Friday, May 20, 2011


In the first week we arrived in Christchurch, a wonderful new friend invited me to go with her to a nearby nature reserve: Willowbank. We had a great time! I got to see the illusive Kiwi bird! That made my day for weeks. (I know that sentence makes sense. I just have to find which planet.) Anyhow, I thought I'd give you all an abbreviated tour.*

The main entrance:

You could feed the eels. They would literally slither out of the water onto the dock to get the food offered to them. It was both reviling and riveting.

A very obliging deer. As you can see, he is very photogenic....just ask him.

There was a specific area where many wallabies lived peaceful lives, but this little guy is definitely a rebel. He was wandering around the park and visited the guests. He was the self appointed host....just let him know if you see any of the park staff coming close.

These are his many friends that he had deserted for the nomadic life.

No matter where you go, there are always those who monkey around, even in New Zealand. Fortunately these guys were fun to watch and VERY energetic.

This handsome bird has a dance routine prepared for us. I wish my camera could take video, because it was quite the performance! I was laughing....I mean encouraging him....very hard!

This friendly otter was also very active.....until he suddenly decided he'd had enough and lay down in the middle of the path where his two buddies continued to race around him.

"All right. I'm ready for my close up!"

"Right, like there aren't a thousand other creature you could take a picture of. You had to interrupt my dinner."

Well, there's no story here. Just a beautiful, although small, waterfall.

We saw Kiwis, but they are noturnal and the area where they are kept it kept in "moonlight" so they will come out to feed. But there was a wonderful little display about them before you went in.

I'm not known for choosing normal pets. (I mean, how many people do you know who have a hedgehog for a baby?) After seeing the Kiwis, I've decided I want one of them too. They are just so CUTE! So this is a baby Kiwi:

And all the white eggs in front are Kiwi eggs. The off-white coloured on in the back is an ostrich egg. And the middle one is an emu egg. And the last one is a chicken egg.

This is an adult Kiwi with its egg. They show an x-ray of the egg inside the female and it took up the whole abdominal cavity.

There is amazing wildlife here! You don't even have to go to Willowbank to see it.*


*But if you come to visit, I will take you to Willowbank and you can see all these things and much more!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A School With a View

I have been very blessed to have the most funnest job I can think of. I get to help out teachers in exactly the way I wish someone had been available to help me when I was teaching. I get to work with some AMAZING teachers. I get to see the New Zealand school system up close. I get to work with a little boy and see the visible results of my efforts.

And I get to see this every morning:

The school has two campuses that are separated by the road. I work on both campuses and sometimes, as I'm walking, I literally have to stop and catch my breath from the beauty of these hills. The sun plays on them, the clouds hug them, and the rain hides them. And each weather brings another view of beauty.

No wonder it's called Hillview Christian School.