E te whānau, e ōku hoa, kia ora koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui mō te kihirimete me te tau hou hoki. Merry Christmas to you all and a safe and happy New Year. Bring on 2012!!!!
The end of yet another year causes me to reflect on the past 12 months. Aside of course from my last eight months in prison here in Argentina, my thoughts turn to all those who have passed away, Aunty Eva, Te Heikoko, Sir Paul, Te Kauhoe – I think of you and your whānau often.
To my whānau and friends and all the people of Christchurch I pray that your lives are returning to some sort of normality. Also, as we pass the first anniversaries of the Pike River Mine tragedy and the Queensland floods, I take strength from your endurance through very sad times.
I have also missed many happy times as well, my Aunty’s 80th, my nephew’s 21st, my niece’s wedding in Molong, the birth of babies and other birthdays and whānau celebrations.
In here things continue to click over and thankfully the time does seem to pass quickly. As I’ve said before, the one thing that I have control over is myself. I have learnt the power of ensuring my tinana (body), hinengaro (thoughts/mind) and wairua (spirituality) are all in sync. I know that these are what keep me focussed and determined to return home in a good space - it’s the least I can do to make sure that all my whānau and friends don’t need to worry about me any more than they already do.
I am aware that some people have sent me mail that I have never received. If you have not heard back from me, it’s because your mail never arrived here, as I have responded to everyone that I have received something from.
I understand that recently there were some media reports about myself and my case. These were not official statements from myself or my whānau. Please be assured that when we have something to update about my case we will issue an official statement.
I hear National is back in, as is Winston . To all my friends and colleagues in the public sector, I hope you are not affected too much by any cut backs. However, if you are, then I hope that something new and exciting is on the horizon for you.
The weather here over the past weekend has been a bit cooler which has been nice. However, as I write this update the temperature seems to be rising again. The girls in here tell me it can get very hot over the summer with temperatures in the high 30’s……..so I will appreciate any cooler days we get.
My Spanish lessons continue and our teacher is also teaching some of the staff in here English. Last week, I helped her to do some English translations for the various Spanish signs around the prison. Hopefully it will help to orientate any new English speakers faster. Unfortunately, I think we average 1-2 new international women every couple of weeks.
I had a visit from the NZ Ambassador based here in Buenos Aires last week. I spent the first couple of minutes speaking slowly as I have become accustomed to in here (our fast kiwi accent is hard for many of the girls in here to understand) when I suddenly realised I could speak at my normal pace as he could understand me! I am sure that if I wasn’t receiving daily calls from my whānau I would already be speaking very differently.
Three of the girls in my pavillion have birthdays either side of Christmas so we will be celebrating their birthdays on Christmas day.
Please continue to help us raise awareness about the possible dangers of the internet and let us know if you have any information to add.
Well until my next update in the New Year, please know you are all in my thoughts, especially at this festive time. As I said in my first update so many of you are my inspiration and I thank you for your belief in me.