Category: New Zealand @en

August 4 / Creative Challange

{Day 14 of 30}

They were waiting for at the bus stop in Auckland. I left the village waving from the window with my right hand to a group of elders who came to say good-bye. It was a long trip, a rainy and unexpected warm day. It reminded me of my college days when coming back from Guanajuato to my home town at the end of the week and one of my parents used to picked me up at night from the stop.  Here, in the other side of the world, two big Maori guys wating for me. They took me (again!)  to  Cameron Street, the house where we would find their dad, uncle, aunty,  an extra trampoline in the garden, a new boat in the garage, a potato growing in the window, and two small baby cats jumping around in the mattress where I sleep.

And from that mattress in the living room I hear the waves licking the beach in the distance. This beloved sound is part of me and I could not be more present now… The people and everything there in the village, the sheep, the mountains, all have become blurred in my mind. Like sticking my hand in my pocket looking for something and I just find emptiness. Thinking – Did I forget to put them here? All the memories? I was sure to have saved them in my right pocket – there is nothing. An empty hand.

I think perhaps everything is about the “inner journey” and the “external journey” is another way of that same inner journey. Why people travel to see beautiful countries, exotic places, have experiences? It is simple: To feel ourselves there.  To experience ourselves – there.
Where do I feel that experience? Where do I feel the landscape I see? Perhaps I feel it inside, somewhere in the chest?
Where do I feel the streets of the foreign country for which  I walk? Is it perhaps on my own feet?
Where do I feel the exotic food? Would not it be in my own mouth?
And then we travel to experience these things but in reality is about ourselves, right? What we seek is to experience ourselves. What we seek we carry it already with us.

I crossed the block to go walking along the beach and did not recognize the ocean. Maybe because it is a winter sea. It is a cold sea and I wear a jacket, and tennis shoes, and I can’t feel the sand between my toes, no warmth sun in the skin, and neither the stickiness of sweat under the armpits. Of course! so far I had not seen the sea in winter. It feels weird to see something so familiar and at the same time feels new. 

The next few days passed between movies, walks on the beach and meeting with Thomas’s friends. So many young people! I exclaim which resulted very funny. With Leo we went for rides in the car at night. We drove up the mountain so he could smoke a cigarette. And with the night view of Auckland and wearing huge jackets:

I could call myself homeless if you want to see it like that… I say remembering the TV program we saw by chance was a guy interviewed some homeless in the city.
– Leo laughs.
– Or … I can say that I feel at home everywhere.
Haha, you are funny Tulia. That’s true, you are definitely Not homeless.
– Although, I can’t stop craving for tacos!

Those days between the letters I received and wrote, I tell S:

Exactly where I feel “at home” or “foreign”?
If that feeling of being at home actually comes from inside us… because it is “here” where I feel it, right?  Then …  Is that some country, house, or group, gives us that  sense of belonging or maybe is something that comes from inside of us?

Because the truth is that… often I feel close the family from far away, and sometimes I felt “distant” even being in the same city.

“The Heart does not know any distance or journeys.”


Auckland City from Mt. Eden
Auckland City from Mt. Eden

{Day 13 of 30}

Will I remember this place?  The mountains? Shall I look around  wondering for the pine forests … the sheep, visits to the river? So far, the only place I feel sometimes nostalgia is for the Marquesas Islands, Nuku Hiva… if I strongly close my eyes and remember when we being welcome from the open sea. And it’s enjoyable, this nostalgia, to felt it so far…

“Remember” from Latin re-cordis:   through the heart again.

But Taumarunui is different. A village that has come out of the fog to give a welcome hug me for months and I know it will be lost back in the fog. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken so many pictures, vain subconscious attempt to keep something knowing it is a place that belongs among the clouds. I am grateful for my complete hibernation. It’s the perfect time to leave.

I feel so palpable the transience of places, situations, people and also 6 weeks seems such a life full of details, so full of different. Shedding sheep, drawings fog between the houses, different walks beside the same river, bike or ride the mountains alone or with company. No wonder how this time has passed. I feel part while I see from outside – all temporary… everything running on… When I arrived?, I was doing before this? Where was I? And then the feeling of the instant that encloses all (-or that forgets all). As knowing myself standing right here and be in constant motion … like the stream, the stream-time. And the inner understanding that:

Present is eternal.


And certainly I do not feel free … forgiven … saved … sure … not if I now that feeling of hang in the balance, of knowing that there is only a very slight line for something to go out of place in the universe, of better say: to fit differently. –  It is so thin the small change in perception and yet it changes everything. Maybe it’s this little tension, of knowing that in a thin inner line makes me feel throbbing and present.

