Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 408-414: excerpts from my journals from NZ.

There is so much that’s needs to be known… but not much that can be said. I am in new Zealand as of early this morning. And I’m not so jetlagged as I am confused. I lost a day while traveling because New Zealand is 22 hours ahead of Hawaii. Its Sunday afternoon here and I really only have 5 days to tell you about last Monday through Friday cuz I never lived Saturday and Sunday isn’t done… I feel like I was ripped off.

The Hawaiian/ Maori name of New Zealand is Aotearoa [ao teh ah do a]. which means the land of the long white cloud. Being here has been so spiritual. After being picked up today at the airport we drove around parts of north island and then went to breakfast and ended up heading to our hosts house and had some protocol. All Polynesian protocol and is very similar. Most require a chant exchange. In Hawaii the visitor chants first to ask for permission to enter but in Aotearoa the host calls out to the visitor first. Basically the visitors will stand outside facing the marae (meating place) and the hosts will stand in a line in front of the marae facing the visitors. Then The elder female of the host group calls out to the visitors in chant and the visitors then chant while entering the marae. Once inside the male elder will speak a welcome to the group and then the hosts sing following that the male elder of the visiting group will do the same. This exchange can go on for hours. Even days. Gifts are exchanged and you know the protocol is finished when you’ve gone around the circle to hongi everyone. Hongi is kind of like a kiss. Two people will press there noses together and inhale. Polynesians believe that your mana (spiritual power) is in your breath and so the hongi is an exchange of that power. it’s a beautiful process.
There are four Hale (houses) here. but none of the houses have kitchens. There is a separate building the marae that is separated into a meeting house and an eating house. The family (most of which isn’t blood related) eats every meal together. And the foood is sooooo good. Today was completely vegetarian.. and I’ve never been this happy without meat in my life! That’s a serious statement right there. This is the kind of place were a family flourishes. When a group of people make a common place a priority and a culture a priority that’s when a group can flourish. That’s when we all can grow. i would like to learn to grow that way.
Its hard not to believe in the beautiful of the universe while you are here. its so beautiful. In spirit and physically. When I get home I will upload pictures.. but the beauty is undeniable. Its also been really good for my Hawaiian to be here. I’ve been speaking to my father in Hawaiian since landing here. it just started coming out and it seem to come much more smooth than it has in a while. Theres something so powerful about this place plus the maori language/culture/myths are all very similar. We spent most of the afternoon speaking to each other in our own languages just trying to understand each other and sharing myths and connecting our histories. I don’t ever want to leave.

today im very much focused holistically and how groups communicate and move forward as a unit. I never imagined I would feel this strongly connected to a place other than my home and I definitely never thought I would feel soo connected to a group of people who were not my blood. But you all are my family, my home away from home, my love, my spirit. The reason I evolve. The reason I am beautiful.

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