This is a story of meeting some extraordinary people and yet not making the time to get to know them properly. Away from them, we realised that we hadn’t taken hold of the original opportunity we’d been offered, so we returned to hear more of their stories and learn from their own journeys.

When we were previously staying with a family of four girls in Dargaville, David got in the habit of walking around the town in the early morning hours. On one of his walks, he met Teresa and Wayne. Wayne was sitting out on his porch, enjoying an early-morning cigarette, and he greeted David warmly. This led to the start of a conversation and David was invited inside for a cup of tea.

Teresa and Wayne's house, Dargaville, August 2011
We've been welcomed by Wayne and Teresa. Since they live on one of the main roads out of Dargaville, they use signage to promote Teresa's artwork and invite tourists inside to have a look.

Teresa and Wayne's house, Dargaville, August 2011
The paintings on the letterbox hint at the creativity of Teresa's mind.

Teresa is an artist, and she categorises her original works as “symbolic spiritual art”. In her paintings, she uses illustrative figures and objects to symbolise people, relationships, emotions and burdens. Because he is so intuitively connected to Teresa, Wayne finds that he can often “interpret” her paintings better than she can. It’s a beautiful example of how a marriage can be so intimate that one member understands the other better than they can express themselves.

David and Teresa with Leo the horse, August 2011
Leo the horse is happy to meet David!

David and Wayne, August 2011
David has enjoyed getting to know Wayne and hearing his stories.

Our girls with Amber, August 2011
At this house, our girls have enjoyed doing lots of drawing and also watching tv when the older kids come home from school.

Delaney, 19 months old, August 2011
Delaney has adopted one of the kids' stuffed toys — Pumba. But she calls it "Rowr".

Teresa and David, August 2011
David and Teresa worked together in the kitchen tonight.

We’ve spent a meaningful day with Wayne and Teresa, talking about her artworks and hearing their individual and joint stories. It’s lovely to be back in the Dargaville area, and to know that more lovely personal encounters are waiting for us at every stop!