Today I spent a whole day listening to talk C and P about their trip. Sometimes with genuine care, other joking, others only present with a blank mind (not needed anyway response) at the end of the night the point where I wonder if I am doing some effort to pay attention or not to put it? As the TV: I have the inability to watch it.  The TV just does not capture my attention, I see into a meditative state but I’m not seeing more than a reference point in the room.

I’m feeling much love for everyone, Greame, the home owners, Lynn, Robin, Mark, and Kiko the cat … knowing me into them… knowing they show me a part of “me.” One type of love rather neutral.

Last day in Taumarunui I tell myself…

Wash bedding
Shaking subtracted silhouettes
Remove odors of love from the pillows
Ignite memories and diaries
Pack with special care not to get ghosts
Make a deal with the witness cat
Watering plants with fluids leftovers
The last evening in the bath – boiling water
Collect kiwis for friends in Auckland
Say goodbye to my loved sheep
And my rubber boots…
And my work gloves that I will never use again…
Because I am done with being farmer: it’s time to city.
I left a warm and inhabited house.
The owners will never know the reasons for the sudden urge
Of wanting to make out in front of the fire
On the carpet that one day turned into camping, and war and love zone.
Taumarunui the place I’ve lived longer in NZ. Village of fog, so hidden from everything else … populated by a thousand old people playing bingo on Wednesdays and loving walking as much as ice cream and tea.
I leave spoiled, good eaten, and full of kisses.
Another place where I temporarily belong.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

June 29 / Creative Challange

{Day 10 of 30}

No, is not what you imagine …  Standing in front of a group of 40 old ladies in an old house drinking tea. And in terms of Taumarunui, little town in the mountains of New Zealand … this is a Women’s Club.  Today they gather to listen the talk of a Mexican who came for some sort of coincidences … I wonder if this is only in appearance and there are more mysterious reasons behind this meeting of so many old ladies …  maybe they make secret plannings to invade the village with pastries , planting flowers in the corners, or exchanging all plastic tablecloths of the-only- coffee-shop for colored embroidery … maybe even they could be organizing an annual meeting to exchange secret recipes. Or it could even end by me turned into a white little mouse at the end of lunch like in that witches movie.

With all that… I still came. Half an hour before a lady came home to pick me up; I took a quick shower and look for something almost- decent to dress: a formal shirt, belt, pants and shoes… all black and gray. And I even dared to wonder if I would be “over dressed up”? The old ladies seem to have taken out their jewels and dresses (at least 20 years old). One day a week the Women’s Club gives them an excuse to spruce up … But,

What do a group of elder ladies from New Zealand want to know about me??

As I entered the room a delicious smell of food filled me up. They served a pumpkin cream and pastries … everyone talked about his own recipe with more or less pepper but all agreed that they would not even have to do the dishes.

Mrs. Ruth sitting next to me, the only black hair woman since all the others has whites and fluffy like clouds in this country. The “chicken” of  74 years of group dressed in a long black skirt and boots … four or five earrings in each ear and has a form of juvenile talk, “Hey darling, so you better come and sit right here”. Intense blue-gray eyes…

-Dear, do you have already a husband? She asked.
– No, I tell them. Everybody laughing.
– You better enjoy now that you are free my dear… all of them say.
– I do not know if I’m going to marry…
– So you will see if you meet the right one 😉
– Hmm … (roll eyes) … no, I do not know. I say laughing – and not knowing is perhaps worse than saying no, because if a woman says “no” is “yes” and “yes” is often “no” … but if I say “do not know” … More laughter in table.
– Dear you’ll have to speak laud in your presentation here because half are almost deaf. Are you nervous about public speaking?
-Nothing at all, I say. I think it would be easier to be nervous when you take it personal or you want to give an impression of something. At this point I do not care to give any impression more than what comes in the moment.  And of course I don’t prepare a single word beforehand.

I get up, I get to the front – the stories with scripts and orders left behind, there is a spontaneity in this…  the angles, spaces, and words are now different every time. Different tales of the same one thing. Then I flew until the table in the house of my grandmother picking the smells, spices, and the view from the window and to even her… and bring them all to the living room in this old house where elderly kiwis – a hundred thousand miles from Mexico – can meet my grandmother Rosa.

In Mexico we eat at three in the afternoon! Not like in NZ having dinner as the main course … seems funny to them … hence it follows a river of curious things … until the day of the dead I say in Mexico is a colorful day (and my mind goes for a second the idea of touching a sensitive issue as how much they think about death in this age? almost want to ask them but just forget the issue in the next minute …

club de mujeres

-How are the houses?  Does your family drive a car?
-What language is spoken?
-Is New Mexico part of Mexico?
-How are the weddings?
-How many children people have?
-What about the elderly?
-Then you come from a rich family? (Many laughs after this lol! Not rich financially at least I tell)

-How did you get here? How do you cook on a boat? Did you were afraid to go with a stranger?

