Day 373-375: Karamea, New Zealand

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
February 4th 2010
Published: February 5th 2010
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 Video Playlist:

1: How to clear Paddy's paddock of brambles 47 secs

Wednesday, February 3rd

The last day of our diet dawned sunny and hot. There was no spring in Karamea this year. It went from winter straight into summer in a matter of days. All we could think about though, was the end of our diet and the promise of a meal without rice. Before we started the diet we had taken front and side pictures of our mid-sections, because without a scale we thought pictures might tell us if we’d improved visually. Looking at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics we saw that Talita had lost her boobs and butt, while Ferdi lost a bit around the waist and under the boobs. Both of us, unfortunately, still had our bellies intact. Seems these will have to be destroyed with another diet session or some serious exercise. Ferdi was really craving meat. He’d been feeling light-headed and weak the last two weeks, so there’ll be no more dieting in the near future. We’ll just keep up the exercise and watch our “junk-intake”.

After our fast walk up the track we painted the last two sides of the phone booth with undercoat, then spent some time in the shed sanding down the latest fiberglass additions on the canoe. We’ve kinda lost steam over the last few days. Maybe it was just low energy levels, or the fact that we needed to go to Westport to get more stuff before we could really go ahead with the work. We just weren’t inspired to do much on the canoe.

We had lunch, then went into town to pick up some groceries. We baked two milk tarts and a quiche in preparation for our dinner with Paddy. This time we tried a different recipe for the tart; the traditional unbaked version. This turned out to be exactly like those our moms and grandmas use to make back home, and we were very pleased wit the results. Since we had two tarts we gave the second one to Kevin and Caroline as a thank you for all the fish they’d given us.

After a shower we drove to Paddy’s. When we arrived his car was missing from the driveway and we were worried that he’d forgotten and went to Kerry’s early. Just then we heard a rumble in the jungle and found a newly flattened track that led us to the source of the rumblings; Paddy hauling his Land Cruiser out of a ditch with his Isuzu truck. He’d been busy running down all the brambles in the paddock to give the grass a chance to grow when he managed to get the Land Cruiser stuck in a ditch. When he got it out he told Talita to get in the Land Cruiser and run down the rest of the brambles. It was her first time driving a 4x4 and as you saw on the video clip she had an absolute blast!

When the brambles were sufficiently destroyed we had dinner and dessert at Paddy’s picnic table. It was delicious! Paddy was going to Westport the next day and we were keen to go too because we needed a few last things for the canoe. Paddy said we could join him and, knowing he’d say yes, we’d come prepared to crash out in our van for the night.

When we were done with our delicious dinner we went in to watch a movie, but toward the end of it Paddy got restless. We turned off the TV and played some music in between deep discussions about religion and Jesus and life. Paddy played the accordion, flute, mouth organ and cello. He also gave Ferdi another gift, a new harmonica he’d bought recently. We had fun jamming together, but also wanted to keep the deep conversation going. Over the last few weeks, especially since we’d heard about his cancer, the Lord had nudged us to pray for Paddy. This morning mom Corne had confirmed the Lord’s wish, and we asked Paddy if we could put our hands on him and pray for his healing. We were very nervous, having only done this kinda thing once before, but we felt called to do it. Paddy was keen, which made it ever so much easier for us. Before we knew it we were standing with our hands on him praying that Jesus would heal him from the cancer and whatever is wrong with his stomach. We also asked for his house to be blessed. The moment passed quickly, and when it was over there was a feeling of life and vigor amongst us. We picked up the instruments and jammed a bright Irish jig together. There was lots of laughter and we all felt really happy. God is great!

Today’s highlights:
1. The end of our diet!
2. Talita’s first 4x4 driving experience.
3. Milk tart and quiche for dinner.
4. Praying for Paddy’s heath.
5. Jamming together.

Thought for the day:
It’s amazing how fulfilling it is to do what the Lord directs you to do.

Thursday, February 4th

We had a restless night, waking every half hour to kill the never ending stream of Mosquitoes that came to visit us in the van. We couldn’t close the windows, because it gets too hot and stuffy. Before we knew it Paddy was waking us, at least it was with two cups of tea. We had a quick breakfast then left for Westport. Paddy dropped his truck off for repairs and to get a warrant of fitness done. We had a cuppa and gigantic choc-chip cookies at a coffee shop, then went to the photo shop to edit, print and frame a picture of the late Rosie as a gift for Morris. Then we went to a computer shop to order an external DVD drive for our laptop. We were tired of our DVD player giving us grief and it would be a great help when we need to back up our photos to DVD. The shop had to order it in, and since our van needs a warrant of fitness done next week we said we’d come pick it up then.

Next we found ourselves in Mitre 10. It’s a scary place for our credit cards to go; you can almost feel them quivering in the wallet as we walk through the place. Well, there was nothing much we could do; we needed a last few things to complete the canoe. While Ferdi was scaring the credit cards in Mitre 10, Talita stopped by the pet shop to pick up a gift for Dudley (Margaret and John’s Spaniel). He’s turning 10 on Saturday.

We had another cuppa at a different coffee shop where Paddy got us some fries and bread, and we made sandwiches. We spotted Margaret and she joined us for a cuppa and a bite to eat.

