Robbie & Gary back together

on August 27, 2010

Just found this amazing new song on Manu's Blog and have to share it with you. Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow who once were part of the best boyband ever - Take That (Gary is again after TT reunited, rumors about Robbie coming back are still circling) - are back together. Here's their new song SHAME... hope you enjoy it =d

Who says you can't go swimming in the winter?

on August 23, 2010


Last weekend was another great adventure with "my girls" - Vicky, Gritje and Raissa. Vicky and I started the weekend on Friday after work when we just wanted to go to town to have a hot chocolate. Who would have thought we wouldn't get home from that hot chocolate until after midnight?

I really wanted to go to the Irish Pub in town, McMorrissey's. I love Irish pubs, my last Guinness was a while ago and since Vicky was driving - why not enjoy one? And guess what - we actually ran into Aaron, the couchsurfer we went to the Whangarei Night Markets with last weekend, and his wife Morgan and a few of his friends. One of the guys was celebrating his birthday so Vicky and I spontaneously sang Zum Geburtstag viel Glück - the German version of Happy Birthday.

Went to an Indian restaurant afterwards and after saying goodbye to some of them five of us headed on to the Butter Factory - another pub I had heard of many times but haven't been to yet. Really loved the place! It's very rustic with comfortable sofas, tons of wine bottles along the wall, nice music and a campfire for those who want to sit outside during the cold days.


Vicky and I with birthday kid Sean (right) - who invited us to dinner at his place maybe this week - his flatmate Tom (left) and Jackie, who's lived in Germany the first few years of her life and still remembers bits and pieces. We're going to have a German Food Night at her place some time soon!!!

On Saturday the weather was so gorgeous that Vicky, Gritje and I decided to go to the beach. Raissa had to work and was supposed to meet us afterwards. So the three of us headed out to Tutukaka Coast and ended up on Matapouri Bay. There are soooo many beautiful beaches along the East coast of the Northland it's so hard to chose from. And now that the sun was shining it felt like heaven on earth... And even though the water was still pretty cold Gritje - who was clever enough to have taken her swimsuit - and I - sacrificing my underwear - went for a swim =D Vicky was happy enough taking pictures of us crazy girls and taking a sunbath.


The dark side to this wonderful day - I got bitten by sandflies again. I couldn't feel them biting me but the bites now are worse than those of mosquitos. A big area around it is hard, swollen and looks even bruised ;-/ Bought some insect repellent today so hopefully next time I'll be alright.

After a night at our "favorite" club danger danger - which closes at 3am!!! - we slept in on Sunday and went off to the beaches again. It was a lot colder today, so no swimming. Instead we found a few great walk ways, did heaps of funny pictures...


... and watched the sun set over the mountain tops.


You'll find heaps more pictures of our weekend trips on Facebook just by following this link.

Ko Mara tōku ingoa

When I first signed up for Māori classes it was mostly because I wanted something to do when I hadn't met any people yet and because I thought it would be an interesting way to learn a bit more about New Zealand and especially its native people. I never would have thought it would be THAT much fun =D

Even though I am the youngest the group is awesome! And Jason, our teacher, really knows how to make lessons worthwile. After having learnt more phrases today we did a few games to memorize each others' names and the new vocabulary and sentence structure. We've been laughing our heads off doing so =D

Here are a few more things I can now say...

Tēnā koe. Ko wai tō ingoa? Ko Mara tōku ingoa. Nō hea koe? Nō Tiamana ahau. E pēhea ana koe? E tino ngenge ana ahau. Nō reira - ka kite anō.

And here's the whakapākehatia - the translation into English:

Hello. What's your name? My name is Mara. Where are you from? I'm from Germany. How are you? I am very tired. Therefore - byebye.

Making Königsberger Klopse

on August 18, 2010

German cooking is rather easy. You have a piece of meat, potatoes/noodles/rice and some veggies. There aren't that many special dishes - at least I can't normally think of that many. However, there is one that I really like. It's called Königsberger Klopse - basically cooked meatballs with (mashed) potatoes or rice and a special sauce.

