Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Week in the Dark

We have just celebrated a week of dark-time activities.   No, not handcuffs and bedroom antics!  I'm talking Eco-Stuff under the stars!  It was Mike's birthday on Wednesday, so we celebrated by going to Waihi for a meal at an Indian restaurant - gorgeous decor!  The funny thing was that I had made Mike a card, and as is our tradition, a poem.  The poem was a dedication to My Taj Mahal, aka Mike.  The restaurant had a giant framed picture of the Taj Mahal!  What a great co-incidence!  We'd never been there before!

On the way to the restaurant, we discovered a community garden in a vacant lot in Waihi. Great to think of all these collective community-spirited growing projects!  After dinner, we drove to Te Aroha, a good 40 mins away, to take part in a walk up Mount Aroha to see the glow-worms from 8-9pm.  Or Titiwai, in Maori.  It was a freezing cold night and we were rugged up for the night-time chill.  Despite my huffing and puffing, fit to blow down a house made of sticks and straw, I made it up the track to view the titiwai.  There was a quaint little shrine in the bush, origin unknown, with a tap and small pool.  Apparently, honeymooners make the pilgrimage to dip their rings in the water for good luck.  At times, one becomes a little disorientated in the dark, looking up, one sees pin pricks of star light, and then looking down, the bush is filled with pinpoints of light, not unlike the stars in the night skies!  
Waihi Community Food Garden
Vacant lot with community garden installation in Waihi (and a new meaning to taking a Selfie)
Earth Hour is an international event, to raise awareness of Climate Change.  So we organised ours in the Kati KaiWay reserve last night (Saturday 29 March), between 8.30 -9.30 pm.  Earth Hour encourages people to turn off their lights, their televisions and laptops, and head to a designated meeting point.  The reduction of power worldwide is quite substantial.  Last year, we had about 20 adults and 15 children attend our event.  This year we doubled that, and then some, with about 60 adults and 25 children.  We have a hamper of donated organic goods from Ceres Enterprises, which we are raffling off, with the proceeds going to impoverished communities or projects coping with Climate Change issues.  I think we may choose the Lampadusa Turtle Project as this is a cause near and dear to our hearts at kindergarten. 
The Wednesday Birthday guy surveying Earth Hour activities
Our entertainment included the Ukati's, a ukulele band to croon the crowd under the stars.  The Kati KaiWay (pronounced Kie, like pie and meaning food in Maori) has a amphitheater-like bowl to increase the acoustics naturally.

Rex, Henk and Cushla
We also had a duo of Fire Poi dancers, Kal and her 10 yr old son, Cyrus.  Their upbeat music and great dance performance added a very risque, exotic accent to the night.  Cyrus has been doing fire poi since he was 6, he proudly told me, and dancing in the KaiWay under the stars, in front of an audience was a "dream come true" for him. 

Kal doing her saxy fire thang.

Mum and son wowing the crowds.

Fire-dancing captured on film creates a wonderful patina of light

Cyrus and Kal weaving a little light magic
Mmmn, we certainly have begun a hectic and eventful social life for ourselves.  There has been little time to feel how empty our nest is, after our daughter left home in March.  Methinks we'd better start planning some tropical holiday for a mid-winter break.......right, hand me that South Pacific Breaks brochure................

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