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Showing posts from April, 2017

Hitch-Hiking Horror Story in Rarotonga Cook Islands

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Memory from June, 2012, aged 23.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands, New Zealand. 
When I was studying to become a primary school teacher, my university offered third and fourth year student teachers an opportunity to teach overseas. One of the options was to teach Maori children living on an island called Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands governed by New Zealand. A group of about 20 dedicated student teachers flew over together and lived in shared accommodation close to the main part of town. We were grouped according to specialisation and dispersed throughout the island. All of the schools were situated on, or a short distance from the 34 kilometre coastal road which looped around the entire island.

On the day we arrived, our university supervisors gave us a quick tour of the island to point out where we’d be teaching. I felt relieved my school was no more than 5-10 kilometres from where we stayed, as we were expected to find our own way home each day. One of the supervisors who’d chape…

Nan Was a Creative and Unique Lady But She Never Knew It

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My nan was really creative, although it wasn’t a trait she was known for. When she passed away, everyone said they would miss her warm hugs and kind-hearted nature. She was known for giving lots, while having very little. She would deny having any creative ability and deflect compliments from friends and family. Having never worked, obtained a driver’s licence, or travelled far from home, I think she thought her opinions counted for less. She was so proud of her children’s and grandchild’s achievements, but spoke as if they weren’t tied to her in any way. Nan’s eyes would turn wet every time I’d share my wins with her, no matter how trivial. She’d shift her weight on the wooden dining chair and smile until her lips revealed her little teeth. She’d laugh softly while keeping her mouth closed, causing air to become trapped behind her teeth, creating a soft wheezing sound. She knew how to share in someone else’s happiness like no other; perhaps because she had difficulty recognising her …