I've never made it myself nor really watched my mom do it. But since I'd like to introduce my host family to some German dishes that are common in my area (near Leipzig) I looked up a recipe today and just went for it.

Here's how it looked like once it was done:


Everybody really liked it even the kids - Lukas didn't like the sauce but ate his meatballs and Eliza even liked the sauce :-) She's actually enjoying German food =D

If you want to try it here's how to prepare it...

Ingredients

minced beef
2 eggs
breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
2 onions

beef stock powder
mustard
all spice
3 bay leaves

butter
flour
cream
capers and caper juice - we didn't have any so I did it without
grated lemon skin and lemon juice
sugar

parsley

Instructions

- mix the minced beef with the eggs (depending on how much meat you have use more or less eggs), 1 chopped onion, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper

- make meatballs in the size you like

- put water in a pot and add beef stock powder, mustard, all spice and some bay leaves (the amount of each deoends on how much meat you have) and add one whole onion for the taste

- boil the meatballs until ready

- in another pot melt some butter - then add flour for the sauce base

- add boiling water from the meatballs and cream until you have a smooth sauce

- add capers and caper juice, grated lemon skin and lemon juice, salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar according to your desired taste

- boil for another 5 to 10 minutes

Serving

Serve the meatballs with the sauce you just made and either salt or mashed potatoes or rice and some veggies. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did =D

A weekend in town

on August 16, 2010

So much has happened since Friday and I haven't been online during the weekend so that I have to divide this post into lots of little subposts to let you know what's been going on.

Picking up cows and calves


Friday morning I joined Duncan and Philip looking for the newborn calves. Well, to be honest, I was mostly there for the experience and to take some pictures trying not to stand in the way *lol* But it really was an experience - we found three calves that morning and they were such cute little things!

This one was my favorite:


Black and white - though more white and black, and one of the purest whites I have ever seen! Unfortunately this little one is a bobby - a male calf. That means we're not keeping it but instead it is being sent off to McDonald's when only a few days old :-(

Another calf had left the paddock and stumbled down the hill to seek shelter from the wind between the trees. Took us a while to find it while its mother was mooing all the time looking for the little one. Duncan finally found it but couldn't get it to walk back up the hill. In the end Philip had to carry it all the way up.


Once we had separated the calves from their mothers - which didn't take that long because they would suddenly lose interest in them - we put the little ones in the shed where they'll be fed once or twice a day now. I saw the cutest calf ever - a heafer, meaning it's a girl and we mostly keep them - and Philip said I could name it. I decided to go for Ruby. It's brown but has a light red touch to it. It's number 115 and next time I'm out there I'll show you a picture of "my" little one :-)

There are a lot more pictures of the farm on Facebook for you to see...

Having a sleepover

Friday night I went to Vicky's place where I would spend the weekend with her and Gritje, one of the other au pairs in the area. Vicky's family is from the UK. They moved here about three years ago but the kids (the girl is 12, the boy 10) still haven't settled in. So they are planning on going back to England. The mother just left shortly after Vicky's arrival to get settled there. Before going to bed we all hopped into the hot spa even though it was raining outside. What a nice way to end a work week :-)

Go shopping and Party all night!

Friday we went to the Whangarei night markets at the Old Library on Rust Avenue. It's a cutte little flea market with lots of jewelry stalls, they have hand crafted beanies, bags, lots of art work, paintings and much more. It's a "cold coin" to get in, one dollar, and you can browse and buy. There's also food there.

Vicky and I both bought new bags and we talked to guy into a discount. I got this one for 25 bucks instead of 35 =D Thanks mom for teaching me how to bargain! I bet you would even have gotten a bigger discount...


After the night markets - where I finally met Aaron again, one of the couchsurfers in town, and his wife - we all went to a pub in town and played some jenga. I don't really like that game it makes me really anxious and overly excited because I don't want to lose but then my fingers are always shaking when I try to get the next piece out and put it on top of the tower.

