So yesterday I found out that Mahia is such a popular New Year's destination because it is the first inhabited place in the world that sees the sunrise! So naturally I dragged the fiance out this morning so we could see the first sunrise of the year before everyone else ;) Oh totally worth it too. The sunrise was gorgeous and the colors were all reflected onto the ocean. Too bad for dial-up or you'd get a picture too. It was weird calling my parents (who are in Hawaii) and it being New Years Eve there still.
Well yesterday we dropped by three different parties. The first one was a birthday party at the Kaiuku Marae. They did speeches and songs and I was excited to see a legit haka. Way cool. Then we stopped by a pakeha (white person) party which had loads of sweet fireworks. We drank cranberry juice out of champagne glasses. Very high class. ;) Then we ended the night at an uncle's house. Fiance and I snuck away right after midnight to get some sleep before the sunrise.
Today we had a feast at uncle's house with all the cousins. This is where I talk about food. They had prepared a hangi which is the traditional way to cook good food here. You dig a hole, layer the bottom with hot rocks, put in your baskets of food, cover with layers of cloth, then cover with a mound of dirt. They had put in like 5 different meats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, stuffing, and steam pudding. We also had rewana bread which is traditional maori bread. It's made from the rewana bug which is like a yeast that you have to keep alive. Only certain people are allowed to learn how to make it. For desert we had the steamed pudding, custard, fruit, and lots of pavlova. And of course there was whipped cream to put on anything you like. Kiwis put cream on everyyyything. Conclusion: lunch was AWESOME and I'm completely stuffed. And happy. :)