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I’m happy to report that kindness is alive and well and thriving in New Zealand.

A few months back on a coldish winter Saturday I came out of work only to find the starter just ticking when turning the key. It would seem there wasn’t enough juice in the battery to turn over the engine.

Not belonging to AA I attempted a call to a friendly local mechanic. But being a Saturday he was not by his phone.

I had the bonnet up and was checking connections, at the same time knowing the battery was old and tired and probably on its last legs. A series of cold days and nights had in all likelihood contributed to this state of affairs.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a car rolled up and out poured a bunch of energetic boys and two sturdily built men, all Maori.

“What’s the matter, mate?” asked one of the men.

They listened to my story and within a few minutes had jumper leads out and had boosted the battery.

I thanked them profusely. The men shrugged sheepishly as if what they had done was perfectly normal and all in a day’s work. Which I suppose it was; for them. They then all crammed back in their car and left as quickly as they’d arrived.

Kindness is alive and well and thriving in Kaitaia.

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On a recent day off Lucia and I went to the Bay of Islands for a day out. We jumped on a ferry to Russell. It was a magnificent spring day, still and sunny. A bit of an exception to the rain and wind we’d had so much around equinox.

We sat by the beach in old Russell for a picnic lunch and were treated to a show by a large pod of dolphins, just offshore. There was plenty of tail slapping by some of the adults while one youngster shot straight out of the water in a joyous breach. A great start to our visit.

I wanted to show Lucia the track to Okiato and we thoroughly enjoyed the walk. It was an amazing day, remaining cloudless and still. But by the time we’d reached the car ferry to Opua neither of us was keen to walk the rest of the track to Paihia, where we’d left the car. We hadn’t really planned to walk so far and it was already nearly 5pm.

So we stood by the roadside in Opua with our thumbs out and within two minutes had a ride. Our benefactor, Trevor, had been enjoying the day on his yacht and was returning to Paihia to pick up his wife from their shop. He thought nothing of helping. It was all in a day’s work.

Kindness is alive and well and thriving in Aotearoa.

The photos are from our Wednesday walking group’s tramp from Russell to Opua in March, 2014.

 

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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

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My thanks to George and Pauline for the beautiful photos from a walk we all agreed was a highlight of this year’s walking. It’s a long drive to Cape Reinga from whence this walk began and it was blustery and cool at the beginning. But before the day was out I’d had a couple of dips in the sea and waded in a creek to keep cool. The landscape is extraordinarily varied and there is a sense of being away from it all in this, the very north of the country. I trust you enjoy the photos of which I’ve only chosen to show a few. The complete album can be found here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/109798694876493156288/CapeMariaVanDiemenWalk

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Cape Reinga. The meeting of two oceans.

Ready to begin

Ready to begin: our destination is behind us in the distance.

For your information

For your information

Near beginning

Near beginning: Te Werahi below

Flax readying to bloom

Flax readying to bloom

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Two Johns by the steep early cliffs

Relentless seas.

Relentless seas.

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It's warming up!

Alma, John and Tom on the long stretch of Te Werahi. It’s warming up!

The climb up from Te Werahi

The climb up from Te Werahi

Flax Snails

Flax Snails

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Dunes down to the beach below Cape Maria van Diemen

Stunning landscape.

Stunning landscape. Looking out to Motuopao Island

Skyscape

Skyscape

Windswept formations.

Windswept formations.

A dip at midday.

A dip at midday.

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

Cape Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse

It is a working lighthouse.

It is a working lighthouse.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be.

Motuopao. Where the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper used to be. Note treacherous currents.

Creek arriving at the sea.

Creek arriving at the sea. We followed it up.

Down the dune

Down the dune: It’s a sudden stop at the end.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

George coming safely down the steep dune.

Windswept formations

Two steps up and one step back.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Paki.

Some of the crew enjoying ice cream at Te Kao. A just reward for a long day.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com  In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101