I tell them a bit about the “whys” and “hows” of traveling slowly, something about sailing and taking care of homes … but what really arises here is when I say:  the real reason I can travel in this way is for the trust . Trust among strangers. Several of them look at me with eyes of proud mom, I laugh … Finally hugs and good wishes of many of them …  There are these things that I get into it … and I sleep early because tomorrow they want to take me to the exercises group…  

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

May 25 / Diary
Desde la granja 25 de mayo –

Registro importantísimo del día:

Cayó el diluvio, llovió todo el día y la noche… los árboles se han quedado pelones y ¡no tengo que regar las plantas!. La Catherine habló dos veces, le dije gracias no quiero salir. Insiste en que vaya a tomar una taza de té. ¡Con esta lluvia ni pensarlo! dice era el aniversario de su boda, y el marido ya no está… pero cada quién le reza a sus muertos… y yo ni siquiera le rezo a los míos, que me perdonen pero yo los tengo bien enterrados. Que si les invoco demasiado luego vienen a jalarme los pies, se me aparecen por la casa y no hay como sacárselos de encima… roen y roen y uno piensa el mueeerto me sigue… sin saber que es uno el que le da lata.

Pero escucho tus penas… a ver ¿quieres una taza de té? con leche, con miel, con esperanzas, con olores de juventud en las historias… el único chisme que podría contarte es que Kiko -el gato- se fugó por la madrugada el condenado, me estuve preguntando en que carajo rincón habrá ido a parar. O que el Sweet me preguntó que cuando paso por su barrio… que no me cotice tanto… yo le digo, a esta chiquita se le agarra en el momento, pero eso él ya lo sabe.

Hoy amaneció claro después de la tormenta que resultó en un desmadre de hojas por todo el patio…  ahí mismo las dejaré… se ven tan chulas como diría mi abuela… ahí regaditas con sus colores rojo, amarillo, violeta. No me explico porque insistimos en barrer algo tan natural como el otoño… si termina barriéndose a sí mismo.

Hoy me fui a sentar al río y las borregas me seguían y me seguían creo que esperaban que les diera algo, o me querían decir algo… como inquietas, con ojitos pispiretos y todo… luego vi que un perro se había saltado la cerca y andaba merodeando… a esos hay que tenerles cuidado porque aquí los entrenan para matar puercos “pig dogs” les llaman  “perro puerco”…. ¡ja! así justo le diríamos en México a algún tipo con intensiones sobrepasadas.

Me dijo el Graham que no me fiara, que cerrara todo y prendiera las luces porque el otro día hubo una pelea de “gansters” según ellos: Lo que en Nueva Zelanda significa un montón tipos maorí tomando y peleándose a puñetazos. Yo me callé la boca… no me quiero hacer la ruda pero si supiera que en México esas cosas son de niños de secundaria, no señor si hubiera una pelea de Gangsters se enterarían… y no se si lo digo con un triste cinismo o con un cómico lamento, pero es lo mismo.

Por las dudas hoy mismo regresé a contarlas. Porque como dice mi abuela a las ovejas se les cuenta del diario… no basta con que estén completas el martes, y el jueves… el sábado también hay que contarlas… uno nunca sabe cuando el coyote se le antoje pasar o en este caso el perro puerco.

Yeah, I need to clean them!
Yeah, I need to clean them!

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.


16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”

May 23 / Diary

*A couple of months in charge of a farm, one cat, cows, and 25 sheep… only important things are happening here…

The tittle is the last thing to write. I think. The cat waiting in front of the window. Wooden smell. Noise of branches in the balcony. I have cold feet, calloused fingers over the strings and wooden smells, smells like wood. Today scattered sheep. Today the yellow tree was empty of leaves. Today hot teas, honey teas, milk teas, and moisten mornings teas.

Today the sheep were scattered… 22.. 23.. 24.. and -almost- 25… one is missing the ear, because -almost- was eaten by the wolf.
Rain. No need to go out – just watch them from the window… but I go out and is warm. I wear rubber boots for not get dirty but sheep shit is not like human shit…  no… we humans consume from everything, sheep no. I wear rubber boots that smell like farm, big big wool socks… so the feet don’t get frozen, and the boots fit better, borrowed things.

Today the sheep were scattered along the river… they come if I call them… maah maah… If I bring a bucket with leftovers… or a bucket with fruits -but not apples-, or a bucket with nothing because they don’t know is empty. The one without ear goes and comes, and jump with confidence. The wolf gave it this freedom.

