It has now been a month since our flight landed in the Land of the Long White Cloud, and I have not once updated my Facebook, Wechat, Instagram and all the other things I used to spend countless segments of my days on. Getting online in this country has been surprisingly inconvenient and expensive, and I’ve been saving online time only for booking accommodation and other necessary activities. Being offline and rationing data hasn’t bothered us as much other than some freaked out family and and friends, and the odd occasions we need to print a page or two. The children have adapted to the somewhat organized nomad lifestyle, home has become wherever we are for the night. A pebble, soft sand on the beach, the odd shapes of driftwood, chilling clear lake water, snow on the mountains, farm animals and sprinting wild rabbits made their new points of interests. Lack of toys and internet has lead them to invent games involving sticks, rocks, muddy puddles and whatever else at hand. They make up conversations with each other pretending to be kings, pirates, lions, elephants, bunnies and sometimes mum and dad. The anxiety from moving around has subsided and a new level of energy has taken form, allowing them to take long treks and stumble through tall grass. However when that energy finds no outlet for example when we are on the road for over 2 hours or when a cold rainy day keeps us inside, they literally bounce off the walls.
On our first night in Pukaki we took them up to the lake and had a picnic dinner. We wrapped them up in blankets and waited for the stars to come. Little boy asked: “Is this our home now? We live outside?” We told him yes. He smiled and reached his arms tight around us, then closed his eyes.
He was surprised to wake up the next day in a bed and indoors.