Well I’ve been remiss in my blogging since returning from New Zealand so this is a quick catch up. I have some excuse. I have had a bad cold which i suspect I picked up from the polluted air of the aircraft which I breath in so readily as I sleep. Anyway this has conspired to give me a cold just as I embark on six hours a day of teaching making me tired and listless at the end of each day. I hope easter has arrived in time to give me a respite as I try to keep talking to a minimum and allow my voice to recover.
Hong Kong students are very sweet. So many have offered remedies, advice and suggestions about cures. Not many of them involve a pleasurable experience as the potions and medicines are uniformly bad to taste. I have drawn the line at turtle jelly particularly when it was described as very bitter but I have tried one which does seem to soothe the throat a little. But their kindness is refreshing.
So I spent about 8 days in New Zealand primarily to visit a local prison and do some consultancy there. It was nice to return there and to go to Auckland for the first time. I only did a little tripping around but nevertheless it was
an impressive city from what i saw. It was good too to bump into an ex-
colleague from other 30 years ago who hailed me as I walked around the prison. It is such a small world sometimes and we caught up with a good dinner in the evening.
I managed to return to Wellington for the weekend partly for business but it also enabled me to meet up with J and his wife G and enjoy their house warming in Waikanae. The train journey over there on Sunday was great and remind me of the simple beauty of NZ. Wellington was windy as expected but my view of the harbour from my bedroom window was stunning and afforded me some fresh memories of a wonderful place. I do like NZ and got a real thrill to return there for the second time.
The visit was productive too from a work point of view and I think good relations have been established both at the prison and at Victoria University in Wellington. The complexities of delivering good prison reintegration with the bi-cultural dimensions of the Maori population was fascinating to learn about and I have much more learning to do.
The visit was an additional piece of work which has got in the way of completing my writing assignments. I have lost a good week here on those and time is now running short. I remain a little stuck on my second piece which I am hoping an inspirational last few days over Easter will crack.
My return to Hong Kong has been busy and frustrating in equal measure. My cold has made teaching difficult and the students whilst sympathetic have not had as good a deal from me as normal. I hope it rights itself before my final two sessions.
Taiwan beckons next weekend and then I am on the home drag back to the UK. A bit nervous about that but for now I contend myself with the fact its still some 30 days away.