Today, we stopped to visit the first couple who welcomed us warmly to New Zealand. It was a joy to see Janet and Mike again, although we feel that our relationship has cooled dramatically — largely because we stopped going to church and no longer support proselytising the traditional Christian worldview.

Janet and Mike invited David into their home in 2008 as I’ve explained here, and this generous move is what brought us to this part of New Zealand last February. We stayed in the Blue House on their property for a month while we fitted out our horse truck so we could start travelling.

Although she was not expecting us, Janet invited us again into her home and showed generous hospitality. She fed us and loaded us up with fruit and nuts before we drove away.

Our girls at Flemings' house, May 2012
While we chat with Janet inside, our girls eat chocolate cake out on the sunny deck. Janet always has sweet treats to share.

Janet, David, Lauren with Elijah and Aisha, May 2012
It's been good to catch up with Janet again.

Lauren and Elijah, May 2012
We introduce our son to Janet for the first time.

Calista and Brioni picking apples, May 2012
Upon Janet's invitation, our girls pick apples fresh from the tree — delicious!

Walking to the Blue House, May 2012
We take a walk in the sunshine to have a look at the Blue House, especially so our children can remember their time here last year.

David at the Blue House, May 2012
David admires one of the best views in New Zealand.

Aisha and Calista at the Blue House, May 2012
It's been fun to explore this place again. I feel that it's important to reinforce our children's memories by revisiting places they've known in the past.

Visiting Ceg and Bev Fleming is always fun, and we couldn’t drive past their house without stopping in and saying hello. They’re the couple who let us build our truck home on their property, and we have always felt particularly welcomed and accepted by them — no matter how we’ve changed in the interim!

Girls playing at Flemings', May 2012
An eclectic collection of exciting toys is kept on hand for the grandchildren (and us!) at Bev and Ceg's.

Brioni playing at Ceg's, May 2012
Brioni plays with horses while Ceg looks on.

Bev wasn’t home when we stopped in, but we love hearing all Ceg’s news of the last six months. It’ll be good to see Bev sometime in the future, as we will probably be driving their way again.