Well, we are back from Hamilton. We saw some really cool people. I reckon that dignity is something we are born with, but needs to get ‘polished’ eh. Like, there was this old Maori lady, and she was so humble and had an air of kotahitanga- roughly translated, it means to be about the business of creating unity in community. No real English equivalent – I suppose because Maori is a collectivist society and survival is a group effort?
A lot of Maori are very religious. I really am impressed with the way they are their word. For example, when they say they believe in caring for people, then they care for people, even the smelly ugly ones. I am so touched and smile a lot (but not in public- that brave I am not) when those HUGE biker gang members cry on my hubby’s shoulder at a funeral. I wanted to take a photo to show you, but as above, that brave I’m not either!
There have been 2 funerals this week. One was an older man, but the other was a middle-aged woman. The entire village went. I think if we lived here full time, then Papa would be at ceremony every day. They love to have him here; he is strong and knows his culture. He is not frightened of anything and I guess it’s because he has so much experience at sorry business.
(But- while he’s not looking-let me tell you about his ‘new hobby’. I dunno what Maoris eat here, but he has been doing the most amazing, um, well, they are amazing. I thought he was going to be able to play 3 octaves via his, um, well. He thinks it is hilarious, and calls it duck hunting. I think it is disgusting, yet can’t help laughing about it when he, um, well, you know. He tells me I bring out the best in him!)
I was talking to Kelly about the need for counsellors here, and she asked if they are culturally-appropriate. I think the ones here probly are, but I reckon they are overwhelmed. I also wonder how they are educated- we sometimes think that as nurses we are not skilled enough, but I reckon nurses would do a whole world of good – I wish I could have Hilda and her mob for just a week – I reckon it would instil hope into some of this mob. See, the health team are also community members – so they have to deal with their own grief and loss, and then everyone else’s.
Papa is going to see our ‘naughty boys’ tomorrow and see if they have converted to not naughty. He is patient with them- and he growls them in such a way that they feel sheepish, and it looks more effective than anger. They are so funny. When I am around, they are tough as bro, and wear those sunglasses and pull their hats down-one even wears a bandana like a mask- how cool is he do you reckon? But, when my little hubby is there, they are like little puppies trying to make him happy. Come to think on it, Maori population stats mirror my mob’s- so they don’t have a whole lot of men over 50, and over 60s are treated like royalty. And Papa is from the chiefly line, so I guess it’s like trying to make your daddy proud of you.
Still, hard on your heart here. Yesterday, the church had 4 cars, and the pub had 40. It’s a standing joke that the pub has the biggest congregation. We cooked for the half-way house, and Papa took it down to them (6 young men). Junior (that’s his name – honest) answered the door, and said ‘What’s that?’ Papa told him – prawn curry and rice. I don’t think he was convinced, but at the moment, they are the only ones who eat my cooking, so I love them-they can do no wrong in my eyes.
Oh dear- there’s my husband duck hunting again. I wonder if it’s possible to die from methane asphyxiation????
Still koffin Kerrie!