Day 858 – NEW ZEALAND: A family reunion


You may notice that even though my “journey is over”, I am still counting days in the titles of my bog posts. This is for a reason. It because my journey is not over yet. Coping with post-journey trauma (as I feel like I am experiencing right now) is as much a part of the journey as sawing handles off stuff to save weight was a part of the journey way before I even left Japan.

Drilling holes / 穴あけ

Who needs handles 2 / ハンドルなんて要らない!② Who needs handles (Cone Wrenches) / ハンドルなんて要らない!

Making my cycle touring tools lighter pre-departure in July 2006

So, on Day 858 of my journey around the world by bicycle and skateboard, I got to meet up with my extended family whom I have not seen for two and a half years. We had a potluck dinner at my parent’s place (everyone brings a dish to share). Present were:

  • Mum
  • Older bro Mark and his wife Eline and their two daughters (Zoe and Hayley) who I have not met (born while I was away).
  • Nana (Mum’s mum)
  • Aunty Les (Mum’s sister)
  • Aunty Jenny (Mum’ sister) and husband Nigel
  • Cousin Tim
  • Cousin Hannah
  • Cousin Richard with wife Leanne and daughter Makayla

Some of the family in Christchurch, New Zealand

So that’s twelve adults, one toddler, and two babies.

Brother Mark and family (!!!) in Christchurch, New Zealand

Leanne and Richard and Makayla in Christchurch, New Zealand

I spent most of the night sitting and feeling like a small dazed animal. There were only three additions to the family present, but it felt like more. I mean, it felt like there were babies everywhere. Everywhere. And I had blissfully forgotten just how emphatically and with gusto my family (mostly the females) agree on every topic that is ever discussed during family gatherings. I hear that in many families the noise often eminates from disgreements. Not in my family. Everyone agrees, and agrees loudly. I felt like a fish out of water.

I was impressed by, and felt a renewed respect for my older brother Mark. He handled his daughters like a pro, seeming completely at ease with them. Not that I would expect anything less.

Brother Mark and daughters in Christchurch, New Zealand

Zoe, Mark’s eldest daughter, plucked up the courage to let her Uncle Rob a kiss goodbye when they left. It was a special moment. A new life in the making, a life in which I am part of in family…wow.

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