Living Life Fully

When FFNI visited Rotorua, New Zealand, there was a shortage of home hosts. So our hosts Kathy and Ralph Dixon graciously agreed to host 4 ambassadors instead of the usual two. Their very comfortable ranch is located in a beautiful setting at the bend in a river. Their home has 3 small bedrooms and 1 and ½ baths and a large dining room and family room overlooking the river where kayakers and canoeists could be seen early in the morning trolling for trout. Kathy gave us a tour of her lovely garden and many beautiful potted orchids that she tends.  She cooked breakfast for her 4 guests each morning and helped to rounded up all the papers and maps that we needed for our tour of Rotorua. I thought it was amusing that she and Ralph had several friendly discussions as to exactly where the sugar bowl was to be placed in the kitchen cupboard.

It was only when I saw her reading a message on her computer with letters an inch high that I realized she was legally blind. This lovely kind woman refused to be handicapped by her diminished vision. In addition to home hosting she is also the president of the Friendship Force of Rotorua Club and took an active part in all the activities of the exchange. I am grateful for her friendship and for her beautiful example of living her life fully.

Photo left to right: Joan Harrington, Pres FFNI; Monica Larson, FFNI; Andrew Buffery, FFRotorua; Kathy Dixon, Pres. FF Rotorua; Gigi Long, FFSeattle-Tacoma and Ralph Dixon, FF Rotorua.

We were all in costume, supplied by our hosts, to celebrate The Melbourne Cup Race. It is like the Kentucky Derby here in America. We went to a party at a local hotel where we had appetizers, dinner, the race on TV and  entertainment. What fun!

Submitted by Joan Harrington