We are back in Murupara – the Ahurei is over. We didn’t win – i hate not winning. Papa’s family from Tuhoeloand is the coolest- and very funny. The music was fantastic. I stayed on a marae for the first time- so much different from the made-up marae we have always used in Australia. Alemaine (she married Te Iwi – Tui’s younger brother) was tireless in her work – and never complained – she was cooking for 100 people every day. The group from Australia was called ‘Nga uri o te kohu’.
If you are every planning to go to an Ahurei, remember to take gum boots and tracky daks – oh and a pair of thongs (jandals, flip flops – not the other sort...). At least we were well prepared with our hiking boots. And a hat – preferably an Akubra-not an umbrella cos it will block the view of the people behind you and they might know your block off. Each kapa haka group started with a challenge to Tame Iti. I bought a copy of the book about the raids in Ruatoki. Poor form NZ re that.
We piloted our research program on Saturday night. It was interesting to see the response of some of the participants. I will review the questionnaires and see how to change the tool later on this week.
There was a party at our marae on Saturday night – with the usual girls over drinking and then over-fighting. Papa was good with them though – gave them a cuddle but told them to stop so they did. I saw a little kid with FAS – that was sad. The kids were really sweet – and treated adults in the marae with trust – it was so touching, but my latent granny-hunger was overwhelming. Papa was interviewed by Maori TV and for a documentary. Superstar that he is.
So we are back – we are exhausted. It is raining but we went for a walk around the village in our coats, and saw a few people. We missed the dawn service as papa was not up to going this morning. Kaumatau carry a heavy load, especially here.