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New Zealand anthems in Māori: Pokarekare Ana, E Ihowa Atua

Mount Tasman, Mount Cook, Southern Alps, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, New Zealand (HL)

I know I’d like to sing … : last light on Horokoau & Aoraki (Mount Tasman & Mount Cook) | HL

New Zealand inspires fully with her magnificent scenery and the easy friendly warmth displayed by her people. These continue to provide insights, leading me deeper into her lands, her languages, and her culture. An appropriate choice of music evokes a grand sense of longing and isolation, especially true among the Southern Alps.

Memories remain sharp and fresh, as seeing for the first time the Southern Alps across Cook Strait. Multiple visits to Wellington and Auckland, combined with three weeks in and around the South Island have left me in an undeniable state …

“I’m beached, bru … I’m beached az …”

I am hopelessly in love with New Zealand.

New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Along with definitive images of the country, there are two songs which sung in Māori always bring me back to this beautiful land. “Pokarekare Ana” and “E Ihowa Atua” are, respectively, the unofficial and official anthems for the nation.

Pokarekare Ana

“Pokareare Ana” began as a love song on New Zealand’s North Island in the second decade of the 20th-century. The song is identified widely as uniquely New Zealand.

“Pokarekare Ana”, by Wanda

“Pokarekare Ana” (a cappella), by Front Row Chorus

Pōkarekare ana (They are agitated)
ngā wai o Rotorua/Waiapu (the waters of Rotorua/Waiapu)
Whiti atu koe hine (But when you cross over girl)
marino ana e (they will be calm)

E hine e 
(Oh girl)
hoki mai ra 
(return to me)
Ka mate ahau
 (I could die)
I te aroha e (of love for you)

Tuhituhi taku reta 
(I have written my letter)
tuku atu taku rīngi 
(I have sent my ring)
Kia kite tō iwi (so your people can see)

raru raru ana e (that I am troubled)

Whati whati taku pene 
(My pen is shattered)
ka pau aku pepa (I have no more paper)

Ko taku aroha 
(But my love)
mau tonu ana e (is still steadfast)

E Ihowa Atua (Aotearoa)

“E Ihowa Atua” is a Māori adaption in 1878 of the poem “God Defend New Zealand” which was published two years earlier. Also known as “Aotearoa”, the Māori version of the song is an approximate translation of the English version. Royal assent in 1977 finally confirmed the song’s status as one of the nation’s two official national anthems, including “God Save the Queen.” Presently, the official national anthem is performed with the first verse of “E Ihowa Atua”, followed by the first verse of “God Defend New Zealand”.

“E Ihowa Atua” (Aotearoa) & “God Defend New Zealand”, by Hayley Westenra

Performed in 3 official languages, by Deaf Aotearoa NZ – Tangata Turi

E Ihowā Atua (Oh Lord, God)
O ngā iwi mātou rā (Of nations and of us too)
Āta whakarangona (Listen to us)

Me aroha noa (Cherish us)
Kia hua ko te pai (Let goodness flourish)
Kia tau tō atawhai (May your blessings flow)
Manaakitia mai (Defend)
Aotearoa (Land of the long white cloud)

God of nations at thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet
Hear our voices, we entreat
God defend our free land
Guard Pacific’s triple star
From the shafts of strife and war
Make her praises heard afar
God defend New Zealand

How do I love New Zealand’s South Island? Let me show the ways …

•   Akaroa: Akaroa’s Long Harbour with special guests
•   Akaroa: La petite ville française de Akaroa
•   Christchurch: Christchurch’s changing Red Zone
•   Christchurch: Christchurch’s Art Gallery: glass and light
•   Dunedin: Baldwin Street, steepest in the world
•   Fiordland: Cruising up and down Milford Sound
•   Fox Glacier: The slow forest walk up to Fox Glacier
•   Franz Josef Glacier: The slow approach to Franz Josef Glacier
•   Interislander Ferry: On the ferry between the North and South Islands
•   Lake Matheson: What are the sounds of a New Zealand sunset?
•   Southern Alps: Flying over the South Island’s Southern Alps
•   Southern Alps: The Southern Alps at sunset, from Lake Matheson
•   Train: Coastal Pacific train, from Picton to Christchurch
•   Train: TranzAlpine train, from Christchurch to Greymouth

Have you visited New Zealand? Where are your favourite places and memories? Please leave your comments below!

