Thanks to the D.O.C. folks at Pukaha Mt. Bruce I was granted some solo time with the big girls in the river… feeding them right off a spoon and petting them all…. lifting them and feeling their weight as they gently slid through my hands…. so calm and powerful. They felt like ancient velvet. Unfortunately, to migrate out to sea, these eels will have to swim through some of the most polluted waters in NewZealand due to the Wairarapa’s heavy use of fertilizers due to farming.
Later, the Opaki School kids and their teachers and many involved and enthusiastic parents spent the day there with me working on the tapestry. So many people pitched in to make the day an overwhelming success. Gill Stewart organized everything and facilitated kinetic activities beautifully. Joe Potangaroa brought the ingredients for a wild-foods lunch, complete with paua, watercress, purple Maori potatoes (taewa), sweet little tawa berries and steamed pupu (snails) gathered from the local rock pools. Yummy indeed!
As you can see from the pictures, everyone chipped in and they have a good start on their tapestry section. What fun it was!
Here’s what Spencer, the kids’ teacher had to say: