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Archive for May, 2008

Visiting Hangzhou May 30

Back from a week away in Hangzhou, China, quite the experience!  I arrive with the team from work on Sunday.  Nice flight on JAL business class.  After check in we went for a walk around the West Lake which is truely very beautiful.

The only thing about Hangzhou that is so very obvious is the air pollution.  I was thinking how wonderful it would be on a clear day to find out today was a clear day!  The murk that hangs in the air is just always there.  Its very sad really as the city itself is really a garden city.  I’ve been to many cities that make that claim, but after spending a week in Hangzhou I think it really does deserve that title, it really does have gardens and greenery everywhere.  The lake is the centre of it all and is quite something.  It took us three hours at a brisk walk to get around it all, and that was a brisk walk in 30+ degree’s so it was also a sweaty walk.  I really wish I had changed into shorts for that.

I have the pics and will process them shortly.  The meals out were amazing and course after course just kept coming.  Odd one of the dishes I really like was the tripe, go figure that one huh.  The one dish I really didn’t like was the west lake fish which tasted will like the lake.  enough said once you see the pics.

The people there were really wonderul and very friendly.  I had a great time meeting my team members and was really inspired by there enthursiam.

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Wanna play the name game? May 21

Well its about time some of that name game came out. Many of the readers of this will not be familiar it with Maori language – or perhaps my countries native language. I will confess I’m not a native speaker, nor even a good listener as I know from living in Japan.

There is something I do know very well. My home. Its a small little valley on the west side of the becoming famous Coromandel Peninsula. Its been so unworthy of notice that even today its just a small mention on the maps, well almost. Its beginning to get fame because its the beginning the prestine Pohutukawa Coast, and somewhere still untouched.

I know the valleys of it very well, not because of recent history where my family owns alot of it but rather because of its name. The name is Papa Aroha

Translation is (and this is very directly I dont’ need to look up and verify, since I grew up with these legend names)

Papa = Earth mother, her partner was Rangi sky (yes Papa in my real language means mother)
Aroha = Love (no different meaning for that either).

My home valley I live in is called Papa Aroha. Take the translations, it means the place that mother earth loves. Or a place where the ansectors felt her love and see it. When you see a picture of my valley you will understand. It really is where the mother earth created a place you will love. Come see, you are welcome!

Beirut and Lebabnon May 21

So far this blog series doesn’t cover much of my previous travels as it was started when I arrived in Japan and I never quite worked out how to incorporate it all. In the first few weeks of 2005 I did a tour through part of the middle east. My main goal was to see Petra, which I did, the day of my 36th birthday, pretty cool huh!

A part of the that tour taught me through Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. We all had the option to do a day trip to Lebanon and down to Beirut for an extra charge. I wasn’t sure about doing it, and figure I would go with the flow. It ended up all of us were up for the trip (there were only 11 of us for the first leg of the Winter tour), it was an exceptional trip and something that now I thing back on it captured my heart as well.

You don’t realise when you leave Damasus to travel there just how high up you are, or rather the Lebonese mountains. Our first stop after crossing the boarder was Balbeck, and if you want breath taking ruins thats the place to go.

Been busy with the build! May 18

Just realised its been a while since I added anything to the foorsteps blog. All my efforts have been on the house site (click on Shimoda house above). Its been a totally mind blast working on this place. All the details are at the house site.

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