Sunday, 6 November 2011

Conference - Day 1

The New Zealand Association of OT had a really great process whereby each year they alternate between traditional conference style, and clinical workshops, and this year it was the form of the clinical workshops that had attracted me to attend the event!
Waking up to the following views of local wildlife, had made forget all about the 2 day journey to get here!

I was soon following the crowd for a traditional Maori greeting known a 'Powhiri', at the local Maori community 'house'. Women were asked to line up first and men at the back, before the Maori chief's wife began chanting/singing a greeting that allowed us to pass in to the house... see below...
After the ceremony were taken to several historic local Maori sights, including the area where the famous Waitangi Treaty was signed between the local Maori leaders and the European settlers at that time. This treaty was signed in peace time, with a view to allowing the different populations a better understanding of the future, here's some of the first morning tour....
After the tour, a lovely lunch was provided where the main trade displays were situated allowing people to get to know each other in a more informal setting.
My first workshop that afternoon was entitled 'Multiple Perspectives: finding your anchor - by a well respected Dr Manuka Henare, the theme of this workshop asking us are we 'of a place; or in a place', was a very thought provoking question, and an issue that remained relevant throughout the entire conference.

As the day drew to a close and I was trying desperately to remember any of the people's names I had met that day (because my memory is shocking, not because the people weren't memorable) I began to wonder what to do for food. I had a few nice offers for dinner, and opted for a fish & chip dinner on a nearby moored boat called 'Shippeys'! The food came wrapped in paper and I was joined by four lovely OT's.
After dinner some of us headed back to the hotel and decided to hit the outdoor hot tub/spa. A fitting end to a lovely first day!

Regards from New Zealand!

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