Things that have made me happy in the past few days.

One of the best things about staying here has been that there are lots and lots of chickens. I'm a city girl. I dont see these animals often, but when I do, I want to play with them and love them and give them a pat. However, unfortunately they don't feel the same about me...

The chase begins.

I did end up getting to catch a chicken in the end. The owner took pity on me (or perhaps he wanted me to stop harassing his chickens, and putting them off their eggs) and he caught one for me. I got to pat it and then he hypnotised it by putting its head under its wing and then swinging it in a circle. I was very impressed.

I've also loved L&P (Lemon and Paeroa). Its a soft drink that you can only get in NZ. It used to be made from the spring water of a town named Paeroa, hence the name. Now its made by Coca-cola. It still tastes good, and it brings back many childhood memories for me and my family.

I've also been taken back to my childhood by icecream. Goody-goody gumdrops icecream to be precise. We can't get this in Australia, so we love it when we come here. Its just so good! All dairy products are better here. I think its because NZ cows get more grass, as Australia is in a drought, but don't quote me on that, as I don't know very much about farming stuff!

I've also loved learning to make cheese. Did you know it takes 8 litres of milk to make one kilo of cheese? I was surprised to learn that, it seems like such a large amount of milk for such a small amount of cheese, but I guess you're trying to separate the milk solids from the liquid in the milk, and there can't be that much solid in the milk. It was lots of fun. We won't get to taste it though, as its feta, and it hasn't sat for long enough, or been in the brine yet. Hopefully it tastes good for our hosts to eat.

I've loved this holiday. Its made me wish I lived on a farm, I love the rural lifestyle, and just being in the country. It seems so much healthier than the city. I'll be sad to go home tonight, but excited as well. I'm looking forward to seeing my ferrets and my friends. We have a long day and night ahead of us. We're taking the ferry back from Coromandel town to Auckland, and it gets in at about 11pm. We have to be at the airport at 4.00 am tomorrow morning, so we are going to go straight to the airport, as there would be no point in getting rooms for only a few hours sleep. I'm just praying that we can catch a bit of sleep at the airport, and on the plane. I'm also a nervous flyer, so I'd really appreciate it if you could pray that we have a safe and restful trip.

The next time I post, I'll be in Australia. Happy New Year! 2008 has been a fantastic year for me. God has been so amazing, life has been wonderful, I've been so happy. I feel I've been richly blessed. I hope the Lord blesses you and your families in this coming year!