Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Last Days in Auckland

Monday & Tuesday, November 2-3, 2015

Monday: We walked to the office on a fairly sunny day and went over the trip reports with Gary Winters.  We went to lunch and then went back to the hotel to work on them.  We finished it for the most part but still have to decipher which projects we might want to do and rate them according to need and feasibility.  There are not as many in Samoa to have to worry about but there are in Tonga.  So, there is still so much work yet to do.

Tuesday: We got to bed on time and got a full night’s sleep, the first in at least a week.  We leisurely got up and went to the office to meet Gary and Susan who took us to a high spot where we could look out over Auckland from all directions, after which we went to a huge park that was donated by a wealthy man many years ago.  They have the most interesting variety of trees—it is quite magnificent.  We checked out another monument in this beautiful city and then got some lunch.  I am so adverse to cold and wind that I wasn’t so sure I liked it here despite its wonderful attributes; but later we went to a couple of beaches and the sun had come out and it wasn’t so windy and I could enjoy how breathtaking it is here.  They said that there is no place in NZ that is ugly—I believe it. When we return it will be a bit warmer, more like this afternoon.

One of the beautiful beaches in the afternoon, warmer later.    

These trees are on a huge donated piece of land and to me they look like Halloween, sort of craggy.

Sir John Logan Campbell donated a huge parcel of land to NZ.  The trees are there, most beautiful.  This is a monument to him.  We also saw another monument for Michael Joseph Savage, the first Labor Prime Minister in NZ. 

We fly out tomorrow afternoon on November 4th, a Wednesday.  We’ll be in Hong Kong on the 5th on Thursday, but we’ll be home on Wednesday the 4th late in the evening.  A bit of a time difference!  We have been invited back so won’t be home for long before heading back here, this time going to Vanuatu Island and Tanna, part of that island group.  This time we are to help build some simple houses for those who lost their homes in the cyclone last March and to teach others how to build them.  This was a surprise and a different assignment.  I thought it would be a place where we have to rough-it because of the cyclone, but no, both islands have resort housing.  Elder and Sister Leben are the humanitarian couple there.  They are from Germany and arrived a few days before the cyclone hit and have been working at recovery ever since.  This time we will be hot…


Mom & Dad.  See you in a couple of days. 

Some beautiful flowers at the old rock restaurant.

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