Dan joined me part way through my trip to New Zealand, and within hours of his arrival, a competition began between him and Anne Marie about which one of them had the funniest accent and colloquialisms. I think it all started when Anne Marie's daughter Alexia thought the word "graham crackers" was hysterical (she heard it on an American teen movie), so Dan brought her some when he arrived. This was followed by several days worth of new words and phrases to suss out. ("Suss" being one of Dan's newly acquired words.) One such discussion was launched over a misspelling on a menu "Fagita". "Fajita" as it should be spelled could be pronounced several ways, further complicated by the different accents in play. I couldn't help but think of the old tomato song in a new context (you say "faheeta" I say "fa-gita"). In our final etching class, Anne Marie proudly presented Dan with a souvenir - a neatly etched comment for him to treasure.
One one of our free days, Anne Marie and Peter arranged a day trip for us to go with them and their friends, Richard and Alison, to Waiheki Island, which is stunning. We visited a quiet beach near Richard and Alison's vacation home, and enjoyed nice lunch at a local vineyard.
Next, we headed to the earthquake-devastated city of Christchurch. We taught a group of optimistic attendees who were excited to be creative despite having to endure aftershocks and having to boil drinking water. We experienced a 5.3 aftershock while we were there. The pavement moved from side to side under out feet. I've never felt the earth move like that. Dan documented some of the damaged buildings as he made his way around the city in search of an open museum or cafe. Very few tourist attractions were operational.
In tomorrow's blog, see some of the amazing pieces created by students in my class.