This post marks Māori Language Week (Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori), celebrated annually in New Zealand since 1975. Māori Language Week in 2014 takes place 21 to 27 July inclusive. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at, and also appears as part of the Sunday Traveler series.

Another 16-hour Canada Day marathon in Vancouver

The forecast called for a hot mostly sunny day to celebrate Canada’s national holiday on the 1st of July. It’s another invitation to continue exploring my birthplace here in Vancouver, British Columbia. Spanning a period of 16-plus hours including sunrise and sunset, I’ve collected 20 photographs among 100 kilometres (60 miles) of travel throughout the region. This year’s marathon follows last year’s debut effort.

1.   542am, 1st light from Vancouver Convention Centre

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

I knew from last year’s experience first light occurs to the northeast. Aside from early risers and joggers, there are few others around. There’s something magical about the harbour with the serenity found at sunrise. The “sail” roof from Canada Place and the cranes at the CenTerm port facility appear to reach up into the sky, clearing the sky of wispy cirrus for the morning sun.

Vancouver Convention Centre

2 and 3.   601-700am, Coal Harbour

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

A great deal of activity in Vancouver’s harbour is defined by the seaplanes flying in and out of Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre. At this early hour, it’s an unusual yet sensible sight to see these seaplanes parked, ready to go. Over on the right is a Harbour Patrol vessel.

Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Condominium towers and commercial high rises hug and hover over the southern shoreline of Burrard Inlet. In the summer, this entire area including Coal Harbour is illuminated by the morning sun. Reach up and seek out the opportunity to make the ever-present selfie … click.

Coal Harbour

4.   701-800am, Coal Harbour

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Early morning also brings out the rowers from the Rowing Club: the singles, pairs, fours, and sixes. There’s very little traffic on the water, except for the occasional tugboat and pleasure craft. Clearly evident are the light breeze, still waters, soaring peaks, and big skies for company. The description “morning row, uncontested” seems appropriate.

Vancouver Rowing Club

5.   801-900am, Stanley Park

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

This area began as intertidal mud flats connected with the waters of Burrard Inlet via Coal Harbour. The 1916 construction of the causeway through Stanley Park cut off the “lost lagoon” (Pauline Johnson), and became a freshwater lake supplied by runoff from neighbouring creeks in the park. The Jubilee Fountain was constructed in 1936 to celebrate Vancouver’s 50th anniversary. Important to visitors and residents, Lost Lagoon is essential for wildlife diversity.

Stanley Park’s landmarks | Lost Lagoon

6.   901-1000am, West Vancouver

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

In rediscovering West Vancouver, I knew I had to photograph this beautiful structure, a smartly constructed glass and concrete building with optimized minimal footprint and whose heating and cooling system draws upon the underlying geothermal mass. It can be no accident that the smooth rooflines mirror the shape of the mountain ridge in the background. Beauty, form, and function in harmony …

West Vancouver Community Centre

7.   1001-1100am: Dundarave, West Vancouver

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Dundarave Village is a short walk west along Marine Drive from the Community Centre. Having been here before, local favourite Delany’s Coffee is my choice for morning coffee in the area: great coffee, friendly folks at the counter. These folks are clearly prepared for Canada Day. What’s even better? Suspended from the ceiling is a miniature railway to delight kids of all ages.

Delany’s Coffee (Dundarave)

8 and 9.   1101am-1200pm: Ambleside, West Vancouver

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

In West Vancouver’s Ambleside, the sculpture “Overflow IV”, by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, is a sitting faceless figure, consisting entirely of alphabet letters. To complement the wispy patchy cirrus cloud overhead, a clever change in orientation forces the viewer to consider whether or not the sculpture is truly “overflowing”, trying to speak for itself after all.

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Designated as West Vancouver’s first designated heritage building, the former ferry building reopened as an art gallery in 1990. But at the beginning of the 20th-century, the small village of West Vancouver was once a cottage and summer getaway from the commotion that was young Vancouver. Until 1947, ferry service to Vancouver began and ended here at Ambleside Landing.

