Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Spring!

Kia Ora, Kids,
That's the Maori greeting meaning "Good Health." Everybody says it here in New Zealand. Look at your world map to see where I am. I'm in the southern hemisphere so the seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere where we live. It is the beginning of summer here but it is still chilly -- they had a surprise snowstorm a few days ago! It's also a day later -- it's Thursday noon where I am but it's only Wednesday where you are -- and it's either 5 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon -- this is so confusing!!!! And when water runs down the sink drain here, it goes in the opposite direction to the way it goes down in Edmond.
This country is beautiful with all sorts of landscapes. Right now we're in Wellington on the coast of the north island. Earlier we were on the south island in an area called the Southern Alps -- gorgeous high mountains.
Back before people settled here, there was only one kind of mammal (two species) -- bats. Because there were no predators, birds forgot how to fly! I hope you got the post card with the kiwi -- it's the national bird. They are almost extinct because with the arrival of people, other animals arrived and they liked to eat kiwi!
People here are very friendly. There are three official languages -- English, Maori and sign language for hearing impaired people. New Zealanders are very friendly -- the call themselves "kiwis."
There are several other bears here and we are having a great time.