Saturday, June 15, 2013
Waterfalls and Rain: Aniwaniwa
Aniwaniwa from Kieren Moriarty on Vimeo.
Looking at the map, we gain an idea of the places we have been and the places we will go. Rain falls quite heavily, but we are all dressed for it. I say for the 100th time, "well, it is a rainforest" and we head into the bush. Sure enough, the canopy of the Te Urewera rainforest cushions us from direct rainfall, as our enthusiastic troop hikes up the damp track. I love the smell of the forest - I can't quite describe it. Almost nourishing or spiritual. I take a giant whiff like that boy in the story "Beans". It spells out to me A-O-T-E-A-R-O-A. I feel at home.
First stop, a weta house. Unexpectedly, there are two at home. Maybe they are wiser than us and know when to take shelter. The students converge on the superstar wetas, like rugby players after the loose ball. A couple of kids manage to annoy each other in their excitement. Time to move on. We can hear the waterfall loudly now and glimpse it through the forest. Piwakawaka (fantails) follow our footsteps, no doubt enjoying the insect snacks we are inadvertently providing them. The track comes to a detour. We stop. This is where we descend to catch a great view of the waterfall. It's slippery and the track will be a challenge. I know Room 16 are up to it. Carefully, we step down, clinging onto roots and looking after each other.
At the bottom is a big flat rock. It makes the perfect viewing platform.The noise is loud and wonderful. It matches our excitement. Everywhere, I see smiling, laughing , enthusiastically chatting faces, with eyes wide open. Children and adults. My camera tries to capture some of the magic. It's good to be outside, in the bush, in the rain, at the bottom of a waterfall. Aniwaniwa translates to rainbow. For a moment, it feels like we have found our own pot of gold.