Vicky had the best idea - she suggested I should have a piece of chocolate and it really did help! All the sudden I was very calm and even though we had already built the jenga tower up to row 30 I managed to pick out one more piece and put it on top succesfully. Morgan, Aaron's wife, was finally the unlucky one to take the whole thing down. What a blast =D

Saturday was shopping day. After a long sleep and a yummy breakfast we went into town. Mostly because Gritje was trying to find some presents for her friends and family. Which of course she didn't - instead Vicky and I made some good buys. I got some new sunglasses because my old ones were broken AND I found some soccer shoes - for only 15 dollars (that's about 7 Euros!!!). Wouldn't be long until I had to use them...

Later on one of Vicky's soccer girls came to join us and we all got ready to party.


There are not that many clubs in town but we managed to go to three. We started with Danger Danger, but even though we got there after 11pm (clubs here close around 2 or 3am) there was barely anybody there. It got a little better after a game of pool and we finally rocked the dance floor =D The music varied a lot, the DJ played anything from techno/house to black, hip hop and soul.

I think there were never more than 20 people dancing but we still had lots of fun. You could go up to the DJ, ask him to play a song and he'd do it. The only annoying thing was a maybe 40 year old bold guy who kept talking to me from behind while I was dancing and just didn't get the message to p*** off.

Came back to Vicky's place around 3am and only had a short night because Vicky, Abbie and I were going to do some sports the next morning...

Found myself a soccer team!

Vicky has been playing soccer for years and because her host dad is the men's coach at Tikipunga he had her join the women's team. They had a game on Sunday but were one player short so she asked me whether I'd like to join them. OF COURSE I SAID YES!!! I've been longing to play for weeks...

So my new soccer shoes were put to good use already - and they are really great considering they cost me barely anything...

We had to go up north to Kerikeri to play. Unfortunately even though I was playing we were still one player short because over night two other girls had dropped out. So it was just ten players while Kerikeri had even two substitutes. I thought we would get trashed...

BUT we didn't! In fact we did a very good job and even controlled most of the first half. It was so good to see how the girls were interacting, talking to each other and running for one another. All that was missing was a little bit of luck on our side. We had a few really good shots but the ball just didn't want to go into the net ;-(

Kerikeri was luckier and they scored just before half-time. Our keeper so far was amazing but at that point she had no chance. So we were behind.

By the time the first half was over I was completely wasted. Playing for TuB Leipzig in Germany is different. We played on a smaller field, one goalie and seven on the field each half lasting just 30mins. Having exercise-induced asthma I usually played 15mins each half - longer than that and I'd have to use my puffer.

Sunday, however, I played 45mins on the big field. Had to use the puffer twice but I think my coach would have been sooo proud of me. Still couldn't do any more so Cathy, our goalie, and I switched places and for the next 45mins I was Tikipungas goalkeeper. Never played that position before during a game so you can imagine how nervous I was.

Yet I do think I did a very good job. Luckily our team didn't let Kerikeri come towards our goal too often - but they did get a few nice shots. Still I was able to keep them from being successful :-)

In the end though you could tell our power was fading, as was concentration. We were pushed into our own side more and more often and eventually Kerikeri did score another one. We lost 0:2 - but had nothing to be ashamed off. Considering the circumstances we could be very proud of ourselves. We would have deserved at least a goal or two ourselves but that's soccer - you can have as many chances as you wish - if you don't score, you lose...

The challenging life of an aupair

on August 10, 2010

I've now been to New Zealand for almost a month and would think of myself I have settled in well. The hardest thing to adjust to has been the getting up early in the morning - 6.30am day after day - and the spiders. There are heaps here and I don't think there has been a single day where I've not seen or killed one. I know they aren't dangerous. But compared to Germany these things are HUGE!

Philip actually found one in the house a few weeks ago that he now keeps as a pet spider. There's plenty of food for this monster as I seem to attract spiders like a magnet. I don't want to kill them and only do so if I really have to. When Philip's around I just call him and he takes them either outside or feeds them to his "pet". Last time I just put a glass on top of the spider and waited for him to take it away. I would say that is a good agreement.

