The Magical Meeting of Kay

Always, always, A-L-W-A-Y-S be gracious, and if you can’t then at least be brief and kind.

However, I strongly feel that if you are gracious and genuinely interested in people, you give yourself a much better chance of meeting fascinating and wonderful humans that will teach you important and poignant lessons.

I have met and re-met some wonderful people while traveling around the country over the past few weeks.

The story I want to share briefly is about a slightly scruffy, bushy bearded, one-eyed man.

We are in Christchurch.

Steve and Nick went to a gathering at Duncan and Thea’s seriously sustainable and super fabulous house in Tai Tapu. This couple is gorgeous, and funny, and warm and really walking the talk of sustainability. It was humbling to see how much they do and realize how much more I could be doing.

I digress.

So at this point I am absolutely knackered, but I have to eat so I arranged to have everyone meet at the local pub for a quick bite so I could go to bed early after I unsuccessfully attempted to have a nap earlier in the day.

While we were waiting for our food to arrive, a little old man rocked up to the table.

He was in a stripy polo shirt and dress pants that you could tell had been worn in a workshop or whilst tinkering with engines or wood or something.

His hands were knobbly and he had whisps of silver hair on his head and a bushy salt and pepper beard.

He stopped when he saw the Tesla, as he’d been attempting to make it to the catch up at our friends’ farm earlier that day, but got quite lost.

I took him for a ride and he started to tell me a bit about himself.

He is a genius. A dottery, sweet, kind, eccentric, beautiful GENIUS!

He makes musical instruments, he was responsible for the NEEV truck (which was full electric and way ahead of its time), he has raised his own children and a number of adopted and fostered children as well.

He is kind, sweet, brilliant and delectably different.

So many people might have dismissed him if he had approached them and interrupted their dinner, and I am so unreservedly relieved I did not.

He joined us for a cup of tea and some pudding while we had our dinners. I chatted at length to him about his children, and foster children and his many instruments and inventions.

His name is Kay. And he is richer than most in experience, warmth and intellect.  He called it a “picture memory” for electronics and engineering.

Beyond his staggering smarts, I was blown away by his kindness. His warmth came through in his many stories. This man has lived so many lifetimes and touched so many people. He is not an eccentric millionaire type, he’s been broken down and reduced to the bare necessities of life time and again, yet he remains full of joy and positivity.
Taking him for a spin in the Tesla and having him join us for dinner left him buzzing. Meeting him left me humbled and gave me plenty of food for thought.

So the only thing I want to leave you with today is this:

Everyone has a story. You will be the one that benefits if you take the time to listen to someone who wants to tell you theirs.

I look very forward to being in touch with Kay and am so pleased he enjoyed his time with us last night, as we all very much enjoyed meeting him.

KayandJames

January 3rd 2015

Day four of the official Road Trip.

Had the best New Years we could have ever imagined. Also managed to off-load one of the four children. Steph is staying on Paihia with her BFF and her amazing family. Steve and I are very fond of them and approve whole-heartedly of their parenting. They use humour, laughter, and lots of Love and respect. It is the humour thing that got and keeps us on board for sure though.  She’s having a great time and my friend Ginell and I are a little jealous even, as she gets to see dolphins and hang out with some genuinely fabulous people while we drive for hours and hours every day for the next couple of weeks.

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I won’t complain though! It has been a hugely successful (and exhausting) journey so far, and the footage we are gathering is going to splice into the most perfect clip imaginable. And I adore the people we are traveling with.

Cape Reinga was awe-inspiring.


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I was lucky enough to talk briefly to local Iwi there. The man that ran the last camp before Cape Reinga was receptive and lovely, although quite busy so we never did manage to get him away from his desk for a test drive. Maori have an undeniably strong connection with the land, and nature. I’ve always also seen a sense of family and community that is admirable, and all of these things gave a synergy with the cleaner, fairer and more independent New Zealand we’d like to see. I’d like to work more closely with connections we have, and meet more thought and community leaders in the Pacific and Maori communities.

This trip has definitely ignited a desire to get more people involved in this movement, and to get more people thinking seriously about the issues.

I am no activist. I know that due to the fact I’ve met quite a few social and environmental activists in my travels with this trip and generally. I am a loud, caring, open and enthusiastic wife, mother and member of this planet. All of this work started simply with my own selfish desire to assuage my middle-class guilt. Now it is so much more. I’ve made friends and seen changes in people’s perceptions and behaviours that I believe will be long lasting and do a world of good.

I miss my best friend and business partner Rebekah every single moment on this trip. Not only because she is a million times better at organizing and logistics than I am, but because doing this stuff is more fun when I have her to share it with.

Luckily, the people we are working, traveling with, and meeting along the way are amazing, funny, engaging, interesting and diverse.

I am having a brilliant time, but already looking forward to a period of hibernation for a couple of weeks when we return.

Missing all the people we have been neglecting lately, particularly sneep and P who we wanted to see and missed completely over the holiday period.

Thanks everyone for your support.

We’ll be checking in regularly, and remember to like our facebook page for information on how we are tracking and where we are going to park up for public viewings next.

Tomorrow we are hoping to be allowed on Eat Street in Rotorua, and if that fails, we will be heading to the lake front.

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