All posts tagged: Bay of Plenty

Waiotahi – a journey to my ancestors

I’m almost in Waiotahi, my jandals are off and I’m driving bare feet.  The smell of the ocean is swirling through my car.  This is how I like it.  Waiotahi is where part of me comes from, I’m a half-caste.  Maori/German. I’m here for a family reunion on my Maori side, my Great Grandparents Mariana & Te Waihirere. Our Kaumatua (Maori elders), including my mum, tell us stories in Te Reo (Maori Language) as we visit the pa and the house my mum grew up in. My ancestors roamed this land, they had food, water and each other.  Some lived on a pa, like this one I stand on.   A pa was not always a village though, they were often used to spot the enemy and defend their land. When they didn’t have to fight for their land, I’d like to think they had time to look at the view.  I’m also pleased to say that most pa sites in NZ are protected so no one can build a house on them.  They are for people to visit and to learn …

Omaio Bay

Te Huinga (Jack) Karauna… my Nana Pa, built this little bach for my Nanny Rima and his whanau. They have both since passed but the memories are still very close, both very loving people who taught me a lot about living off the land. Omaio is a secluded bay and remains as it was yesterday, there are no beach front developments and I’m yet to see a yuppie walking with latte in one hand and cell phone in the other.  The locals are friendly, most of them speak Te Reo which was so beautiful to hear.  The weather is hot.   There is no shower, there is a creek! There is no cell phone reception here, you are completely oblivious to what is going on in society, which is fantastic!   There is no power,  this makes you get up, go collect Kai Moana (Seafood), go for walks, talk to people and at night, you play cards next to the candle and you write the scores on the back of a beer box!  … this is my family bach in Omaio Bay, …