Sunday, September 7, 2008

Freaked out in Rotorua

I have just spent a couple of days in Rotorua to attend a conference on reflective practice. On Friday afternoon, I skived off and went for a walk to see the sights as I had never been to Rotorua before.

Living on top of a volcano
I am exaggerating slightly; Rotorua isn't exactly on top of a volcano, but it's not far from one. And every where you go, there are reminders of thermal and volcanic activity. There is a persistent smell of rotten eggs. Steam escapes from creaks in the ground, and water and mud bubbles away furiously.

Freaked out
Rotorua has made its fortune from this. People come from all over the world to see the geyser and bathe in the hot pools. But I got rather freaked out by the evidence of the fragility of the Earth's crust. Any day the whole area could explode or implode, depending on how Earth's mood. Or it could be engulfed by lava from the near by volcanoes such as Ruapehu. I tell you, I couldn't wait to leave.

The end of the world is nigh?
I do not subscribe to the beliefs of some that the biblical prophecies about the end of the world are being realized now. And I am not an environmentalist. I tend to live my life very selfishly, not really paying attention to any thing much outside of my daily routine, although I am proud of the fact I throw out my cans for recycling.

But I must admit that my trip to Rotorua has made me very aware of this fragile world we live in. And I do wonder how far we can push Mother Earth before she says that she has had enough, and she uses the full force of her immense power to wipe us away and stop us poisoning, slashing and piercing her any further.

Am I being fanciful? What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Wait... only tins? What about paper? cardboard, garden scraps in a compost? And we all know how you love to garden, wink wink nudge nudge...
There are so many MORE things you can do that do NOT take up a lot of time or energy. Now I'm curious at how NZ is at the whole recycling thing.
AND, I'm breaking out in a rash trying to find NZ stats on birth etc for the doula presentation... any help would be LOVELY! wee bit stressed. What was that... better prepared, the smoother it will be?

Barbara Dieu said...

I visited Rotorua in 2006 and thought it was impressive. It does not resemble anything I have ever seen before. Some photos on Flickr
Warm regards from Brazil,

Sarah Stewart said...

Bee: what great photos you have of Rotorua. I didn't get to see much - would love to go up to Hell's Gate etc next time I visit.

hbacmama: sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I do recycle paper, and do the compost thing...and good news on the gardening son wants to be given huge amounts of money, so he has said he'll do some gardening for me. I'll believe it when I see it.

As for October, thank you so much for agreeing to do a presentation for us. I am really interested in hearing more about your role as a doula. Don't stress about it. Just a wee talk about what you do will be fabulous and then we can open things up for discussion.

Birth stats: we are very bad for our births stats and haven't had a good mechanism for collecting them for years.

As far as I am aware, this is the latest maternity report published in 2007, but relates to 2004 data: