They asked us what our plans were and when we told them we only had 2 more weeks in the Taranaki area, Ian protested that we were foolish to want to leave the “gem” of New Zealand. He continued to tell us that him and his wife would like to have us over to their farm and would call up to the Jury farm to set a date. J
So they called up to the house that same day and arranged with Sharyn to take us – all day – the following Friday. We sort of felt like little kids who’s parents arrange their play-dates for them. J Haha – but we were Tony and Sharyn’s property and if they were willing to part with us for a day, that was their decision. :) We were real surprised they let us off the hook from working that day.
So – come Friday, Sharyn dropped JP and I off on her way to taking the boys to school. Ian and Janet were so nice. They brought us in for coffee and first thing gave us their telephone and told us we should call home and talk to our parents – which we hadn’t had a chance to do yet in the couple of weeks we’d been in the country.
So I called my momma J who I assumed would be at work. But she wasn’t at work. She was at home! So we chatted away for a while – probably for too long… :) and I got to hear a bit about how my brothers were doing, and that my parents were busy tearing apart our kitchen some more. :)
Then JP called home and got a hold of his mom (/my mom!) and talked with her for a while.
We talked with the Finers for the while. Ian is HILARIOUS and tells a lot of the kind of jokes that make a person unsure of whether he’s kidding or not – until he breaks out with a giant smile. And Janet reminds me of my grandma Marguerite because she looks a lot like her. And Janet is just darling.
Well the two of them had a whole itinerary planned out for the day. So we all hopped into their Holden (side note – it’s a big running joke of some sort between the Kiwis here of competing Holdens vs. Fords… we don’t quite get it…. Haha).
That day we would fully encircle Mt. Taranaki and make many stops along the way.
As we drove they showed us the dairy farms and explained to us all about running a dairy farm in New Zealand – and a bit of the history.
They took us to a crude oil storage place, where we got to learn about Taranaki’s first off shore oil drill which was shipped over all the way from Japan. It took 3 months just to float it here.
Next they drove us to THE dairy plant, which all the dairy farmers sell their milk to. They explained the process of creating condensed milk, told us about all the countries they sell their dairy products to, and showed us the huge milk tankers that drive around daily to the dairy farms to transport their milk – the same milk tankers that Tony used to drive when he was younger.
Next they brought us to the Tawhiti Museum in Hawera where a rather famous man named Nigel ______(?) has constructed many life sized models and extremely detailed miniature models of life in the Taranaki area throughout history. And we learned a lot – all about the Maori’s, and the British traders, settlers, and military, and conflict, etc. We were ashamed of how little we knew. The school system has let us down. But yeah, this museum was incredible. We spent about 3 hours going through it with the Finers. They also bought us lunch in the cute little museum café. And much to Janet’s amusement, she tricked me into going into a fake bathroom. Haha, when I asked to go to the bathroom, she led me to an outhouse. I knocked on the door and she encouraged me to go in. When I opened the door I jumped back and apologized to an embarrassed looking man sitting on the toilet who lowered his newspaper and looked at me in horror.
And he was made out of wax. Awesome. Janet sure got a kick out of it.
And I developed an anxiety disorder.
J I’ve had a few too many bad bathroom experiences. I am from here on out paranoid.
After the museum, the Finer’s drove us through the most beautiful, mountainous land, covered in sheep and their lambs. We even got to see part of the form of Mt. Taranki as the sun set and shone through the clouds (it was the most clarity we’d experienced thus far due to the storm).
Lastly the Finers took us out for dinner! These people! And they took us to a buffet dinner. It wasn’t anything like an American buffet either. It was fine, good eatin. They had a cheese buffet and a seafood buffet and all sorts of incredible dishes. I tried an oyster for the first time. It hadn’t been cooked. I could barely stomach it. And that involved drinking it down with my coffee and stuffing other foods in my mouth to minimize the flavor and texture. Oh man.
But besides the slimy, watery, salty, chunky oyster, we had a lovely time eating and talking with the Finers.
We were blown away by them. They invested in us so much, and didn’t even know us. Truly beautiful people. They offered to pick us up Sunday morning for church and we accepted.