Thursday, April 18, 2019

Happenings

There's been a lot going on lately!

Two and half weeks ago, our street celebrated Neighbours Day:

Ruby hanging out with Jan and Matylda and their baby, Camellia

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Vegan marshmallow Easter eggs

I've nailed a new Easter egg recipe.  After ludicrously extensive experimentation, I bring you: vegan marshmallow Easter eggs!


This is part of an ongoing quest to love our neighbours as ourselves.  Working conditions in the cocoa industry are terrible and child labour is common.  We want to love our neighbours in far-off cocoa-growing regions by ensuring they have what they need to flourish: a living wage, safe working conditions and, if they're kids, the opportunity to go to school.  But we also want to love our nearby neighbours by showing them hospitality.  For our vegan neighbours at Easter, that means hand-making vegan Easter eggs using fairly traded chocolate, as vegan fairly traded Easter eggs are otherwise very hard to come by.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Fairly traded Easter eggs 2019

Did you know that at least 20% of the Easter eggs on sale in New Zealand this Easter will be made with cocoa grown by kids who are kept out of school to work?  Kids who commonly work 12 hour days and are frequently beaten.  Who would want to support that?

Fortunately, you don't have to!  Below are some ways you can get your Easter treats whilst helping your neighbours to flourish :-) - the list can also be downloaded as a pdf here.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mokoroa Falls

Yesterday Martin and I went for a wee tramp with my long-standing tramping buddies Anna and David.  It was super-nice to be doing something like that again!  We did the Mokoroa Falls Track: one of the few tracks in the Waitakere Ranges still open (most are closed to try and prevent Kauri dieback, but this one has been resurfaced and is apparently OK).  It was about 4km of walking and, whilst most of it was on a very well-formed track or was stairs, around the bottom of the actual falls there was a bit of scrambling to be done.  It was fun!

David and Martin cleaning their shoes as we entered the track

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Fairfield Conference 2019

Three weeks ago Martin and I, along with our friend Anna, attended the Fairfield Conference: a conference trying to encourage social justice through ethical trade.  We had a table there for Just Kai and I also gave a talk.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A long way to go

I thought it was time for a bit of an update...

It's a funny time at the moment.  I started seeing a physio about 6 weeks ago, since then exercise has been my main occupation every weekday morning.  He has me doing various strength-type exercises each morning (some 5 days a week, others two or three), plus twice a week I go for a walk for an hour or so and twice a week I go for a bike ride.  The bike riding's been a bit of a shock to the system!  At the beginning I could only go the length of our driveway a couple of times but I'm now doing just under 4km (which takes me 15 minutes) and I'm hoping to be cycling for transport a bit before too long.

In one sense, I've definitely made enormous progress in the past 4 1/2 months.  My physical abilities have gone through the roof.  This is my graph of how many steps I'm averaging per day (the numbers are the average of the two weeks leading up to that day - my steps are very variable per day, so averages make it easier to tell what's going on!)


The numbers are still small, but the graph is just going up and up!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Thoughts after yesterday's shooting

I saw a video today that I found this sobering, but it also seemed to reflect well some uncomfortable things I've been thinking about this morning.  I can't see how to post it directly, but if you're on Facebook you can see it here.  It's an Australian speaking, but I don't think things are all that different here.

Image credit https://www.facebook.com/YeoCartoons/

I'm white and I grew up here.  New Zealand doesn't feel racist to me.  But I have two friends, people of colour who have moved here after living in quite a few other countries, and they say they've never experienced racism anywhere like they experience here.  And one of them has lived in France, which I tend to think of as pretty racist, and they've both lived in England.

I also (occasionally) hear Kiwi Christian leaders making statements near-identical to those quoted in the middle of this video.

I don't know exactly how, but I do feel like people like me are part of the problem.

Whilst I don't think we've had violence on this scale here since the early days of European colonisation (or maybe since WW2 - I think there was a massacre of POWs here then?), it feels like what happened in Christchurch yesterday is just the extreme end of something that's pretty everyday in New Zealand.

If we don't acknowledge that, actually, this *is* us - how will it change?