As I said - I don't want to kill them. But my room is kinda like a spider haven. When they "enter" the house via the hallway they always keep to the wall and just crawl along the floor. Too bad my room is the first one to come so they simply turn right and make themselves at home *grrrrrr* Did I mention I suffer from arachnophobia? It's a miracle I don't scream every time I see one of them...

But enough talk of that. Another challenging thing of course are - or can be - the kids. I have been working in summer holiday camps for kids seven years in a row. And trust me, I've had my share of complicated, naughty, bad behaving kids. I've also had lots of wonderful experiences - otherwise I wouldn't be doing this job right now. But no matter if kids are good or bad, it is different whether you can give them back to their parents after a week or two or whether you're "stuck" with them in good times AND in bad.

Most of the time Lukas, Eliza and I do get along very well. It doesn't take much to make them happy. Just a little bit of creativity and imagination. Lukas, for instance, was thrilled when I took him on a dinosaur hunt the other day. I simply hid all his dinosaurs in the lounge and sent him off to find them. He's also more than happy searching the kitchen for any utensils that might help him make some pancakes or waffles. Once again, it's all about imagination.

Eliza is happy when you copy a dolphin out of a book for her. Or color in a picture with her. Or make a little tablecloth with a sheet of paper and some scissors. Reading stories is always a big hit with both of them - and the most exciting thing is the big trampolin at aunt Louise's place. Jumping on it with five kids surely is an adventure ;-)

However, as always in life, there are the few times when things don't go as smooth as you'd wish them to. Especially Lukas, being only four years old, gets the weirdest ideas. The other day he actually put broccoli in his ear - it was amazing how much Pia got out!

Today I "survived" the first major fit that he threw around me. It was all about not wanting to go home but yet wanting to have something to eat. In only a few seconds that little boy was up to 180 - or more. Screaming, yelling, whining, crying, tearing at my clothes. Talking was impossible. In the end I had to put him outside for a time out and make sure he stayed there until he had calmed down.

I did feel a litte helpless and was glad that first of all Louise was around and confirmed my action and that second I have had enough time in the past few weeks to watch Pia and Philip solve the situation when Lukas was having his tantrums. Fortunately that doesn't happen too often.

Later on Lukas apologized, asked me to be his friend again (on Pia's suggestion - thanks a lot for helping me!) and I even got a kiss on the cheek. Everything's forgotten now. I wish everything in life was that simple ;-)

E pēhea ana koe?

on August 09, 2010

As part of the experience of being in New Zealand I thought it would be a great idea to learn a bit more about the country's native people, the Māori. And what better way is there to learn something about a different people than learning its language? So I enrolled for the class Te Reo Māori - Māori for Beginners - at the Community Education Whangarei (CEW).

It's kind of like the Volkshochschule in Germany. For the next couple week Jason will teach me and the ten other "students" the basics of Māori language, how words are pronounced, sentences structured, we'll get some basic vocabulary and will also learn about the Māori culture and their beliefs.

The class started last Monday but I was so sick that I only made it half way through before having to head back home with a terribly upset stomach. This week was a lot better so I could actually concentrate and take it all in.

The Māori language is not comparable to any language I've ever heard or spoken before. The alphabet is quite similar to ours with a few exceptions. "wh" is pronounced like "f" - but the "f" doesnt't exist. If you put a line above any vowel it means you have to stretch that vowel while speaking. Then you have some letters that are simply swallowed when saying a word.

I think three of us tried to ask Jason today whether by looking at a word you instantly know how to pronounce it - like in Spanish for instance. He said you probably could, but it takes a long time, until you understand the structure of the language and get some practice.

One of the most important things we learnt today is to ask someone how they feel.

E pēhea ana koe? would be the question for that - but only if you just ask one person. If you want to ask a couple (or two people in general) you'd have to say E pēhea ana kourua? and if it's three or more people you're adressing you ask E pēhea ana koutou?. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Here's a few possible answers to that question:

E pai ana ahau - I feel good
E ngenge ana ahau - I feel tired
E māuiui ana ahau - I feel sick

Also very important:

E hiawai ana ahau - I am thirsty ("hia" meaning "I want" and "wai" being "water)
E hiakai ana ahau - I am hungry ("hia" meaning "I want" and "kai" being "food")

And my favorite Māori word of today's lesson:

katakata - laugh

Oh, and I almost forgot this one - for all the German people reading this:

oma is also a Māori word and means "to run" - grandma would like that =D

With this I'm going to end this post, but not without saying:

Mā te wā - Goodbye for now :-)

Natural hot pools at Ngawha Springs

on August 08, 2010

After having been sick and spent most of the day in bed or lying on the couch I was getting a little restless and longing to do something again. But the weather wasn't quite in my favor. It was raining so bad on Saturday that I didn't really feel like going anywhere. Just wanted to cuddle up in front of the fire...

Luckily on Sunday it did look a little better. Still not a day to go out and explore so I decided to treat myself to a day in town and went to the movies. Finally saw the latest "Twilight" movie and THANK WHOEVER it was a lot better than part 2. Now I'm looking forward to the last part because the book was soooooo bad I have no idea how they are going to make that into a fairly decent movie...

Anyway... after that I went to Raissa's place. She's the girl that used to work as an aupair for another family and liked it so much that she decided to stay a little longer, bought a car, found herself a job at Subway and is now enjoying the Kiwi life :-) Met her last weekend when we all went to watch Philip's rugby team win the finals.

Raissa, two other German aupairs from the area and I were going to Ngawha Springs (pronounced "Nafa") tonight - some natural hot pools that the Maoris really like and that are supposed to be good for skin and soul.

To get there you have to follow State Highway Number 1 (it is THE main highway in New Zealand) up north in direction of Cape Reinga, pass Kawakawa - where they have a cool Hundertwasser toilet right next to the road - and eventually you have to turn left. I think there were enough signs pointing you to Ngawha Springs so you shouldn't miss it. From Whangarei the drive takes approx. 1.25 hours I'd say because from our place it takes about 40mins.

There's plenty of parking spots by the springs, which are called "Healing Waters" and it's quite funny because even the mud puddles in the parking are making bubbles. The entrance fee to the Springs is $4 for adults and I think it was $2 or $3 for children. The pools are open daily from 9am to 9pm and once you're in you can stay as long as you want.

There are eight different pools named "Doctor", "Favorite", "Bulldog" and more. Every pool has a different temperature and the temperatures also vary from day to day. Usually there is a sign by the entrance telling you how hot each pool is. Some can be 45 degrees celcius and hotter so make sure you don't just jump in (they are also not very deep)!

Once you've found the perfect pool for you just sit down on the wooden boards and relax :-) We ended up in a pool with three guys from Israel and a Maori. Had lots of fun talking, watching the stars, counting falling stars and making wishes.

I found this article about Ngawha Springs which actually dates back to 1937!!! It was published in the New Zealand Railway Magazine and tells you all about the pools, their healing powers and what significance they have to the Maori.

A few more things to keep in mind:

1. There are no showers and only basic changing facilities.

2. There are no lockers so what you bring inside you have to carry around and watch it! We "lost" a towel which probably someone took by accident.

3. The stinky smell of rotten eggs that comes from all the sulphur can take a while to get used to. Worse is, however, that it stays in your clothes for days and days - probably even forever in your swim suit so don't wear your favorites!

4. There is no food court so make sure you bring your own stuff, especially drinking water.

5. Don't wear any jewelry! It will turn black from the sulphur, expecially if it's silver.

Oh, by the way... Raissa's former host family has the cutest puppies ever!!! I would have loved to take one and they are still looking for a new home for two of the little ones, just ten weeks old. But Philip doesn't quite like puppies so I'll just have to back there and cuddle them a little more.

Maerchen is news!

on August 07, 2010

As a journalist you are used to reading your name in the newspaper or online - depending on where you work - regularly. However, I am currently not working in that profession so I was quite surprised when a friend told me last night that there was a story about me in the local paper back home.

