Thursday, September 27, 2012


Every six weeks we have transfers, and though Elder Farnes and I remain here (for which we're thankful), we sure see a lot of Elders and Sisters come and go.  We love them all and want to share some more pictures from those in our zone and district here in Hawkes Bay.
Elder Strasser (from Oregon) and Elder Heinricks (from Canada) have been our zone leaders for the last couple transfers, and they have been so fun...we all love their enthusiasm. Elder Heinricks (on the right) was just made an assistant to the president this week, so he left for Wellington yesterday.  Our new ZL with Elder Strasser is Elder Petaia, who is Tongan, but is from Auckland.
And here are Elder Strasser and Elder Petaia, our current Zone Leaders (Oct 2012)
See no evil,  hear no evil, speak no evil !
Here are illustrious leaders again.  This time our district leader, Elder Howard (from Australia) is also in the picture.  He is a SUPERB leader, and it won't be long before we lose him, too, when he's promoted to a zone leader.
The short elder is Elder Ebel from the Marshall Islands and Elder Levy (can't remember where he's from right now, but I'll correct this eventually).  They are in the Flaxmere District with us.  Actually, Elder Ebel isn't that short, but Elder Levy is really tall.
These are the Flaxmere sisters, (L-R):
Sister Lavea from Samoa
Sister Teaeki from Kiribati
Sister Temakau from Kiribati

Sister Temakau has been here the longest, and she was just transferred yesterday (27 Sept 2012) to the South Island.  Sister Teaeki is a brand new missionary, fresh from the Auckland MTC.  Sister Lavea is one of the sharpest sisters we've ever met.  Even the zone leaders admit that, if she were male, she'd be a zone leader.  She is an amazing teacher.
These are our two Napier sisters, Sister Hemi from Hamilton, NZ, and Sister Cameron from Australia.  Sister Hemi was transferred to Nelson on the North Island yesterday, and we haven't met her replacement yet, Sister Paongo.  Each transfer we learn to pronounce a bunch more names!
Stationed down in Waipukurau, which is in the Hastings District, are Elder Makalio (originally from Tonga, but his family now lives in Auckland) and Elder Siale (Tonga).  We rarely see them anymore, since we're not in the Hastings District now.
A couple nights before transfers, we took these four elders to MacDonald's for a MacFlurry.  We had a luncheon for our Flaxmere District, but two of these elders were also being transferred, so we wanted to do a little something for them, too.
L-R:  Elder Weihipeihana from Hamilton, NZ, was being transferred to the South Island
          Elder Kaumavae, staying here
          Elder Aumua (from Samoa) was being promoted to a district leader in Porirua
          Elder Hobby (Australia) is the Hastings DL; he's staying here, too


Some of the members of the Korongata Ward who meet in Bridge Pa are from a small town nearby called Paki Paki.  We went there for the first time this week (Monday, 24 Sept) to meet with a homebound member, who is on dialysis but is still a strong member of the Church.  After visiting with her, we decided to drive around Paki Paki because it appeared to be a tucked-away little paradise.  Here's some of the things we enjoyed seeing:
As most towns, Paki Paki had its own marae; but this is the nicest ones we've seen.

 Figure on top of the marae; these are always hand-carved and tell a story from the tribe.
There were also two different "totems" at the entrance to the marae; wish there had been someone nearby to explain them to us.
This is an old Anglican church, St. Luke's, across the way from the marae.  It's still in use today, and we were very impressed with its beauty.
Interior of the Anglican church

This is the first church built in Paki Paki, a Catholic Church.  It is no longer used but is being preserved. Next to it is the new Catholic Church (picture below).
A man who was working on the grounds allowed us to go inside and take a few pictures.  We could not find the name of the church anywhere, but there was a statue of Mary, and from that, we think it might be called the Immaculate Conception church.

Once again, the Maori influence is visible.  This is the altar area, backed with the tall windows below the crucifix that you can see from the front of the building.

Close-up picture of the carving behind the altar.

A couple of weeks after our first visit to Paki Paki, we went back again to try and find some more less-active members.  This time we discovered that this tiny town has TWO more maraes.  These other two are family-owned, where the first one is the community marae.  We saw this sign, which pointed down a path to see one of our new findings.

This marae was a lot smaller than the community marae but very well taken care of and very interesting to see.

