E te whānau, e ōku hoa, kia ora koutou katoa.
Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou, Feliz Ano Nuevo – Happy New Year.
I sincerely hope 2012 is your best year ever. I was fortunate to see in the New Zealand New Year on the phone with my daughter and sister and then my darling daughter phoned back 3 hours later to wish me another Happy New Year as Brisbane farewelled 2011. Some 13 hours later, I celebrated the coming of 2012 with the 10 women in my pavilion here in Argentina. I figure three New Years has to be a good sign!
Thanks to each and everyone who, over the past month, has either phoned, sent me cards, letters, flowers (not real but just as precious), a paua bracelet, a New Zealand designed t-shirt, gardenia soap (a fond memory from my times in Rarotonga), a bright red Hei Tiki (which everyone comments on), a calendar from Taranaki (fabulous to see all my familiar places and to share with the women in here), an awesome book called ‘As Time Goes By’ with some funny and poignant poems and sayings from famous people about growing older, and a couple of other books which I am looking forward to reading. Once again, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has given koha.
I think I have read more books in the past 9 months, than I have read in my lifetime! Reading affords me the opportunity to ‘escape’ from here albeit for only a short time.
Each week I write a letter to my mokopuna (grandson) and I had the pleasure of hearing him read the latest one a couple of days ago. I started writing about a month after my arrest and to date he has received 33 letters from me. I look forward to the time when we can both sit down and read them again together.
The weather here can range from 18–24 degrees in the morning, to anywhere from 28–38 degrees in the afternoon. Some of our hotter days make me feel like I am back in Brisbane. They tell me here it will likely get even hotter over the next month.
We have a new exercise class that started a couple of weeks ago called ‘Aerobox’. As the name suggests it is a mix between aerobics and boxing. I really enjoy it and it is proving to be the most popular exercise class in here. We have continued to work over the holidays, other than the stat days and a few other days off in the past week as we ran out of work and had to wait for more orders to come in.
As I pass the 9 month mark of my arrest I still continue to count my blessings every day and I remain strong, positive and focussed on my eventual return home.
Well, my dear friends and whānau, until the next update enjoy your holidays if you are lucky enough not to be back at work yet. And if you are, then I hope the New Year has brought you a renewed enthusiasm for your mahi.
Take care of you and yours and, as always, thanks for your ongoing love, support and belief in me.