Girl in Dunedin

April 15, 2011

Dave and Horse, Waikouaiti

I went to New Zealand in February to visit my parents, who live just north of Dunedin in a small town called Waikouaiti.I was actually a pretty illfated trip – we experienced both illness and earthquakes. But it was so wonderful being able to show Dave places that I love (like Waikouaiti, Papatowai in the Catlins and rural Canterbury). We toured giant early 20th century power stations, ate a delicious meal sourced locally in the Waitaki region, and at the end of our trip were able to check in on my best friend Kathryn who lives in Lyttelton and lost her house in the Christchurch earthquake.

Waikouaiti is a beautiful place. My parents moved there a few years ago, and now whenever I visit I get to explore the area in microcosm detail. You know I love a rural microcosm. This trip I discovered a new walk, from town to my parents place via a causeway over the estuary.

Friends came out to Waikouaiti and we ate a lot of food on a somewhat rainy day (picnic-style) in my parent’s living room, and then walked up to Matanaka. But there was also visiting a plenty – my friends Becs and John in Karitane, Kirstyn in her beautiful apartment overlooking the main street in Port Chalmers, and my oldest friend Amy at her family home in Abbotsford.

Jenn and Ignatius

Dave and Ignatius

We had such a great time with Amy – eating onigiri (my new favourite Japanese snack), listening to the best music of the second half of the twentieth century (Amy made a musical compilation for her Dad for his 60th birthday, one song for every year he has been alive – such difficult and personal choices to make, but such a great musical conversation between father and daughter… I loved it!), and playing trivial pursuit until 2am. Amy’s family has a beautiful dog called Ignatius, who I now look forward to visiting every time I go back to Dunedin. He is one special dog. And Dunedin is one special place. I like that my first home is still such a wonderful place to visit.

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