Back to the Future

green pancake rocks circa 1989

Kids: Today we are taking a trip back in time to the Summer of 1989. The place: Somewhere in New Zealand

During my Junior year of High School I seriously considered studying abroad my senior year. My mother saw how many hours I put into researching different exchange programs and how people were discouraging me from going away during the supposedly wonderful senior year. She saw an ad in the paper for the LIONS CLUB INTL. as they were sending young people that would represent their club to NZ and other countries for six weeks. There, they would stay w/ three different families, each for two weeks. These families would be other Lions Club members and the "student" would give a speech about the Club they were visiting from and information about the area in which they came from. I loved speaking in front of people and meeting new people so this was for me! We went to the informational meeting, came home and she told my Dad that they should send me! It was a great price....amazingly cheap since I was staying w/ host families. Yeah!!! I was going!!! I had never been on a flight w/out my parents before and I knew none of the other kids that were going....so it was Quite the ADVENTURE!!!

The first two weeks of my stay was on the South Island in Christchurch. The first weekend there my host sister and I took a beautiful train ride across the island to Greymouth. The first night there we went to a pub and I got drunk for the first time. I had 7 drinks and could still dance! Didn't even have much of a hangover the next morning to be able to take these pictures. Looking back, I don't think that was a really good sign that a 110 lb. 17 yr. old could handle that much alcohol her first time....Wooshka!

Punakaiki is a Maori word (Maori's are the native islanders but not the origional natives of NZ, the origionals were supposedly cannibalized by the Maori's...not sure how true that story is!) the English term for the place is Pancake Rocks. The rocks look like pancakes because they are made from limestone and have undergone a bazillion years of erosion. The bush-like spikey things are called flax and we had to wade through a dense jungle of it to get to the rocks. The photo just of the trees is of Tree Ferns. We have bush-type ferns in SW Washington, but these were Fern Trees! Gorge-E-ous!!

All the photos were put onto slides so that I could give presentations when I got home. My Dad scanned them to disc, and I have edited them here using Photoshop 4. I am new at it and quite loving it!

Enjoy the photos:

To learn more about Greymouth and Punakaiki, NZ click on the links below. The first one is of a little mining village tourist-trap I went to where I "panned for gold."




I'm going to post once a week on a little topic I'm titling Back to the Future. We'll travel back in time to a period of my life....and the to the future part will be my applying it to my life right now, either by editing my old photos or talking about how the experience affected me, etc.

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