Today we discovered an abandoned house site close to the centre of town. The house has been removed, but the foundations and gardens tell a story about the previous occupants that leads us to speculate about the people who built it.

We still have business that keeps us close to Kaitaia, and so we return to the shops, the library, the familiar and the new. The longer we hang around, the more I like it here. The people are friendly, artistic expression is encouraged and we’re blessed on our way by the people we talk to.

Aisha and Calista playing with digging toys, April 2012
Before we leave the farm this morning, a digger starts work to flatten the piles of dirt we've been playing on.

Breastfeeding Elijah, April 2012
Parked in town, I sit casually outside the truck and feed Elijah while the kids play around me.

Although we head to the playground, we become waylaid when a pretty walkway catches our eyes.

Mosaic steps in Kaitaia, April 2012
Moulded concrete steps decorated with mosaics and mirror tiles lead to the abandoned house site.

Mosaic steps in Kaitaia, April 2012
Fish and pretty spirals urge us upwards.

Brioni sits on a stone woman's lap, April 2012
An abandoned garden-bed features a concrete woman, and Brioni rests on her lap.

Brioni, 5 years old, April 2012
Brioni has such beautiful smiles for David!

Delaney and the concrete woman, April 2012
Delaney approaches the concrete woman.

Delaney, 2 years old, April 2012
At two years old, Delaney is talking so much now and plays alongside her older sisters.

Concrete piece, April 2012
From this piece of concrete rubble found near the house, Brioni could deduce that bottles were once part of the construction material.

We’ve seen bottles in the construction of homes and walls before, and the girls recognise it immediately. It’s not a novelty to them, it’s simply a common building material!

Walking on a house pad, April 2012
The girls walk "through" the house on the concrete pad.

Brioni confides that she recognised the house foundation for what it was because she walked on the concrete pad of her grandparents’ house that burned down just recently. Again I’m reminded that our travel experiences are teaching the girls so much that I don’t realise.

Mosaic remnants around a hole, April 2012
We examine the remnants of a mosaic around a hole. I can't figure out what the hole was used for.

Garden plants, April 2012
Water hyacinths, maidenhair ferns and bromeliads sit unattended in the garden beds. I'm surprised that other local gardeners haven't taken these plants for their own yards.

Mosaic on a bird bath, April 2012
A large bird-bath (?) has fallen over in one corner of the garden.

Seeing all the mosaics and the moulded concrete work has made me wonder about the person who lived here and built the gardens. Surely they were extremely creative, and I’m sorry that I don’t get to see their whole house. Still, the gardens are a delight, and it’s been a pleasure to wander through them and discover what remains. Sometimes mysteries are more satisfying when they aren’t solved.