Ian & Claire's Adventure
We arrived in Palmerston North, just in time, the locals werent impressed with a slow old van at rush hour. We arrived at Auntie jane and Uncle Dougs but no-one was there, we sat for a while then a car pulling a big sign on a trailer saying Re-Elect Mark Bell-Booth (Mums cousin) for Mayor. We were welcomed into the house and then Jane arrived and we all sat and chatter over a nice brew and some great cake things. Sue and Mark came over to say hello but they were shattered with the elction going on. That night we had home made sweet and sour pork then went to sleep with an electric blanket and a beenie (microwaveable wheat in a bag like a hot water bottle). The next day we spent the morning on a sight seeing tour with Doug and the 'sign' while Jane made gallons of fruit salad for James' 21st party. We then went over to the Bell-Booths to helpo out with the party preps, well we sat and watched crowded house videos and chatted with everyone. We met Amy and then rebecca and Will and the kids Oliver and Emilie arrived. We decided not to go back as we may as well stay in the van so we helped out till the party started. It was a really good do, we chatted to all sorts of people, met other rellies, Bob, Bev and the kids were there etc. They did speaches which were a bit moving, James cried as his friends talked about their friendship etc. We crashed around 1ish as we knew we had to be up for church! Sue got fed up of the lads and took them all home. The next morning we went back to Jane and Dougs and had breckie before we went off to church. Doug was giving a sermon so it was a special one. It was actually a Maouri church (in ameeting house) and it was really interesting to see the inclusion of Maouri and christianity, some was in Maouri some in English. We tried to sing along but the words are difficult to pronounce. Dougs sermon was great, and he had to shout 'help Jane' when his nose was running and he didnt have a hankie. During the service there is a bit where everyone gets up and greets eachother, the women kiss and the men do the 'hongi to eachother where they nod and touch noses (Ian is a natural apparently) After the service we went to the centre and had lots of cakes and sarnies and tea and a little boy was mad about Ian, playing and chasing him around etc, all fun till Ian pretended to put him down the drain and he got really upset but they made friends when Ian went to play with him and his skateboard. Before we left Doug and Jane explained the carvings and decorations on the church and Ben their freind joined in, its all really fascinating. In the afternoon we went to Mt Bruce to a bird sanctuary where we saw kea's being fed and all sorts of other birds, we even saw a kiwi in the nocturnal house. It was really nice and Doug laughed at us for all sleeping in the car. That evening we ate bacon and eggs and sat up till late talking all about the family with Jane. In the morning Sue came to say goodbye and we set off on the journey to the South Island.