Ferry Building Art Gallery

10.   1201-100pm, Ambleside Park

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

The Welcome Figure is a landmark for West Vancouver, honouring the people, creatures, and land upon which people now inhabit. Made with old growth cedar from nearby Hollyburn Mountain, the figure is a gift from the Squamish Nation and dedicated to the city in 2001. “With open arms to all who pass our shores, this Welcoming Figure was raised at the first K’aya’chtn (gathering of ocean canoes).”

Squamish Nation Welcome Figure

11.   101-200pm, downtown Vancouver

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

I’m waiting for a crosstown bus across from the Vancouver Club in downtown Vancouver. I see a woman in red on the other side of the street, and her path takes her across the front entrance from left to right. She seems to be in a hurry. Where is she going? Is she meeting friends to have fun today? What does Canada Day represent to her? The end of a four-day weekend? Or something more?

12.   201-300pm, Port Moody

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

A callback to history: “Occupy the Trench”. Built in time for Canada Day, a small trench named the McKnight Trench was built next to the Port Moody Station Museum to honour the memory of Port Moody engineer Augustus McKnight who was killed in Belgium at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. These beautiful folks are a part of the present commemoration activity.

“Occupy the Trench”

13.   301-400pm, Port Moody

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Port Moody Station Museum marks an important historical element in Canada and British Columbia. The province of BC joined Canadian confederation upon the promise and construction of a national railway. Constructed in 1908, the building housed the second rail station in Port Moody, until passenger rail service stopped in 1976. The building was moved to its present location in 1978, and reopened as Port Moody’s historical museum in 1983.

Port Moody Station Museum

14.   401-500pm, Port Moody

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

At the north end of Rocky Point Park, the pier sees a number of boat launches, and pleasure boats large and small are out and about on a breezy afternoon along this eastern edge of Burrard Inlet. Visible on the other side of the Inlet is the town of Ioco, an abbreviation for the Imperial Oil Corporation. Imperial built an oil refinery across from Port Moody in 1914, and began construction of the Ioco Townsite next to the refinery in 1921. Ioco was incorporated into Port Moody in 1992, and declared a Heritage Conservation Area in 2002.

Rocky Point Park | Port Moody Arm, Burrard Inlet

15.   501-600pm, Waterfront Station

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

This building and area marks the western terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), a vital transportation link in the late-19th and early-20th century contributing to the growth of the city of Vancouver and the economic development of the young Canadian nation. Constructed in 1914, the building housed the third CPR station in Vancouver. The building is now home to Waterfront Station, a major intermodal public transport hub for city and suburbs. With proximity to Canada Place, holiday crowds in downtown Vancouver stream in and out of the building.

Waterfront Station

16.   601-700pm, YVR Airport

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

At Vancouver’s international airport (YVR), this sign greets travelers as they enter the airport from the Skytrain station. That is, if they’re paying any attention and looking up at the sign, and beyond to the figures and shapes suspended from above. But the sign represents something more with its message in the nation’s two official languages (English, French) and the Chinese language representing the largest ethnic minority in the region. “Welcome to the airport; you all have a good trip …”

17.   701-800pm, YVR Airport

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Many companies offer virtual or call-in “help desks” for customers to call for help and ask questions. This “help desk” is on the departures level of the international terminal at YVR Airport. It’s by accident you see here in this photo two “faceless” staff; the only faces visible are of passengers.

18.   801-900pm, YVR Airport: international arrivals

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

I’ve made this photo at the arrivals level in the international terminal at YVR Airport. One flight from London and another from China have just landed. It’s poignant, at least to me, to see streams of people arriving in Vancouver on Canada Day. No doubt some are going to see Vancouver and Canada in entirely new light; no doubt some will want to stay. “Welcome to Canada, and welcome to Vancouver …”

YVR Vancouver Airport

19.   915pm, final rays from Kitsilano

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

Overcast skies make beautiful sunsets, but subsequent overnight skies are awful for any kind of observing. But that’s of little importance to the crowds gathered here at Kitsilano Beach; all they’d like is a beautiful colourful end to a very hot summer day. Those emerging rays are actually parallel, and they’re called “crepuscular (twilight) rays” which by a trick of optics appear to radiate outward from the location of the sun in the sky.