They come, we haven’t introduce ourselves. maah.. maaah… They don’t want to know my name, age, where I was from?… hoo sin poorly educated sheep maah… maah… with their curious stares… they don’t talk about politics, jobs, neither about God, or how much grass have eaten today, or how dad sheep left mom sheep…

The teapot on fire. Hands warm up on a side, a metallic screech, the cat is hungry, burn toast smell, marmalade. Look without attention, looking everything but in nothing. I am witness of my own days, I spy them from the garden between the branches of Pohutukawa and lemon. Is the guitar witnessing the music that it’s playing? but the guitar is not happy or sad because the melodies that plays. From here a fresh smell, grass just cut, rain in the soil.  

23.. 24.. 25.. Sheep.

Contando el rebaño
Counting the flock. New Zealand

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.


16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”

May 17 / Life
Headphones, a sweatshirt from the seconhand… that she left behind when she left… Sport pants that fit me – fucking – good. Underwear was forgotten on the port. I almost don’t need it. Music: arab. Short curly hair. 


I am falling sleep in the mattress on the living room, my space in the three weeks I lived here. Leo plays the guitar on my side till I am lost in the dreams. I remember the fist time I came to Cameron Street, in Auckland. The only house in a neighborhood of new and fancy buildings that is full of trees, of stuff everywhere, a sailboat in the garden, vegetables, hanging clothes. A Maori house.

A family of 4 brown, tall and strong guys, with a giant heart as their hands. Thomas, Leo, John y Dad. It’s one of those places that you can even try to understand. Surreal or poetic as you want to see it. Nobody will explain you how things work, is Your house.  They won’t ask when you are leaving, but will be sad you do it.


I always like the conversations with  Leo. A guy with long hair, slanted eyes, and a smile -always-… a very relaxed guy.  He tell me stories, traditions, the language, and about his grandfather  Bruce Biggs that (in Wikipedia):  Was the first academic appointed  to teach the Māori language at a New Zealand university,  and to a hole generation, published more than 100 books… But Leo tell me about how he discovered a new tribe Rotuman in Papa New Guinea and that he brought two indigenous guys to live in the garage to prove it. He says: They got bones in the nose!

However, is silence what I most enjoy here. They don’t ask for stories for entertain. 

– Have you hear about  Vipassana? Leo says. It’s a silence retreat for 10 days.
– Yes! I was about going, but… I cancel it.
– Ha, but you would not have problems there, you are so… quiet. You remind me the people there.
I like to take friends there because… they talk to much, and in there I can see them quite, I can really see them. 


Thomas comes and takes me out of the computer to see an spectacular sunset, to an  unexpected Yoga festival, to participate as extra on a Rugby film for 50 dollars o to a night market. From be immersed in myself, suddenly I found me in very fun or bizarre situations: as being meditating on a forest and dancing electronic music mixed with mantras.

Once I though that being interacting with people in some reason could  “takeme” out of myself, that attention was in the outside, in the conversation. But is not yet like that. In this moment  there is nothing that can distract me from this center. 

However, I prefer stay inside on the house most of the time. 

Leo: – Hey, good morning (sleepy face) Are you still marinating?
– Yes I am!  (rolled me up tighter on my blanket).

How someone could be Not spiritual? I ask myself remembering the mantras of the festival… I guess is an expression, a way as other religions.  I din’t had an option. I had an emergency. Since children I was not attracted for making big amounts of money, to have things neither,  I didn’t dream with the perfect relationship, children or house. I remember in highschool during classes I was distracted thinking that Something was wrong in all this, because If I say: my body, my mind, my soul… What or Who says “my“? 

I was looking for something… some restless. For some time I though in devoting myself to help others so I study nursing. I did the best I could, I really did. This restless, a kind of nostalgic feeling for understand life… still… I read a lot of books, you know… existentialism and spirituality… I traveled a lot… I still do… I crossed an ocean, I jumped in a void, to the open sea, without plans, no money, neither a particular purpose beside enjoy it and maybe… If I could left everything behind  I would understand or find the missed piece on the puzzle.  Haha nobody told me that it wasn’t needed to cross an ocean! as nobody told Grandfather Biggs that he didn’t need to bring those indigenous guys to prove their existence. They were always there, discovered or not. (and however,  it was appropriate)

I have freedom for talking and at the same time is no need to say anything. I write because existence by itself is a creative act. The purest and most fluid creativity. 

Leo right now:
– Hey are you coming for dinner?
– Yeah! wait, I just finish writing something…

**Nothing, just a chick that questioned everything till the same inquire eat the questioner. 

Con los chicos
Con los chicos. Photo: Tom VanDyke  (Yes, he came to visit!)

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.


16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”