealand recently. The first was when a certain group of tourists decided to do everything in their power not to fit in. Now, round here, you can get away with dumping rubbish. You can also get away with being a bit obnoxious. And petty thefts, well it happens all the time. But not all together. I'm not sure how they expected to stay under the radar. We only have one national daily newspaper, and they quickly made it to the front page. Every day. They stood out a mile. People were spotting them and tracking their position. Hobbiton went on alert as they drove nearby. I'm told that the same happened when the Rainbow Warrior was sunk. Two Frenchmen behaving oddly? Got to be them. Phone the Herald. You just can't hide round here without a bush survival kit.
And the other event of course was last week. The whole country reacted by pulling together. For a bunch of people they've never met, but an event that challenged to the core of everything we stand for. New Zealand knows how to welcome you. I can't describe the feeling of seeing a bunch of young men giving the haka 110% right in front of you, and knowing that they're doing it in your honour. And they truly are genuine about it. So our pastor decided to organise a prayer night yesterday. All welcome. Really. It was an emotional event. We had all the pastors bring a prayer, and then a representative from a muslim college in Auckland said a few words. He thanked us all, and said it was their duty to visit each of these meetings and then bring the message down to Christchurch. He got a round of applause. There was a bit of a queue to hug him afterwards.

Rach is now settled into university, doing Physics with a smattering of Philosophy and Ethics. She missed out on maths last year, so I'm teaching her the basics of calculus. I'm trying to wean her off her list of formulas, and get her to understand how they were created. She's doing well so far...


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