16 August 2009

Indian Independence Day

There is a long nature walk around the outskirts of campus. As always, the scenery is beautiful!

the fence surrounding the pond glides into the water! There isn't a ramp, its just as if the builder couldn't just stop at the bank.

The Te Apiti windfarm from a closer vantage point.

This weekend, I decided to attend the Indian Independence Day event being held in town. The flyer was passed on to me by my anthropology professor, and so having nothing else to do, I went.

Once again, I went into this event thinking it would be similar to events held in the states. I was picturing a festival of sorts. Of course I was dead wrong. Most of the Indian community and myself came together in this small school gymnasium. The crowd was large, the building small. Everyone I encountered was extremely nice and outgoing. We were all in our traditional dress. Me in my jeans and tshirt, and the women in colourful saris and the men in vests and curly toed shoes.

From an anthropological perspective it was enlightening. The young revere the old, giving up seats and making sure they are able to get through the crowds. People stand close together like packed sardines. The auditorium seats were packed and people took to sitting in the aisles.

Once I got my camera out, the surrounding crowd ushered me into the gym and instructed me to sit on the floor and take photos. {please note, without a tripod the photos are a bit dark and grainy, and all taken from the same vantage point, my apologies.}

The program was hosted by the Manawatu Bangalee Society and began with speeches from the local heads of government, then the children put on many songs and dances that they had been learning throughout the year. A slide show presentation was enjoyed accompanied by live singers. This particular presentation chronicled India's Independence History, highlighting the key battles and important revolutionary leaders. This year marks India's 63rd year of freedom. {I can honestly say I learned a bit during this segment}

The last hour or so each Indian state was represented with a traditional song and dance.

This little boy stole the show! He danced with such confidence and conviction!

These guys were the last to perform {I believe its called the Punjabi} and the crowd was getting a bit rowdy! The song was remixed with a few rap lyrics thrown in for good fun. Everyone was hollering and cheering and dancing in their seats! As you can see in the photo they began the dance with the attitude of a rapper and then busted out these wooden accordions. Honestly, they rocked it! .

15 August 2009


well, I've been schmaped.

Schmap is an online City Guide complete with maps of the city and photos of the 'must see' spots. You are able to download the map onto an iphone or ipod touch, or your computer, you can also use it to post links to a location on twitter or a blog. Its quite interactive!

So 2 of my photos of San Francisco made it into the Schmap 2.0-San Francisco Guide. The two photos that were chosen are Fisherman's Warf, and St. Peter and Pauls Cathederal. Below I have linked the widgets containing the schmap map. Click through the photos and maybe you'll like schmap! my photos are credited under 'vanitykillsall'.

There are many photos included, but still, its nice to say I was included in the bunch!

09 August 2009

Bouldering at Lynn Hill

bouldering involves technical skill. It is similar to rock climbing, just take away the ropes. The objective is to manuvuer around boulders in various ways; either scaling the rock upwards or sideways. Sometimes, you just need to find a strangely shaped rock, like one that is extremely round. Then the fun begins. The thought process becomes, how can i scale this rock from this angle? or how can i scale the rock from only this side? Since the hand and foot holds are already in the rock, it can pose a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, it provides endless of hours of entertainment and exercise for those involved!
I went on a bouldering trip with the Massey University Alpine Club. Instead of attempting to scale the boulders, i found myself captivated with the scenery! I did monkey around on the rocks, just in a more leisurely manner.

Although it is called Lynn Hill, it would be more aptly called a 'foothill'. A hill that precedes a mountain.

Here is Lynn Hill in all her glory! It should be noted that this photo is taken from about 1/3rd of the way up the hill. Can you see those two colored spots against the hill? Those are two gals making their way down! Also, although the trees and rocks appear tiny, when you hike up to them, they tend to tower above you!

It took a lot of effort to climb to the top of this hill! It is a bit more steep than it appears. Upon first glance, i figured it'd be no problem, but believe you me, I was huffing and puffing at the halfway point! I progressed throughout the day, and after 2 trips up and down the hill, i began to feel like a pro!

Here is the group making their way to the first spot!

Above is an example of bouldering.

As you can see, we are nearing the top of the hill! Next are some spectacular views!

I just couldn't resist climbing this tree! the roots are gnarly and the tree itself is growing almost completely sideways. It is epic!

Above is possibly the yellow-head mohoua, which is only found in New Zealand. It was a rare sighting of bird and luckily i had my camera ready! Birds don't exactly flock to a boulder covered hill!

It was a grand day!

07 August 2009

Te Apiti Wind Farm

Today the objective was simple: Drive to the Te Apiti windfarm. The wind turbines stand tall upon the hills that surround Palmerston North. So it seemed like an easy task. Should be and reality are two very different things! Armed with extremely vague maps and a hopeful attitude, a group of us students set out for an afternoon drive. The drive was gorgeous! Only traveling 5 minutes outside of the city and we were in the tall grassy hills of New Zealand. We never did find the entrance to the wind farm, but we sure enjoyed the drive around! Here are a few of my favourite shots of the afternoon:

look closely to the top of the hill. The white specs are sheep!

The farm house is built on a slight slant!

This is easily my favorite photo I've shot so far. Please click on the photo to view the larger version. The farms in New Zealand generally include the hills as shown here. It is common to see sheep or cows far above the street below. Definitely a different way of farming!

This is Te Apiti windfarm from a distance. A beautiful scene!