He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Great Expanse - Waitangi Grounds

I miss the great expanse - the open spaces, the blue skies, the green trees, the shorelines, the hills and slopes, the fresh air… yeah, I miss Auckland. My younger son and I were talking about it last week and he said, “Yeah, you’re right. You just never miss anything until you lose it!” Here it’s just all houses, buildings, “dead” trees (now sprouting as it’s already Spring), cars and roads. You just can’t see anything beyond those. I used to complain that driving in Auckland is so hard because the roads go up and down, have too many sharp turns and are mostly single-lane. But then as you drive up and down the hills you get to see breath-taking views, and I swear, the best views I had seen were those I saw while driving. And I couldn't take photos of them because I was driving!

I wanted to take lots of photos of meadows dotted with animals – cows, sheep, horses. But the best places to take those photos are along roads where there are solid yellow lines and signs saying you can’t stop at any time!! And in places where you can stop there are snooty farmers giving you that glare which says nothing short of: “Get off my property!!” As a friend once said, in New Zealand, the whole country is like a national park. It’s scenic everywhere. I totally agree. But the “free” views you can get are only in the real public parks. The rest of the views were on unfriendly ground.  :(I never quite get this madness for “private space” or “privacy,” the Kiwi way. Even in driving, making a reverse (3-point turn) in somebody’s driveway is illegal!! In Asia, nobody bothers and nobody even notices if you do a reverse in their driveway. (I’ve visited for only 3 weeks before here in the US, and we’ve been here three months already, but I haven’t driven here yet. But I doubt if it’s anything like that here. Americans are so open and friendly. Well, I will soon find out as I have to pursue a driving license really soon.) That snootiness is the one thing I don’t miss about New Zealand. And of course, the other thing is the UV-rich sun. :(

Meanwhile, these views from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are views to die for!

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is located in the Bay of Islands, Northland, North Auckland. The following photos were taken when we were leaving the place.

I really like the animals grazing on the vast meadows everywhere we passed by and I took many of such photos as we sped by them:

On our way home, it was already getting dark but I really wanted to pass by Scandrett Park, my favourite, so we dropped by there for an evening picnic. These photos were taken in late Dec 2009, so the day was quite long - it was summer in Auckland.

In the previous summer (2008) it was along this beach that we saw the endangered dotterel chicks.

The seagulls, one of the things you take for granted in Auckland as they are always around. But here in New York, we miss them.

The following photos were taken on our way to the Waitangi grounds. We passed by Paihia Beach and that's the seagull lurking around us waiting for dole outs from our snacks. :)

The water in Paihia Beach didn't look as clean as in the Bay of Islands but there were more people there and some of them were really playing in the water.

In Paihia Beach there was an old church named St. Paul's Church.

The interior of the church. It was very small inside.

The beach in front of the church.

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D