Thursday, 6 August 2015


Well, SOMEONE didn’t particularly want to go to Rotorua. SOMEONE had ‘been there, done that’ when it came to sulphurous springs, bubbling mud and hot pools. SOMEONE wasn’t interested in going to the most popular tourist spot in New Zealand.

Actually, I had to agree with him on the last bit. Touristy sights and sites have never been our thing – were we the only family to visit Florida and NOT go to Disney World? (Though Sea World and Kennedy Space Centre did tick lots of boxes for us...)

However, the sight – and smell – of the earth’s volcanic power at my feet absolutely fascinates me. So I dragged the Rotorua Grinch, in full mental grumble mode, all the way to the shores of the lake. Shock, horror, no freedom camping: we actually had to stay in a ‘proper’ holiday park.

  • It’s winter – there were two other vans camping nearby, but otherwise it was deserted.
  • Electricity. Unlimited hot water, easy laptop charging, good light at night, quick cups of tea.
  • Hot pools for our use on the campsite. A boiling mud pool to gape at. Proximity to historic Rotorua and the lake.And, to be fair, The Grinch kept his mutterings, mostly, to himself.
  • No one doing ‘doughnuts’ or rocking up in the early hours for possibly nefarious purposes.
First visit on bikes (5 minutes away) was Ohinemutu village, original Maori Rotorua, on the shores of the lake. Many magnificently carved buildings, a beautiful Anglican church and steam hissing in almost every backyard.

St Faith's at Ohinemutu

St Faith's
Second visit: Sulphur Bay. Still cycling along the lake shore, past the paddle steamer, dozens of black swans and more New Zealand scaup (black teal) than I could ever imagine seeing. Huge flocks, all calling to each other with un-ducklike whistles or diving, synchronised swimming style, underwater together.

More steam, more sinter (rocky) terraces and landscapes, more mud pools. The Grinch conceded that it was now beginning to look like Lake Bogoria, our ultimate favourite in getaways from our Kenyan days. Therefore, the day was beginning to get a little better.

Third visit: Kuirau Park. City park with car parks, grass, playgrounds, ponds... and steaming pools, gushing hot fountains, sinter terraces and bubbling mud holes. Incredible.

I don’t care what the Grinch says about sulphurous fumes or ‘seen it before’ geysers. I LOVE Rotorua. I love the unexpectedness, the power of the earth, the majesty of creation. God is amazing!

And the Grinch my dear husband, considering he really, really wasn’t keen at all on doing all this, nevertheless indulged my wishes very, very graciously. So I shall add here something I saw on facebook this morning:

In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question: 'What kind of man are you looking for?' She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye and asking, 'Do you really want to know?' Reluctantly, he said, 'Yes.

She began to expound, 'As a woman in this day and age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for me that I can't do fsor myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man... or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, 'What can you bring to the table?'

The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought and stated, 'I am not referring to money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.

'I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation and mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man.

I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don't need to be unequally yoked...believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.

I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don't need a financial burden.

I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.

I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man.

I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God.

I need someone whom I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive...he just has to be worthy.

And by the way, I am not looking for him...He will find me. He will recognize himself in me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me. God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can't help a man if he can't help himself.”

I’m blessed to have been married to one like this for over 30 years.

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