We are known by some strange names here in NZ. Paddy sometimes calls Ferdi “Frodo”. It’s an appropriate name for him since Talita says Ferdi has hobbit feet (not big, just hairy). John calls Talita “Tialada”. We try to repeat our names as much as possible, but it’s just too foreign for them to remember.

With another cuppa in our bellies we went to check on Paddy’s truck, but it wasn’t finished yet so we went to the nearby Catholic Church. It is a beautiful church with amazing stained glass windows. Here Paddy played the piano, saying that it was “a tune for Jesus”. He plays really beautifully.

We had a cold drink and a bite to eat at a little deli, then went shopping for groceries while Paddy waited for the last bit of work on his truck. When his truck was ready we packed our groceries in, picked up our stuff from Mitre 10, and drove to Kerry’s. Here we had a cuppa and a cookie, then Talita drove us back to Paddy’s. Before we left he lent us his surf-ski to go practice with in the river.

We had another cuppa, then drove back to the holiday park where we unloaded our groceries, got in our swimming costumes and drove down to the swimming spot by the river. We were keen to try the surf-ski again. Talita did real well. Ferdi was doing better, but still sucked most of the time. He needs a lot more practice.

We returned home feeling much revived. We had a glass of wine, then called it a night. We were knackered from the heat and the little sleep we had the night before.

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting the last of our goodies for the canoe.
2. Ordering our DVD drive.
3. Playing with the surf-ski.

Friday, February 5th

This morning we received the great news that we’d become aunt and uncle for the second time in less than a month. Brian and Lindy had their first baby, Emily-Jane yesterday! Congrats you guys! May God bless your family and may Emily-Jane be a pleasure to you all the days of your lives. May happiness, joy, peace and prosperity live in your home.

We had a hard time going up the terrace this morning. The hill should get easier the more we do it, but for some reason it isn’t. We still had a blast and returned home feeling great.

We carried the canoe out for some sanding work. The light in the shed isn’t very good and we needed to see the imperfections so that we could attend to them. Seeing her sitting out there on the grass gave us a very warm feeling inside. It’s good to stand back and look at her in her totality. When you work so close to something you end up only seeing the imperfections and mistakes, but looking at it from afar really gave us a sense of the magnitude of what we have accomplished so far.

We put her up in the shade of some trees and proceeded to clean up all the stray drops, bumps and bad fiberglass spots. We used plain old muscle power for this sanding session and it was hard on the arms.

After the ritual morning tea, cleaning and lunch we returned to the canoe. Ferdi left Talita and drove to town to pick up more sanding paper and a few groceries we’d forgotten to get in Westport. Back home he parked by the canoe and we listened to music and enjoyed a beer while we continued sanding. After a bit Talita lost her steam and took a nap in the van.

Two hours later Ferdi felt that we’d done as much as we could as far as the interior was concerned. Talita woke up and we carried the canoe closer to the shed, cooked up a few batches of resin and covered the whole interior and gunwales with a generous coat. With the heat the resin was setting twice as fast as it did in the shed, so we had to bust our butts to get the resin on before it went all gooey. With that done we stood back and just admired our handiwork. The more we look at her in her natural wood, the more we don’t want to paint her. We’ll probably paint her in the end, but we’ll only decide when we’re done with the exterior resin work.

Back at our room we met our neighbors, a friendly couple from Auckland. They had seen a bit of the interior of our van and wanted to see more. We gave them the tour and they took some pictures (they want to build one soon) and we just got talking. They must be pushing 60 and live a very interesting life, spending three months a year in the Auckland area, three months on Great Barrier Island (off the Auckland coast), and six months a year in Asia, usually Thailand and Bali. They showed us pictures of a house that friends of theirs had built using an old shipping container. Apparently there’s a whole community of people building homes from these old things. It’s cheap, you don’t have to get council approval, and you kit it out almost like a van or a caravan. We were excited, because this could be a perfect solution for Paddy. He could get two, one to kit out as a home and the other for a studio. (Google search “container homes” to see some examples). Once again we felt as if God had placed these nice people next to us to give us ideas we could use to help Paddy.

We made dinner, had a shower, then spent the night working on the blog and reading.

Today’s highlights:
1. Great progress on the canoe.
2. Getting a new perspective on our handiwork.
3. Learning about container homes.

Thought for the day:
When we start stressing it means we’re probably trying to do our own thing and have forgotten to listen to what our Father is saying.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


It was all too much for her.It was all too much for her.
It was all too much for her.

Luckily the van was parked close by.

5th February 2010

Thanks for sharing your testimony about praying for healing for Paddy. Tell him that I am praying for him too, so he has friends all over the world. The canoe looks beautiful...I agree the natural wood is the way to go. Maybe later you can paint it. Are you going to break a bottle of bubbly on its bow for the launching? When do you anticipat that event. I look forward to pictures of both of you paddling the canoe.
5th February 2010

The Launching
We'll drink the bubbly in the canoe instead of breaking it over the bow. More environmentally friendly that way ;-) We'll probably do a test launch in the next week to see where the seat should go. Official launch to be announced...

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