Kitsilano Beach

20.   901-1000pm, Kitsilano Beach

Vancouver, BC, Canada - 1 July 2014, Canada Day

With this final photograph, I bear witness to the final light of the day, and witness to others who are also observers of the very same thing. Happy Canada Day!

Every photo above is marked with a location pin in the first map below. All trips with TransLink public transport are indicated in the second map below. I traveled to all of the locations with a $9.75 DayPass, and covered 100 kilometres (62 miles) in a total of 10 trips with bus and SkyTrain.

Oh Canada!

•   The National Anthem with Heritage Horns, daily at noon in Vancouver
•   The National Flag, since 1965
•   Canada Day: Vancouver 2013

I made all of the photos above with a Canon 6D camera on a hot & sunny Canada Day, 1 July 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at, and also appears as part of the Sunday Traveler series.

Fotoeins Friday: Baseball, America’s pastime

Chilean morning send-off: under the Andes with Atacama minions

Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

Valley morning fog below Andean foothills

The “rays of God” mark the first light of dawn. Sounds come scarce, piercing the silence with soft whistles and drawn-out wails. The nighttime cotton blanket pulls back slowly; small puffs break loose from low-lying areas and push west towards the Pacific.

The sun climbs higher, shadows grow shorter, and morning fog parts. A spectacular view is unveiled at a height of over 2000 metres. Dry river beds twist and stretch along canyon floors. Cactus and desert scrub blanket neighbouring hills in faded greens and dusty browns. To the east rise jagged teeth capped with white frosting, fixing the location of the Andes along the Chilean spine.

I wonder about the brave souls who make their home in this part of the Atacama desert. They’re farmers, prospectors, and miners, carrying individual loads for financial endeavour. People have always been digging: plant, mineral, or any kind of pay dirt.

There’s another human enterprise, one that looks up into clear skies and seeks different rewards. People come to ask questions of the universe. How do planets take shape? How do stars form? How are galaxies assembled? How far back in time can we look back? These concerns occupy guest astronomers here on the summit of Cerro Tololo, the telescopes pointed up, reaching for elusive answers.

Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

Illuminated telescope domes on Tololo

I’ve never gotten bored of Chilean sunrises, impressive as always over the great cordillera beyond. Fifteen years will pass, and every sunrise is a marvel. I’ll witness hundreds of Andean sunrises, but today’s sunrise is different.

I’m leaving the mountain for the last time, and soon, I will leave astronomy.

All the signs indicate changing course, although continuing was a safer bet. I’ve fought against changing times and priorities. Grief over my loss eventually transformed into great relief, and I’m fortunate to have departed science on my own. I have no regrets about my time as astronomer, but I’m likely never coming back.

I’ve a new imperative and a new journey: to take on a full year of travel with visits to family and friends around the world. I’m okay jumping into the unknown with many questions and few replies.

Some furry four-legged creatures arrive to greet the morning on Tololo. A scruffy mountain goat appears to check out the hubbub. Three diminutive desert foxes join the party, but they soon leave disappointed, their attempts at begging for food thwarted.

With a smile, I wave at their retreating backs.

It’s fitting validation, a final valediction.

Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

Mountain goat (cabra) on sentry

Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

Yappy desert foxes (zorros culpeos)

More from Chile

•   Fotoeins Friday: Asleep at the Atacama view
•   Chile’s Elqui River: World Tourism Day

I made all of the photos above. A version of this story appears on World Nomads. The present version appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at, and also appears as part of the Sunday Traveler series.

Adelina Wong (packmeto), guest interview for Fotoeins Fotopress

I’m pleased to introduce fellow traveler, fellow Europhile, and fellow native of Vancouver: Adelina Wong. She’s lived and worked in Budapest, Hungary, where a big part of her belongs, mirroring my own feelings towards Germany. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed her for Fotoeins Fotopress.

What circumstances prompted your move to live and work in Budapest/Hungary?

