Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tattoo Design + Family History

So this is my last post of the first year this blog has existed! Isn't it crazy that in only 6 hours, it will be a new year??

Something pretty awesome happened today - my friend Shannon got a tattoo! But what makes it even more special, is that I designed it! Woo! My mark is going to exist on her for the rest of her life. Hah. But anyway, here are some of the concepts. None of these is the final design, it ended up being a combination of the bottom two.

When we traveled back up to Tauranga, we brought with us some old family items...
This bible belonged to my dad's cousin's mum, and was given to her on her 9th birthday in the early 1900's. It is awesome and still has pressed leaves and four-leaved clovers inside it!
This is something that I have started reading - the war journal of my great grandfather, from the 1st World War.
This is an excerpt from the second page of the journal, and I've highlighted (on photoshop, not the actual thing!) a part that made me shiver.
The man in this photo was the writer of the war journal - my Great Grandfather Robert Watchman.
The little boy in the photo is my grandfather Rex Watchman, who in 2009 was killed when a train hit his car in Blenheim.
The photo in the top right is my Great Grandmother. One of the older women in the other photo (Ellie) had a bible that her grandmother had owned, which her father had passed down to her. It was passed down to my grandfather, and then to me on my 16th birthday. It is approximately 160-170 years old.
My daddy (on the left), and with his brothers Greg and Stuart.
Some old envelopes from the 1940's
On the left is an old Gillette shaving kit, and on the right is my Grandfather's lighter.
I love digging through old objects of lifetimes past, and discovering the background and stories behind them.

On the note of history, have an amazing new year, and do something with 2012 that will be passed down in stories to your future great-grandchildren.

(I'm hoping my year in India will be worthy of such preservation!)



Thursday, 29 December 2011

Drive home + Tongariro trip in January 2011

This is quite a long post, so bear with me!

Yesterday at 6.30am, we left Blenheim to catch an 8am boat, and to drive back to Tauranga. We stopped in Palmerston North, Whanganui, and Ratihi to see family and friends, and to visit my pop's grave. We didn't get home until 1am! The highlight of the trip was dinner at Burger King in Turangi at 10.30pm, when two drunk girls came in and sung their orders, and one wouldn't let the other eat until she had sung her a song! So hilarious, and they actually had the most beautiful voices. We couldn't stop laughing with them!

I found this awesome old Cadbury chocolates tin at the Picton Second Hand shop for $10! I love it!
The morning of our trip home - this is at about 5.30am yesterday.
The view from one of the portholes - leaving Marlborough Sounds on the Blueridge 'Strait Shipping' Ferry to Wellington.
The first two photos are of the South Island, and the last of the North.
Beautiful Mt Ruapehu. Looked so amazing at this time of night
Love it!
We had the priviledge of having this mountain to gaze upon for a good half-hour or so before the sun went down.
A blurry picture of Mt Ngarahoe... I still cannot believe that I climbed it this year! (See pictures below)
These next photos are from earlier in the year, but I just wanted to take a moment to remember the fun I had on the Youth Search and Rescue camp!
The first day of the YSAR camp at Tongariro National Park in January
Outdoor Pursuit Centre.
Joseph at the top of Mt Ngarahoe (day before the accident...)
Conquered this mountain!
A climbing collage...
...and another.
White water rafting! (I am in the purple helmet). I had to travel with Mad Dog our instructor, as I had injured my wrist the day before, so I struggled to hold the paddle for very long.
The day before the white-water rafting, we all went on the 42nd Traverse, a 42km mountain bike ride through the Tongariro National Park, and it was so intense! They extended it by a few kms just because they could haha. My gears on my bike screwed up about half way which resulted in many instances where words I would not otherwise use were spoken. And then of course, about 5mins from the finish, my brother's bike's front wheel came off as he was travelling around 50-60km/hr downhill on gravel, resulting in a trip to Waikato Hospital, concussion, loss of memories of the day, and plastic surgery to his face:
The day of the 42 Traverse + accident.
In hospital + visiting Joe for the first time (I continued to stay at the camp for a day after to participate in the rafting)
Our final camping location - with a long-drop without a door. So scary at night! And this is one of our native dragonflies! One of these landed on my helmet at OPC, and everyone told me to stay still and don't move without telling me what was on me - I was freaking out that there was a massive spider! When they told me it was just a dragonfly, it was such a relief.
Now it is home, sweet home, which means reality is back = I have so much to do! It is 6 weeks on Sunday coming that I leave to Kolkata, and I am getting so excited! I am also beginning to realise just what I am preparing myself for... and it can be quite daunting!

I have started to get a bit emotional when I think of the people I will miss here in NZ, like my family, my close friends and also NZ itself!

I'm dreading the airport farewells, and I just feel sorry for whoever has to sit next to me (I will most likely be sobbing away haha).

Just a quick thank you to a few people:
- to Sandy S, who I used to deliver papers to, for the kind donation I received in the mail yesterday
- to Jonathon W, as he has been where I am going, and is awesome at advice! You should look at his blog - he is going to America in just a couple of weeks to raise awareness about Invisible Children. His blog is here.
- to LIFE Church for a generous donation that is going to help me out dramatically. Please send some prayers its way!
- To Mai L for advice in regards to preparation - her and her husband are currently in India
- To Mark S from IS, for being such an amazing support, and for giving me all the information I could ask for!
- and to my friends/family, and anyone else who has made donations/pledges so far, and also been such a massive support in all of this! I appreciate it all so much.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic few final days of 2011, I can't believe it is almost the new year!


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sweet, sweet summer.

I have had a really good time here in Blenheim, with a few outings here and there to Havelock and Picton. Here are a few photos to document it!

The lovely Diamond (I think man-made) & Gold cross necklace Joseph gave me for Christmas, to remind me of him while I am in India! Not entirely sure if I will be able to wear it visibly because Christianity is a minority in India.
Stopped in Renwick on our way to Havelock to see some relatives.
Such a beautiful bay!
Just a short walk from my relative's batch!
Joseph conked out from exhaustion haha.
So cool! It is almost like the bridge in Rome (Ponte Milvio), where people put 'Love Locks' on it - padlocks to symbolise a couple's love. Not sure if you could equate a smelly old boot to love...
One of my highlights of being down here in Marlborough, is getting to meet Celeste, and her beautiful baby boy Elon! He is my second-cousin. Such a cutie, and his mummy is so amazing. 
I have had the pleasure of waking up to this gorgeous face for the past couple of mornings - Jess!
We had a good family outing to Picton with my parents + brother, dad's two brothers (and one of my aunts), my cousin, my nan, and a friend.
My dad and his two brothers, Greg and Stuart, with my nan, Audrey.
I have a feeling I am going to see quite a few more interesting advertisements like this in India. This is a billboard for a bead shop. Hehe.
Good ol' sunburn. And this is before the red hotness really set in. It burns so bad!!
Today we found this awesome dress my nan had been sewing maybe twenty or so years ago! I am going to be wearing this, just need to make a few adjustments and finish a few points off!
We are catching the ferry tomorrow at a much more reasonable hour of 8am, and then will pass through Palmerston North, Whanganui and Ratihi on the way back to Tauranga.

See you soon!