Wednesday, 1 April 2015

March 2015 - Pacifika and Polyfest

Today I am going to tell you a little about two Polynesian celebrations they have here in New Zealand every Fall (Spring in the US).

First the week of March 9th until the 14th we have spent nearly every day and most evenings with Elder and Sister Aland before they leave their mission and go home to St. George.  We went over everything we could think of to ask them questions about BYUH and the taking care of the ITEP Missionaries.  We had dinner with them and the Meyers who came to report about the TVET Mission from Tonga at one of our favourite restaurants, Aubergines.  We had dinner with Bruce and his family at their home along with the Alands on Thursday the 12th.  He is the Director of all church schools and our immediate supervisor while we help with the ITEP program.  Then Friday evening the 13th we had Fish and Chips with Elder and Sister Wilkins and Elder and Sister Aland so they could say goodbye.

 We had delicious fish and chips from Takapuna Fish and Chips restaurant and ate in Elder and Sister Wilkins flat.  You can see how yummy it looks and it is very good.  One of the best places we have found to get good fish and chips at a very good price.
Elder and Sister Aland and Elder and Sister Spencer enjoying our last dinner together!  Picture on the right is the cake that was left over from the farewell party at the office earlier in the day.

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, we picked up the Alands and headed South to a big park that was hosting Pacifika.  This is where all the different countries in the Pacific come together and have booths to sale their wares, perform and sale food from their Islands.  They are set up as individual villages and you visit each one, a little bit like the Polynesian Cultural Center.  There were a lot of people there and it was a beautiful day.

 We are in the Tongan village.  This lady is selling pearls for $50 New Zealand and Nada bought a strand of pink pearls.  They are not perfect but that is what makes them unique.  She threaded them herself.  We took Elder and Sister Aland with us.  They are all packed and ready to leave on the midnight flight to Hawaii.
This is a whole booth of Tapa cloth still in the Tongan Village.  Their Tapa is much more colourful than those we saw in Samoa. 
 Walking to the Kiribati Village.  There was only one booth and one performing stage here.  This is a very small Atoll here in the Pacific and very poor.
People sitting around the main performance stage listening to a group.  A lot of them are eating lunch since it is noon.  We walked through all the different villages and then headed home.  It was interesting.  Not quite as nice as being on the Island but gives you a little taste of the difference between them. 
We spent the early evening with Elder and Sister Aland.  They had cleaned everything at their flat and just came and hung out with us until it was time to take them to the airport.  We are going to really miss them.  They are Eternal Friends!

We had a busy week taking on the new ITEP-TVET Coordinator Mission and our regular Education Initiative Mission.  We feel like we are getting on top of both of them now.  We'll see as time goes by.  We got word this week that the couple we have been talking to about the coordinator position are on board and getting their mission papers going.  We'll see how long it takes.

On Saturday the 21st of March we headed to the Manukau Sports Bowl for Polyfest.  This is where high schools and universities perform their cultural dances and promote their schools. There were also food booths and some merchandise booths in each of the separate villages set up.  We visited the Samoan, Tongan and Tahitian areas.  The Tongan area was very crowded and hard to get in and out of.  Definitely for the YSA and high school aged kids.

 This group is in the Samoan area.  We stayed here for about 30 minutes to watch the dancing and singing.  It brought back some good memories.  There were quite a few people and we saw a lot of different groups with matching outfits who were waiting to perform or had performed earlier.
This is also a Samoan group.  They were from one of the Universities.  Each group performed for around 20 minutes
This is a Tongan group performing on the Tongan stage.  This was an all boy group and must have been the faculty singing in the back in the green shirts. They were very good.
Another Tongan group.  This was more like a war dance.

We only stayed for a short time.  We had to park quite a distance.  There was no close parking to this event and we finally parked in the mall that was about 15 minutes away.  Glad we went but next year we would only go if we knew some students personally that were performing. 

Later that afternoon, we met a missionary at the Mount Albert Ward after Polyfest and gave him the SLEP Test.  This is an English Language Test that BYUH accepts for students to attend their school.  They take this if English is not their native language.

We have been busy and you can see.  It is fun to attend the different cultural events going on.  They really have a lot of different events going on around the Auckland area all the time.  People here really support these events and use their parks.  On weekends the parks are always very busy.  It will be interesting to see if this changes as the weather cools off.  So far the Fall here is been very nice weather.  Some rain but it comes and goes.  We are well, busy and trying hard to do what our Father-In-Heaven expects from us.  We love you all and hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.  Take care until next time.  Malo 'Aupito.  Love Elder and Sister Spencer (Reed and Nada)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home