Of course I knew it could only have been done by my former colleague and now dear friend Didi. He'd come to the train station in Leipzig on the day of my departure and not only had bid me farewell but had also taken a few shots of me and my family saying goodbye.

Claudia just sent me the small article via email and I will not hide it from you. There are a few minor mistakes in there for those who understand enough German and wonder why Whangarei is suddenly in Auckland ;-) But it is a nice gesture and just reading the article brings back a lot of memories from the time I myself used to write for that newspaper. Hope you enjoy it :-)

African adventures at the Zion Wildlife Gardens

on August 06, 2010


Last weekend, before I started getting really sick, I took Lukas and Eliza to the Zion Wildlife Gardens about 20 minutes north of Whangarei.

The park-like "sanctuary" is home to a huge variety of the world's rarest big cats like Barbary and white lions, Bengal tigers and much more. The aim of the gardens is to preserve endangered species - some of these are already extinct in the wilderness.

The only way to get into the Gardens is by booking one of the tours that are available daily (all prices given in New Zealand dollars):

General Guided Tours: Walk through the gardens and meet all the sanctuaries wildlife. Duration: 60mins. Cost: $60 per adult, $30 per child (aged 2 to 12), under 2yrs free. Maximum of 16 people.

That's the one we booked. However, we were lucky to go there on a half price weekend so check the website regularly for discounts and more! The tour lasted almost two hours and our guide told us a lot of interesting stuff about the animals, where they're from, what they usually feed on... For young kids most of this stuff is rather boring I'd say they just want to look at the animals. But you could ask all kinds of questions and the guy wsa happy to answer them all.

He even got to give them all a little scratch which they really enjoyed. I would have been too by the way... But no luck - safety reasons... So I thought I would be happy by just taking pictures. However, unfortunately all the animals are behind fences so when you try to focus it usually focusses on the fence and not on the animal ;-( So I only got a few half-decent shots...


My opinion: The wildlife gardens are worth a visit - but the price they ask for is quite high. If you wanted to go there with your family thinking 2 kids and 2 parents you'd have to pay $180 in total - that's probably about 100 Euros!!! And just for an hour - you can't go walking around on your own... Of course they need money to keep the place running but so do zoos and they have a much larger variety of animals and if you're into photography better options for picturetaking.

Only do it if you're really into wildlife, want to learn lots of things that you'd never hear about in a zoo - after all our guide has been working in Tansania and other places so he was full of interesting bits and pieces. But don't expect too much, just enjoy watching the cats while you can.

Here are other - even more expensive - tours that might be worth considering (text is taken from website on August 1, 2010)...

The Works Tour: You will be greeted by Ash one of our experienced big cat handlers. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the park, and watch him hand feed the once wild cheetahs Kenya and Thabo, give Kahli the tigress her much loved bottle of milk. Be awed at the strength and height of Tygo, as he stretches full length on his hind legs. Take the opportunity to feed our gorgeous big cats their appetiser with tongs, before watching them enjoy the main course on the second part of this tour. Duration: 2 hours. Cost: $100 per adult, $40 per child (aged 2 to 12).

Cheetah Chat Experience: Have you always wanted to get up close and personal with our beautiful cheetahs Kenya and Thabo? Well, now you can! Enjoy a group guided tour of Zion Wildlife Gardens with the additional bonus of spending 15mins interacting with these two very special cats. Enter the enclosure with our big cat handlers and have the opportunity to feed these gorgeous furry spotted friends. Cost: $175 per person (at least 12yrs)

Cub Encounters: When lion or tiger cubs are available everyone gets the opportunity for a private hands-on cub encounter during this tour. This guided journey through the wildlife gardens includes all the wildlife as in the Guided Tour plus a very special opportunity to interact with our latest cubs. Duration: 80mins. Cost: $200 per adult, $50 per child (aged 2 to 12).

Tiger Walk (only in the brochure): Just imagine walking through the sanctuary with a tiger within arms length. Cost: $650 for up to two people, $200 per extra person.

