I’ve been back in the ‘real’ world now for two weeks and the memories of Aoraki Bound are still fresh.  Our group is still keeping in contact and the practises are still a part of me, from wearing a watch and going for a quick dip after a run to daily karakia, using my reo and continuing with my own wānanga. My desire to learn, connect and stay true to my values and goals is still strong. So is my dislike for canned corned beef. That’s probably the only experience I’m not keen to repeat. I knew I’d learn and experience a lot but I didn’t expect this hīkoi to have such a profound impact. I knew I’d follow in the footsteps of my ancestors, that I’d get fitter and not smoke and not touch my phone for a whole 20 days. I didn’t expect to let so much go. You are given a lot and you give a lot of yourself. It’s a humbling experience. The sharing of knowledge, experience, feelings and understanding from our facilitators and group-mates was really special. It is the kind of special that can sound a bit cheesy when you’re trying to explain it back here in this world, but that doesn’t detract from how cool it was and is. If you get the opportunity to go – take it.
Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata, haere whakamua. Nā Saelyn Guyton. [Read more…]