Solbit’s Around the World Trip in Four Photos

Dear Nicalai,

I’m just not fair to myself.  I’ve given myself only four (that’s 1, 2, 3, 4) photos to give you a look back at our 14-month around the world trip.  It’s just not fair.  I need to give myself at least one photo a month (that’s 14 photos), but you’d go off to play soccer or read a book before you got to my number 5. So, four photos it is.

Remember this one from our time in New Zealand?  Here’s my scariest moment …

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If I weren’t plastic, I would have wet my pants when I ran into this Maori Warrior. [Photo from: Kiwi Vista Scenic Collection; http://www.kiwivista.co.nz]

Fortunately, his scary face was only a pose, and he turned out to be a wonderful man with a jolly sense of humor.  Papa says, “Solbit, there’s a lesson in that, if you take time to think about it.”  Maybe, but I’m too busy right now and don’t have the time to think about it.

Oh, here’s a really good one.  Remember my special shower at our Tokyo AirBnB?

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Girl, this toilet had every gizmo. Look at that control panel!

That shower was THE perfect size for me, right there on the toilet top!  We’ve never seen one like that since Tokyo.

Now, think about the color orange.  That’s me and the Buddhist monk in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Remember that, when Nick and Luke and our aunts and uncles came to visit us in December?

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Don’t you think that our color, orange, invites a calm and yet strong presence?

Oh, no, I’m down to my last photo, and I’ve only just gotten started!  I just have to close my eyes and pick one photo.  OK, here it is …

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As co-pilot, I knew absolutely nothing about airplanes or flying — other than that both scared me. Fortunately, our pilot knew exactly what he was doing.

Remember when I didn’t want to get into that little airplane in Zanzibar? I said it looked like a toy and refused to get in it.  Then I overcame my fear and had the thrill of a lifetime helping to fly the plane all the way to Arusha.  Uncle Ian is a pilot, so he knows what I mean.

Well, that’s my four photos for our 14 month around the world trip.  If you ever want to see more, just ask me, because I have thousands of photos.  (Nona helps me to keep them in our iPhoto library.  She’s really organized.  Papa, not so much.)

Nona and Papa told me that our traveling days are not over.  They say that we’ll spend 8 months traveling in South America in 2016.  I’ve never been to South America, so I have something to look forward to, and I’ll write to you about that trip too.  For now, I’ll just tell you about our upcoming travels in the US and Canada.  Yeah, we’re already off on another trip.  Gotta go.  Bye!

I’m your friend.

Love,

Solbit

November 2014

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit Discovers Another Name for New Zealand

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

We’re still in New Zealand.  I like it here.  The forests must be a lot like what my ancestors from the Jurassic period walked through and lived in.  Do you suppose that’s why I feel so comfortable here?  I wonder.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Solbit feels comfortable in the new Zealand forest.

Papa and Nona continue to help me with my reading and writing.  They’ve pretty much turned this blog over to me.  Good thing too, because I’m learning so much by traveling that I have oodles and oodles of things to tell you.  Nona has to remind me to keep these emails to you short.  I could go on forever.

Today I want to tell you what I just learned about New Zealand. It has another name.  We were walking along the bay here in Nelson, and I saw this huge, beautiful mural.

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The mural reads “Ao-Tea-Roa.”

Nona especially loves art, so I pointed it out to her.  She was so busy trying to see a bird that she completely missed this huge mural!  She looked at the mural and then said, “Ao-tea-roa.”  I said, “What?”  Did you know that New Zealand had another name?  I’d be surprised, but, then, you are very smart, so maybe you already knew that New Zealand is also called Aotearoa.  I’m still trying to learn how to say Ao-tea-roa.  So are Nona and Papa.

Guess what Aotearoa means?  I’ll tell you:  “the land of the long white cloud.”  I guess it can have other meanings too, but, I can tell you that New Zealand certainly has plenty of long, white clouds.

hiking day from Horseshoe Bay to Oban

Solbit views New Zealand’s long, white clouds.

One more thing before I sign off.  You and I speak English, but Aotearoa is not an English word.  People here in Aotearoa speak English and another language, Maori.  We see a lot of signs here in both Maori and English.

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Here’s an example of an English & Maori sign.

Maori is also the name of a Polynesian people  who explored the Pacific Ocean in canoes, maybe a thousand or more years ago. Can you imagine crossing a big ocean on canoes?  Wow, they had courage.  Maori people are handsome and strong, too.  The ones I’ve met are very nice, but, look out! They enjoy making a scary face like this one.

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Photo of Post Card by Kiwi Vista that Papa bought for me to show you the scary face.

Nona just looked over my shoulder.  She said I’m going on too long and should close this email to you.

I’m your friend, Sparkle Orangie Lulu Breakit (Solbit for short).

Love,

Solbit

February 2014

*You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.

*You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”