Big Cat Tour (only in the brochure): Meet and pat one of the big cats. Duration: 90mins. Cost: $250 per adult (at least 16yrs).

Young Adult Big Cat Encounter (only in the brochure): A full guided tour fpr up to six people when young lion or tiger cats are available. Duration: 80mins, includes 20mins with young adult tiger/lion. Cost: $200 per person (at least 12yrs).

Behind The Scenes: Have you always wanted to meet the Zion Team and their bevy of beautiful cats? Well, now you can get even closer to the big cats and the amazing staff behind Zion Wildlife Gardens! With Behind the Scenes Experience you will spend a day interacting with the Zion staff and big cats. But don't think you'll be standing back taking photos - oh no! You'll be too busy helping Dennis as he takes guided tours around the park, accompanying Ash as he drives the quad bike through the Gardens to feed the hungry cats and watching the staff interacting and spending time with their favourite furry friends! And as a special bonus you will get to spend time with our male and female cheetahs and share morning tea with them. Find out how the professionals go about cleaning the enclosures, share stories and enjoy lunch with some of the Zion team and much much much more - at the end of your Behind the Scenes Experience, you'll know just what it's like to be a big cat handler! Cost: $850 per adult (at least 16yrs), $1500 per couple.

Standard tour times are 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30 pm. You need to pre-book, but I've seen people just turn up and still make it onto a tour. Call (09) 435 0110. It's on Gray Road in Kamo/Whangarei.

More pictures on Facebook...

What a nasty little bug(ger)

on August 04, 2010

Yes, I'm still alive. Though the last days it didn't quite feel like that. The reason why it's been a little quiet around here since the weekend is not hat nothing happened. Life never sleeps at the farm. But I've not been feeling too well and at time couldn't even be bothered to turn on the computer.

It all started with a sore throat last Friday. Eliza had been coughing for days and when I took her to the doctor I noticed my throat was bugging me a little as well. It got worse during the weekend, but was still bearable. I did take the kids to the Wildlife Gardens where we saw lots of different lions and tigers. They even have the big lion there that played Aslan in the first Narnia-movie!!! Pictures will follow...

Anyway, Sunday night was the worst. It felt like there were hundreds of razor blades stuck in my throat, I couldn't swallow anymore because of the pain, my nose was completely blocked and I don't know why all these people had to hammer around in my head. It was awful. When Lukas woke up next door sometime after midnight crying "I've had enough" I soooooo understood him.

I think I finally fell asleep around 2.30am at least that was when I last checked my watch. We took Lukas to the doctor on Monday and I got some cold/flu medicine as well. Felt a little better - until Monday night. I was supposed to go to my first Maori class and was debating til the very end whether I just risk going or not. But it was the first class and you just don't want to miss that one. So I went.

Told Jason, who was running the class, I might be leaving earlier - not because the stuff he talked about was boring but because I didn't feel too good. Well, I was fine for the first part. Until we all had to stand up in a circle and do a few exercises that obviously are used in greeting ceremonys at the Marae - the Maoris' meeting place. After that I starting feeling so sick that I threw up - and went straight back home.

Surely this must have been the turning point for the better, I thought. And indeed I feld a lot better yesterday. Could even eat solid food again. Until this morning. As soon as I woke up I had this awful feeling in my stomach something might happen sooner or later. So Pia took me to the doctor. After all it's been almost a week now so the cold should be gone. Diagnosis: sinusitis AND bronchitis. You know I don't do things only half way. Gotta have the full programm ;-/

So now I'm on antibiotics and after another horrible day of puking and feeling miserable I am slowly recovering. Please let this be the end of that nasty little bug(ger)! I've had enough of being sick. And I've had enough of the constant rain. Can the sun please come back for at least a day or two???

P.S.: Funny coincidence happened at the doctor's today. The guy who saw me was American - and until a few years ago he actually lived in Quincy, Illinois! Where I've spent a year as an exchange student back in 1998/99. He might even know my host family at least he said the name sounds familiar. Isn't that somthing?