Thursday, December 22, 2011

Around the World: KeriKeri

December 22, 1991

Checked into the Kerikeri YHA (Youth Hostel Association).  So far, I've met a lady from Germany who speaks little English, but enough to have a basic conversation.  There's a couple in their thirties, also from Germany who speak no English at all.  The husband is taking pictures of his wife from all possible angles in every conceivable location. In the short time I've seen them, he has taken several shots of her sitting on the deck, standing on the deck, drinking coffee, going into the common room and coming out, eating and washing up their dishes.  I suspect they are on a honeymoon and they are very cute to watch.

YHA Kerikeri
Photo by Virtual Tourist

The rest of my hostel mates are four girls from Japan who are inseparable.  Anywhere they go, they go together, arm in arm, giggling and chattering away, followed by more giggling.  Other than the hostel keeper, I think Gail and I are the only ones who speak any amount of English.  Looks like charades will be the most useful method of communication.

Behind the hostel is a church.  The pastor dropped by the hostel to invite anyone staying at the hostel to the services tonight and asked if anyone could sing.  I declined, for everyone's benefit.

There's a pool table in the common room and I have discovered that my game is not improving.

• ¤ •

"My people? Who are they?
I went into the church where the congregation worshiped my God. Were they my people?
I felt no kinship to them as they knelt there.

My people! Where are they?
I went into the land where I was born, where men spoke my language...
I was a stranger there.
"My people," my soul cried. "Who are my people?"

Last night in the rain I met an old man who spoke a language I do not speak,
which marked him as one who does not know my God.
With apologetic smile he offered me the shelter of his patched umbrella.
I met his eyes... And then I knew…"

'Who Are My People,'
~Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni (Who Are My People)