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s o r r y m u m meets the people - Piri from Aitu, Cook Islands - the bread changed everything

"You can only appreciate so many mountains and beautiful lakes, sunsets and turquoise lagoons - then you have to meet the people", a friend once said. And he was right. When travelling over time, as I did a year, your surroundings start to not give any meaning. You stop seeing and appreciating nature. Nature fatigue. Very interesting phenomena that can even make you sad and depressed. Pointing out the reason helped. I knew I had to meet the people, so I changed my focus.
On Rarotonga, an island in the Cook Islands, I met Piri. In 2002. First at his coconut-tree-climbing show where we als where taught how to make a fire with sticks and to cook with hot stones in the ground. We all had to work together and it gave meaning. It  took us half a day to cook the meal.
The stones were heated by the fire we made. Piri worked hard with dry moss and two sticks and we all gave shelter from the wind so he could nurture the fire. Piri worked up a sweat and managed to start a small fire. We…

s o r r y m u m - hello New Zealand!

I cannot believe people from New Zealand read my blog! That makes me so happy. I love that country. Travelled both islands in 2004 in an old, yellow car bought outside Auckland. Stayed for months.

What impressed me the most on New Zealand was the people. They made me feel like a guest in their country - not a tourist. When - not if - I studied a map on the street, people would come up to me and friendly offer their help. Or invite us to their house. We even got to sleep in a marae - a  house where the maori used to live in large families. Grandparents, aunts, cousins - everybody sleeping in one big room. Until the English moved the maories by force to live in small houses which made my friend so unhappy as a little kid missing his grandma, he ran away to be with her in the night. She met him by the creek...

He also told me how he used to stay in the forest for days and weeks without food and even clothes just living off what nature offered. And how they always and out of respect for the…