What impressed us about this smaller marae was all the art work under the porch area.

Here's more of the art work, along with a closer view of the Maori carvings, which are different at every marae.

We only took one picture of this last marae because it was behind a fence, and we couldn't see the name of it anywhere and didn't want to trespass.  You'll notice that it is much plainer than the other two maraes...same basic design but only the one small carving at the top of the roof.  Regardless, these maraes are cherished by the Maori people and are always treated very respectfully.


On Saturday, 15 Sept 2012, we were able to walk down the street from where we live and watch the annual Hastings Blossom Parade.  What we enjoyed most were the variety of ethnic groups who participated.  It was really done on a small-town budget, but the weather was good, the crowd was big, and I got some interesting pictures:

The parade began with a dragon, quite long, with several men maneuvering it.

Popular with the older kids, but these "tall, walking sticks" frightened a lot of the toddlers.  One even came after Sister Farnes!
 The Indonesia representatives
 "Balloon" people
No flags from the USA, but one of our most recognized "celebrities" was there!

Thai & Buddhist Community

Carrying their flags along with the New Zealand flag.
 There were two groups of bagpipers in the parade, both very impressive.

And here's a group from Sri Lanka.  One of our favorite elders, Elder Seneviratne, is from Sri Lanka...and he refers to himself as "our son born to another mother".

Car with lots of Sri Lankan sayings; guess we'll have to ask Elder Seneviratne what they all mean.

Sri Lankan community
 Large balloon bike from St. Matthew's (Anglican) Primary School
 This is the Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule

We see a lot of people from India here in Hastings.  All of the nationalities we have met are very kind to us.

The float from India

Marchers from India

The ladies from India carried a colorful "May Pole"...and you can see that their native clothes are colorful and vivid, too.

Probably enough parade pictures; there were also lots of local floats, mostly from schools. The parade ended with a fire truck spraying vast amounts of foam into the crowd, and the people loved it...we understand it's part of the annual tradition at this parade. Oh, and even though it's called the Blossom Parade, flowers are very expensive, so any flowers we saw were made from paper.  But it was hometown fun, and we enjoyed it.


Okay, those of you who know us well, know we love to eat out, so we probably ought to share a few enjoyable places we've found here in the Hawkes Bay area.
 Pipi's - pizza restaurant in Havelock North - you can't miss it!
 Interior of Pipi's - isn't it fun!?  We were there early; later on the place is packed.
Dining on our winter vegetable pizza with walnuts, carmelized onions, etc., just delicious!
Hog's Breath Cafe - this cafe is in Napier, so we usually go there when we are in Napier inspecting the elders' flats.  We had to try it just for the name, but the food is good, and the atmosphere inside is like cafes in Park City.  It is decorated with lots of USA license plates...and the two right at the center are Utah and Texas, so that won my heart.  Our favorite lunch here is a BLT burger, actually has no burger, but it's bacon, lettuce, tomato in a bun with delicious barbecue sauce.  Below are some pictures of the interior:

Now, onto the next restaurant, below:
Fisherman's Table in Paekakariki, on Hwy 1 driving home from Wellington.  We had been to the same restaurant chain in Wellington three weeks previously, and  it was delicious, so we decided to try this one, too, because the food is so reasonably priced and the ocean views incredible.  
View from the back on the restaurant; we had perfect window seats, so we could watch the ocean that day.  As you can see, it was pretty turbulent...and beautiful!

Wyndam's Cafe in Clife, about halfway between Hastings and Napier.  I was invited to a "High Tea" birthday party here several months ago, and it was so enjoyable that I had to bring Clyde back to try their food, too.  It's become one of our favorite places, and the owner knows us well!

This is the front of the restaurant, some tables on the front porch, and during the summer, lots of dining outside in the back, which is a nice garden area.

Clyde enjoying the elegance of their table settings, all fine china, unique serving utensils.  My dear friend, Lorraine Hall, would LOVE this place.  It is very British.  In fact, they sell pottery pieces the owner imports from England.

And here is our "High Tea":  breakfast hot pastries on the lowest tier, sandwiches on the middle tier, and desserts on the highest tier.  It's just something you have to experience at least once.  Usually when we come here, though, we order a big Thai chicken salad that is one of the best we've ever eaten anywhere.