Friday, August 22, 2008


Building American/New Zealand relations. A friendly San Franciscan couple who introduced themselves at a restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf & drove us around some sights including Coit Tower.

Walking along Flaxmill Bay, across the water from Whitianga.

The view from a restaurant, probably in Alabama but maybe Georgia, of a stream which was complete with fishermen, including children with their poles.

I've just read Karen's post about Heroes. http://kiwibyrds.blogspot.com 7th August. I want to add my tuppence worth before I forget.

I was born in June 1939, a few months before the outbreak of war. Occassionally we travelled from our home on a farm near Palmerston North to Wellington, past the camp near Paekakariki, now Queen Elizabeth Park. My mother recalls giving a soldier a lift days before they headed off to one of the Pacific Island blood baths. She was impressed by the youth of these young marines. It grieved her heart to see these young men being sent to fight and she often wondered what happened to the ones they met. I vaguely remember the canvas town. I few years ago I joined a group of Intercessors who went into the Park to pray, giving thanks for the soldiers who helped secure our freedom. New Zealand was in serious danger of invasion. Time makes that statement seem a little paranoid but the danger was for real.

I walked around reading the memorial stones and found myself weeping tears that would not stop. America gave it's budding youth to help the world from being overtaken by a great evil force.

It is also true that many New Zealanders do not see that side of USA. My F-I-L was anti-American and often derided their efforts in battle. My husband carried some of that until we toured there a few years ago and discovered an America we could happily live in, a country so vast, diverse, with so much variety, humour and love that all our misconceptions blew away. One of the reasons that we have this complex about USA stems from jealousy .... Americans had money, they seemed very wealthy compared with ordinary Brits & Anzacs. The girls loved American men ..... our men never bothered to find out why! Our down-under men are or were very unromantic and simply expected women to get on with being wives, mother's, housekeepers and work on the farm for little reward. The unforgivable sin of Americans though was and is their apparent self-confidence and lack of humility. Trouble was and is we don't recognise our own lack of humility because we are all up against the great 'knocking machine'. It is very important that no-one think too much of themselves or have self confidence. It is a national trait to cut the heads off tall poppies. We have trouble celebrating our heroes except perhaps Sir Ed Hilary and Sir Peter Blake. Thank-goodness this is slowly changing and we are learning to appreciate people with strength, gifts and leadership qualities.

Also back during WW2, - in the cities there were a few fights between Americans and our soldiers. Cultures clashed.

The saddest clash came with racism. Largely we have great respect for other races and know that Maori, (brown skinned), and European, (white skinned), are equal. There is no official discrimination although there are points of conflict some of which are being worked out in the political arena right now.

New Zealanders could not bear to see Afro-Americans treated differently to others, nor would they tolerate a white American speaking badly to or of a Maori. Now that New Zealand has many different races immigrating there is a slightly less tolerant attitude among some, as we find ourselves having to learn to live alongside people of different cultures.

I have great respect for the United Sates of America but I'm not a sentimental idiot closing my eyes to problems. Find me a Nation that does not have problems.

Now for my Weight loss I am taking a leaf out of Lora's book or journal in this case and making small changes day by day. As I feel confident in one I will change something else. This is a different route to any I have travelled previously. I tend to star diets, go 'cold turkey' and whatever other idea I come to that looks as though it will work for me. Any diet that provides lower calories in than expended in energy works. I have all the answers! Yet I am among the worst of YoYo weight controllers.

Cammy suggested I take small steps a while ago and I thought, 'Nah, I know better!' The truth is that I have come to a place where I know I have a program that works but I just don't seem able to get into it. I don't have the energy to make radical changes so here I am taking small steps toward a healthier me. And all the wise people say,'Yay! At last she's got it!' I'm not so sure but it has to be better than what I've been doing for the last couple of months.

My initial goals are to become wheat & gluten free. I'm well on the way to achieving that. I'm working on 2 other things with priority to not drink my favourite beverage after 10.30 am. I'd like to cut it out altogether but I don't think I'm ready to do that. I'm breaking the rule right now and having an afternoon coffee but I am getting closer with at least one day in the last week only having 2 cappuccinos, both before 11 am. The other change is to do with walking. I've been for one walk this week and that is not good enough. I like the look of one of About's walking plans and I want to honestly follow it day by day. There is a Fun Walk in 3 weeks and I see no reason why I shouldn't be fit enough to join in, but only if I walk daily. I though that incentive might get me motivated.

I am not going to weigh myself because I don't like what the scales say and I don't trust my digital ones either.

That's me for now.


kate said...

slowly weaning yourself off the coffee is the best way margieanne so keep at it :)

Suzanne said...

Thanks for all the kind words about our American soldiers. I'm also very interested in what you have to say about the differences in the cultures. I'm very glad that your trip to the U.S. blew away those preconceptions. I believe that it's always better to find out for yourself and then decide.

My step-brothers and sisters live in Australia and I've heard nothing but praise about your country and your people.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

kikimonster said...

What a beautiful story. Sure, every nation has their good and their bad, just like every person, right?? BTW, I visited SF for the first time back in March and I walked from Union Square up to Coit Tower. Can we say OUCH??

kimmy said...

hey sweetie small steps is an awesome idea
good luck with everything but remember dont be to hard on yourself we are only human