E te whānau, e ōku hoa, nei rā ngā mihi o te tau hou.
I hope the first month of this year has been kind to you all.
For me, this year comes with the promise of my return home. To be home among whānau and friends fills me with much excitement. I have just one resolution for this year:
‘To esure that this experience assists in shaping me in a positive way – one that reaps benefit for my whānau and others’.
While I’m still to understand what those benefits may be, once I do, I would like to share my experiences to support the ongoing battle of online scams, financial, emotional or any scams that hurt people through fraudulent intent. I aim to maintain a positive attitude to ensure success with my resolution.
As I don’t have a date confirmed to fly home I am not able to count down days so I thought I would just count days from 1 January to see how many it will take till I leave. So by the time this update is posted I will have 31 days – 1 month – completed and counting…
My ‘saviour’ from the NZ Embassy here in Argentina has returned home to live. I will miss her regular visits and also her love of books and magazines which she would kindly pass onto me when she was finished. Thanks for your love and support. Of the 16 books she gave me on her last visit, I’m already half way through.
I’ve been doing lots of puzzles – Suduko, crosswords and some others. This interest has arisen due to a couple of women (who left here around 8-9months ago) who have subsequently told me of their challenges in settling back in at home and finding employment. They tell me they are struggling to maintain concentration for long periods of time. So I thought at least if I keep my brain working by doing puzzles, I may maintain concentration and focus. I also think I am getting better the more I do. Thanks also to NZ Woman’s Day for their weekly magazine – loving the links to back home, and of course the puzzles as well.
One of the other things I am thankful for are my daily phone calls from my whānau because (aside from the obvious), I’m sure these calls will ensure I don’t return home with a strange way of speaking. One of the girls in my pavilion struggles to understand my English, so we sat down recently to try and work out why that was. English is her second language, however, I consider her a fluent English speaker and she also understands others (not from NZ!), who speak English. I’m thinking it’s because I speak fast. She says “No, it’s not just that, it’s because you roll all your words together and sometimes I don’t think you finish them”. “Do others in my pavilion think the same?” …. “Yes” she replies, “especially those who have learnt English only over the past 18-20 months since they’ve been here”. Anyway, we worked out that what she means is when she speaks she has pauses (slight) after every few words. So we agreed that I would try and pause during sentences. I will try and breathe between words so that they have a better chance of following what I’m saying. But I am a bit concerned that if I have to slow down too much, by the time I’m half way through I may forget the ending!! All in all, it was helpful feedback for me and my Kiwi accent.
On that note, I will bring this update to a close by again, thanking those who keep in touch, either via phone calls, make contact with my whānau, letters, angel cards, Facebook messages, emails, and Christmas cards. It took around 6 weeks for some cards to arrive, so apologies if you haven’t had a response yet. I’m onto them now and hopefully my replies are speedier on the way back home.
So, until next month I wish you all lots of love, light and happiness.