May 2012

Haratua 2012

E te whānau, e ōku hoa, kia ora koutou katoa.

Well, winter is just around the corner.  The weather here is starting to cool down which brings its own issues, not the least being trying to get clothes and linen dry when there is no sun and no wind.  Made worse by the fact that all our washing is done by hand, so you can imagine how hard it is to wring out sheets and blankets and thick winter clothes.  I truly have a new found appreciation for washing machines and driers – I will never take them for granted again!  Actually, there are many things I will never take for granted again, such as proper utensils for cooking, access to a variety of fruit and veges, a decent chair to relax in, English television and comfortable bed to sleep in.  However, I am grateful for what we do have as I know it could be a lot worse.

One of my many learnings from this experience is patience.  It seems everyday we are waiting for something or someone.  Most importantly all of us in here are waiting for our time to be up to return home to our families and friends.  This past month has seen a few girls reach the end of their sentences.  While we are all very happy for them to leave, we experience mixed emotions as we look at those of us left and try to imagine how we will feel when it is our turn.  Despite this, the time continues to go fast and I feel very lucky to be able to keep myself busy.   A big thank you to my two friends who have recently sent me books.  As you know, reading has become a great way to pass time, and to have to some kaupapa Maori and Hawaiian books is fantastic.  These have made me feel even closer to home and have been ones on my ‘to read’ list … and now is a perfect time to read them.

My English literature class has been interesting, although challenging, particularly in trying not to dominate the discussions.  We have nearly completed the first section which has had a focus on colonisation.  While we have been studying the colonisation of North America, those of us who attend have been able to relate to our own countries experiences of colonisation.  Our next section is on feminism, so that, too, should also be interesting, and still challenging.

We have had limited exercise classes over the past few weeks as the teachers have been involved in other activities.  I have missed the classes very much.  Although I have continued with my walking, it becomes very boring just walking round and around our small patio for an hour.  I’m sure when I am finally home I will thoroughly enjoy being able to walk places where the scenery changes.

In this update I really want to thank all those who are regularly in touch, and while I have a back log of letters to respond to, I promise I will answer all of them!.  If you’ve written and haven’t heard from me, just check with Ari or Leanne on Facebook to make sure you are on my ‘to write to’ list!

Also a big thank you to Ari’s beautiful friend and her new husband. I’m so glad my daughter was there to support you both on your special day, and although I wasn’t there in person, I’m honoured that you wore my ring as your “something borrowed”.

With huge appreciation, as always, for your ongoing love support and belief in me – until next month, take care of you and yours.

Arohanui Sharon

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