Our Stay at Motuti Marae
It is incredibly difficult to pick one place that has made an impact on me; nearly every day we have seen or done something new and exciting. Since I am pressed to choose one I will have to pick our stay at the Marae. Since it was so close to the beginning of the trip, everything was still new and even the small things; birds, plants and unique food made quite an impression. It was our first taste of Kiwi hospitality and the Maori folks were so incredibly welcoming. I knew by looking at the map just how far from home I was, but I don't think it was until I looked up at the clear, dark sky that night and saw the Southern Cross that I realized just how far we had traveled.
I had the opportunity on several occasions on our short stay to get to know some of the women who patiently answered questions about their homes, families, traditions and beliefs. When I woke in the morning to the song of strange birds and looked up to the ceiling of the Marae and saw the designs that they called "the backbone" it occurred to me what a fantastic adventure I was about to embark on and how truly fortunate I am to have the opportunity to embark on this adventure.