Even in a comfortable bed, I can't sleep in past 7:30AM. Kayra is up about the time I am, and teaches me the proper way of eating Weet-Bix (basically, they are compressed thin corn flakes cut into 2x4inch cakes. You cut up fruit (apples and kiwis) and put two Weet-Bix cakes on top of that, then add milk. Really good).
Kayra is fantastic. She is Kylie's sister-in-law. She and her husband are living here while they get settled in New Zealand - she is an art therapy counselor and also does massage therapy. Kevin (her husband) is finishing up a job in the US but will be back soon. They are planning on staying in Masterton for awhile.
Kayra takes me for a nice tour of the city, mostly of the very large park system they have here.
Kayra by Queen Elizabeth Park.
Once again highlighting the lack of liability suits here in New Zealand, they have a "flying fox" - basically, a zipline running about 100 feet - that all the kids play on. Talk about cool! There was a small line of kids waiting for it, so I will return to get pictures. No one was injured while I was there.
The park has the nicest wooden playground that I have ever seen, modeled after a castle/fort motif. There is a miniature train that you can ride for a dollar (it is about the height of my knee). The track runs around the park. A two-year old, apparently, was hit by the train a couple of weeks ago, but is doing OK now. Intermixed are lawns and forest, and eventually a bird sanctuary. Dirt tracks run at the edges of the park and connect it to other parts (such as the lake, wetlands, and river).
I think this is New Zealand Disneyland.
One of the suspension bridges across the river, definitely needed given the 6-7 inch raging torrent below.
Looking over the lake to the nearby mountains. Ducks and swans jockey for position around anyone that appears like they might have food.
One of the birds at the bird sanctuary. He says, "Hello, darling" and cannot hide the New Zealand accent.
Finish out the walk after about two hours and I head to the clinic to talk to David, then grab lunch and meet with the pharmacy - I now have a book that lists all of the nationalized medications - should be some truly exciting late-night reading.
Grab a quick nap, then return later around 3:30 for a staff meeting. Meet with even more people and am endeavoring to remember everyone's names, but, again, it will take a bit. Toward the end of the meeting, two guys come in and we help them bring up band equipment. Everyone hangs around for live music, wine, beer, and some really good snacks - this turns into quite the little party. Tons of fun.
This is a staff meeting, if it isn't obvious at first sight. The band is playing with David Nixon (head of the clinic) accompanying on the keyboard. It turned into karaoke at some point. You will all be relieved to know that I did not sing.
We end up going to another house by the end of the night, and don't leave until midnight. Not expected, but what a great way to meet everyone!
We crash back at the apartment at that point. No major plans for tomorrow, but I think I will explore the town some more. And get the blog updated, as I am falling down on my duties there.