Its always with a great sense of pride and enjoyment that I show off a little of my beautiful country to overseas visitors. I love to have people visit and consider myself so lucky to have friends who are able to stop by and say hi when New Zealand is so far away from everywhere else.
This last month we’ve enjoyed the company of a couple from Hawaii. While not native Hawaiians – Jim serves in the US Navy – they have lived there for six years so they know the place pretty well. It was fun sharing emails to suggest places they should consider visiting while touring around NZ. Their interest in visiting Lord of the Rings sites had me admitting I’d never been to any of them yet – a situation I really do need to rectify soon.
While we followed their progress and checked the weather reports every evening, we worried their visit was being dogged by wet weather and they wouldn’t see the countryside at its best. However, as we should already know, weather patterns on an island in the middle of a huge ocean can vary greatly from region to region. Apparently they struck bad weather on only two of their twenty odd days, possibly a miracle as Christchurch suffered severe flooding while they visited that city. Catching up with the visitors again after their trip to see if the countryside met their expectations gave us great satisfaction as they had so many wonderful things to say about their journey.
The days our visitors stayed in Auckland, we were catching up on the years since we’d last been together. However we showed them a little of what makes this city unique, including visits to some of the world class wineries we have right on our back doorstep.
Friendship is such a wonderful thing. It’s so precious. What a tremendous feeling it was to welcome this couple back into our home after so many years. Years which disappeared into nothing as we simply picked up from where we’d said goodbye all those years ago.