Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ngati Tuwharetoa

Back from my noho (stay) with the Tuwharetoa iwi (tribe) in Taupo, New Zealand. I am now back home in Wellington.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this weekend was the cultural dynamic--as an anthropology student, this was one of my first cross cultural experiences, but what really made it fascinating was how it was a melding of two cultures; Maori and Pakeha (European/Western/Colonial). I knew I was amongst people of another culture; the rules I had to learn and the feeling of being a child and not understanding was there, but we were speaking English (most of the time), wearing jeans and t shirts (okay, sweaters most of the time) and navigating through our interactions in a manner that was largely derived from Western cultural norms. I am still reeling from this almost post-modern look at defining culture.

Anyways, here are my photos.

The roof of the wharenui.
A pretend moko (tattoo) on this girl's chin runs from a day full of rain and messy eating. This photo was taken by this girl's older sister, Hinekorako.
I'm not in the habit of posting pictures of myself, but look how happy we are! My classmates and I (center) at Huka Falls. Huka means snow in te reo Maori (the Maori language) and eventually came to mean sugar.Huka Falls, Waikato River, Taupo. The water comes gushing in from Lake Taupo, which is filled by the snow melting off the volcanoes Tongariro, Ruapehu, and Ngaurahoe (the latter two were used as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Slow is Beautiful (aka what the Quakers did for the Solstice)

Tomorrow, I go to Taupo until Sunday. I doubt very much I will have internet access so I thought I would get this out now. I had the most beautiful weekend.
I learned how to hand-spin wool from a lady named Eedi (the sign in the background says Eedi's handcrafts). We talked so much. We connected immediately and she is one of those people I know will just stick with my soul no matter where I go.

I slept in a room with 20 people and did not watch any movies as I usually do but rather enjoyed everything that was real and I built community with the people around me.

I was slow and in the moment and purposeful.

It is not the beginning of happiness.
It is happiness.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I have been asking myself some of the following questions lately.

The first one is about blogging. The second--yet intertwined--one is about my career.

I am always conscious of getting too personal in my blog. It has less to do with creepy creepers and more to do with the fact that I am a really private person. That is part of the reason why I deleted my previous blog and kept this one mostly to pictures. I have thought about the post below for a while before I decided I was comfortable sharing.

Recently, I have been asking myself why I am blogging; on a surface level, certainly, it is to showcase my photography... but I am not a photographer, nor do I plan to be. I have dreams of either being a policy analyst/academic or an actress; the latter seems like a wild childhood fantasy but I actually have done some movies and plays in my time.
Photography in itself is not a vehicle through which I can achieve my goals. But it is a way in which I practice looking; looking and taking things in without passing judgement. It is also a way in which I can look at the world through different perspectives. But sometimes I feel like that is such a far-flung connection.
So what does this have to do with anything? Today is going to be a day of meditation and of beauty. Er, well, I need to return some books and movies to the library and I'm going to a fashion lecture, but it's also the Maori New Year (Matariki) and my Quaker meeting is holding a sleepover. I became a Quaker because of the way meditation centers me, and I always come out with a clearer picture of things at the end.

Hopefully, I can gain some direction in some aspect of something or... something.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tabula Rasa

Some photos from nature (or in some cases, nature telling architecture what's up) from my time in Australia and New Zealand.

Every night the sunset in the bay of Wellington just astounds me. It's like a reminder of where I am, both literally and in life, and about the supremacy of nature and how small I am in everything I do.
Pond by the Sydney Harbour in Australia. I just love this.
Vines in the Karori Sanctuary, Wellington, New Zealand
Karori Sanctuary