19 April 2007


I first met my niece Ka'ai - my sister Robin's daughter and first child - in September, 1978. Well, perhaps 'met' is not quite apt here, implying a certain level of parity between the parties. At the time I was, or was about to become, 36 years old. Ka'ai had not yet attained the grand age of 1 year, being about 8 months old. But, still, I count the beginning of our acquaintance from that point. I suppose our relationship could be said to have languished somewhat for the next several years - about 24, in fact. In September of 2002 I visited my family in Hawai'i and did indeed meet Ka'ai then - and again on my visit in 2003 (with Susan), and when I went alone in 2005, as my mother was very ill. Ka'ai has returned the favour. She is now living at our house. Ka'ai enrolled as an MSc student in geology at the University of Auckland this semester. She arrived in New Zealand on, I think, the 13th of January of this year - and which was, I believe, her birthday! The connexion with New Zealand is through her boyfriend, who was born in New Zealand, although he spent much of his life in Hawai'i - in Pa'auilo, in fact, where Ka'ai grew up. Ka'ai was able to stay with his mother in Auckland's North Shore for a while when she came, but is now enjoying the commute to and from Auckland on the 'bus, both to attend University and to work at her part-time job. Welcome! It has been great getting to know you better than I did in 1978 :-)

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