AW: “I had always wanted to experience what it was like to live abroad. I had a small taste of it when I studied abroad in the Netherlands, but that was only 4 months. During university, I was part of an organization called AIESEC which facilitates an exchange program for university students and recent graduates. Eventually it was through AIESEC that I found my placement in Budapest. I didn’t deliberately pick Hungary as I was open to opportunities anywhere, but I found a great job and the rest just fell into place.”

Budapest from Gellért Hill, AW

Budapest from Gellért Hill – AW,

What were the most memorable aspects of living in Budapest/Hungary?

AW: “Easily, the most memorable aspects were the people that I met that made the whole experience so rewarding and memorable. I made some great friends from all around the world who I still keep in contact with today. I also met a couple of really great Hungarians as well who I always look forward to seeing when I visit. Most importantly, I met my boyfriend there.

I also enjoyed aspects of the culture. North America is so driven by capitalism and the need for more and more that it was a refreshing change to be some place where it’s not as prevalent. I’ve been told that this is starting to change in Hungary, but comparatively it’s nothing. Work-life balance was also good. It was common for people to go out for a drink or two after work – especially in the summers when the patios are open and the days are long and hot. I’m a big food person and I love how the fad of organic food, farm to table, nose to tail cooking is just a part of everyday life. Going to the market or store everyday to pick out some fresh veggies for dinner was normal. Most things were organic by default, and the seasons dictated what fresh foods were available on shelves. Delicious in the summers, harder to handle in the winter, but definitely memorable.”

For someone visiting Budapest/Hungary for the 1st time, what would you recommend they see & experience for something uniquely Budapest/Hungarian?

AW: “I’m a firm believer that food is a great way of experiencing a new culture. I would suggest a wander through a market, not the famous central market that most tourists visit, but rather one where mostly locals shop. The market at Lehel ter is a great one (and easy to get to on the blue metro line). Barely anyone speaks English so be prepared to do a lot of pointing. You’ll get to see what’s in season, interesting breads and desserts, and people watch as they pick out what’s for dinner. There are only a few hot food stands at this particular market, but they’re worth checking out for a quick bite; lángos, deep fried dough with sour cream and cheese on top, is a must!

Budapest Lehel Market, AW

Budapest’s Lehel Market – AW,

A taste of palinka is also a must. Hungarians swear by this fruit brandy. The older generation uses it as an aperitif and believes in its healing powers for any ailment. There are palinka bars throughout the city where you can sip on different fruit flavours from plum to cherry.

AW: Another thing unique to Budapest are the ruin bars, also called kerts or garden bars, around the city. The courtyards and insides of old derelict buildings are transformed and repurposed as bars and gathering places. Originally, they were decorated with mismatched furniture found in the building, but many ruin bars are now designed intentionally to look old and random. Most visitors head to Szimpla which was the first and most famous ruin bar, but there are plenty of others worth checking out, including Kuplung, Ellato Kert, and Fogashaz.”

What is the ONE thing you miss most about Budapest/Hungary (that you can’t get anywhere else)?

AW: “My boyfriend! Cheeky (but truthful!) answer, I know. Other than him, I miss the energy of the city, especially during the summer. Yes, I complained a lot about the heat; 35+ degrees Celsius on average for months at a time without air conditioning is rather painful. But I also loved being able to wander around at 10pm in just shorts and a t-shirt. It was great to see people out enjoying each others company, relaxing in parks, chatting at bars, or splashing around in local pools.”

AW at Heroes Square in Budapest,

Heroes Square, Budapest – AW,

If you could return to live in Europe (not Budapest/Hungary), where would you go and why?

AW: “I like cities. There is nothing more I love more than the hustle and bustle of people. Of all the places I’ve traveled in Europe, the two places where I could see myself living (other than Budapest, of course) is London and Berlin. Both cities are steeped in history and have unique vibes that I like. I felt like I was at home even though I was a visitor. They’re different in their own ways, but I feel a pull towards both. I would love to live in either city for awhile and discover all their little secrets.”

The photos above were made and kindly provided by Adelina Wong. For more things Budapest, Hungary, and all around Europe, check out her website: This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at, and also appears as part of the Sunday Traveler series.


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