Friday, February 25, 2005

Year of the Rooster..

Eabha here..

To mark the beginning of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, there was a Lantern festivall in Albert Park. It was very interesting and from daddies shoulders I could see pretty much all of it. There was a lot to see and do in every direction of the park.

I'm getting over my cold now which is good. This week I got some blocks and replacements for some of the books I tore apart (what can I say, I have an appetite for literature). Daddy doesn't understand the blocks, every time he tries to stack them, I have to knock them over to show him that blocks are for spreading all over the floor.

Speaking of Daddy, I call him "John" now. This started about two days ago. He pretended not to notice at first, but today he mentioned it to Mamma. She laughed and said she's heard me say it as well. Obviously; that's what everyone else calls him. He's tried to get me to switch back now..ha. He says I'm getting too clever so he's stopped reading me books, and now he makes me watch Fox News everyday.

New foods for the week include: breadsticks (excellent), zucchini, tofu, banana, mango and lentils..

until next time....Enjoy the pictures I took from John's shoulders (wave)

Name that instrument contest... Because I don't know.. Posted by Hello

Being so close to Helen Clark the pie minister, made me think of another notorious pie minister (Bottom). That's her on the left of the stage with other "right-honorable" vip's. Posted by Hello

There's Helen Clark, I'm craving pie.. Posted by Hello

Stilt performers.. Posted by Hello

Stilt performance.. Posted by Hello

Lanterns.. Posted by Hello

Masks and lanterns..and mask lanterns.. Posted by Hello

Emily couldn't wait to see this guy.. Posted by Hello

Look out!! Ha ha.....ha.......yeah. Posted by Hello

Hey, you, get off of my cloud....munkees....sheesh.. Posted by Hello

Lanterns.. Can you spot Eabha and Emily? We were actually looking for each other at this point, and we only noticed later they were in the picture I took!! Posted by Hello

Feeling sheepish.. At 12.6 sheep per person in New Zealand, these mamals, or at least their fleshy counterparts, are the largest contributor to greenhouse gasses in the country!!! Posted by Hello

Chinese Lantern Festival in Albert Park.. Posted by Hello

Welcome to New Zealand, welcome to School..

Hello all..

Besides a few technical difficulties, my tardiness in updating the blog was due to a busy week starting classes at the University of Auckland.

The week started with a Powhiri to welcome international education students to the university and to the land. The Powhiri took place in a university Marae. It was an interesting ceremony, although I missed a lot of what was said because so much that was spoken, was in the Maori (pronounced "Mou" - as in "mould" + "Di" - as in that tongue twisty thing..) language. My initial concern was that it would turn out to be another example of institutionalized, cultural appropriation. My cynicism was laid to rest, when I realized the authenticity of the ceremony, performed by university staff (very many of whom were Maori) which was actually as enjoyable as it was interesting. Maori culture is deeply ingrained in the state curriculum, as well as the secondary teaching program, and not just in a tokenistic way as one might expect. That being said there are still many painful issues for Maori people, rooted in the same pattern of colonization (re-discovery) and neo-colonization throughout the world. Out of respect for the Pohiri, the Marae and the Maori people, I decided not to photograph any of the ceremony, but after had the opportunity to snap a few photos from the outside and through an open window.

Everyone in the Department of Education has turned out to be really nice, and I am seeing a lot of opportunity to integrate my views about schooling and education (j.5.13) with the programs being taught to us (the prospective teachers).

Recommended Reading List On Education:

Teenage Liberation Handbook
Real-Life Homeschooling
Teaching Community (Excellent Book)
Real Lives
Chomsky On Miseducation
Home Sweet Homeschooling
Learning All The Time
Homeschooling And Voyage Of Self-Discovery
Field Day (Excellent Book)
The Exhausted School
And The Sky Lark Sings With Me
Parents First
The Unschooling Handbook
Real Education
Guerilla Learning

As a footnote, Aaron left to hitch-hike/see the rest of the country (as much as he can), and I got a library card (yay).

Wonderfull carvings throughout the Marae Posted by Hello

I didn't want to photograph during the Pohiri, because of the spiritual significance.. Posted by Hello

Outside the Marae.. Posted by Hello

Outside the Marae.. Posted by Hello

Outside the Marae.. Posted by Hello

The dry-erase board and chairs had been set up since the ceremony.. Posted by Hello

Eyes are made from the inside of shells, usually.. Posted by Hello

Marae at the University of Auckland Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hello From Eabha..

Hello Eabha here,

I know daddy was supposed to have written but I think he was feeling sheepish about having the wrong day for his orientation, which is actually Monday (that's Sunday for you North Americans).

I am preddy sick and stubbed up ride now.. It seebs to be goeeg aroud.. Daddy and Arron are just geddin' ober dere colds..

Well I learned something new.. For the last three days, If I'm not signing to say "I'm wet", I simply take my diaper off. Mamma and Daddy got these great cloth diapers with easy velro strips that I have just learned how to work.. Like Daddy says "Diapers are like political systems, If something stinks, change it."

Yesterday I heard Mummy and Daddy's friend "Uncle" Jon on the (internet) radio all the way from Victoria, British Columbia. Well, when I heard Uncle Jon's voice I turned around and looked right up at the speakers, amazed to be hearing him from so far away.. Come to think of it I hadn't heard him for months... Uncle Jon was talking about Palestine and some of the things going on there and how they affect the Palestinian people. Uncle Jon and My "Aunt" Val even have a website like me, it's It is a great way to learn about a situation we should all know.

One of my favorite musicians, Raffi has a song about the children of Palestine, it's called "Salaam..Shalom, Side by Side" and sometimes Daddy sings it and plays it on the guitar for me.

I am starting to "creep" - (10 months) which is, apparently, a term used to describe that stage between crawling and walking where I move along furniture, legs and anything between one and two feet high.. What do they know? Creep is someone who takes something out of my hands and doesn't replace it with something of equal attractiveness..

Anyways..even creeping nine monthers shouldn't be up bloggin' late when they're sick so I better sign off and let daddy update in a day or two..

Mamma and Aaron said to say high to Mr. Dithers, they laughed pretty hard at the news. I just wish He would stop dithering about Balistic Missile "Defence" and not sign us up, I like Raffi's idea better, about creating a department of peace...
On that note..Bye (wave)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Day at Rangitoto..

Yesterday (16th February) Eabha, Emily, Aaron and I took a half our ferry ride to Rangitoto Island to check out the youngest volcano in the world (600 years). We took the main trail up and explored some lava caves. After a short lunch/diaper change/break we continued up to the summit. From the ferry the walk up to the summit takes an hour. After checking out the few for a few minutes we realized it was 4:15 and had to do an hours hike back down the volcano in 45 minutes to catch the last ferry back. We ran down that trail and made it in 23 minutes. After a quick swim at the base, we got back on the ferry and went back home to rest our sore feet.

Eabha is getting more and more clever, I don't know if she is ready to do my homework for me but she says "mamma", "daddy", "doggy" and "good"; and knows sign language for "change me", "I'm hungry", "I'm thirsty", "more", and "pick me up".

Tomorrow is my orientation at the university and I hope to update the blog to provide more information about the Maori ceremony that begins the welcome for international students..

Leaving Auckland for Rangitoto Island.. Posted by Hello

Emily and Eabha, clearly apprehensive and unhappy about leaving Auckland for Rangitoto Island.. Posted by Hello

View from the ferry.. Posted by Hello

View from the ferry.. Posted by Hello