When Googled, Maungatapere is described as a settlement in Northland, New Zealand. State Highway 14 runs through it. Whangarei is 11 km to the east, and Tangiteroria is 18 km to the southwest. A mountain called Maungatapere with a summit 359 m above sea lever is southwest of the settlement.
Kate and Sage Wickline and their folks, Jim and Jen (Elderkin) will be heading back to Maungatapere, New Zealand, next week. It’s a long trip. Train to Boston. Flight from Boston to Chicago, then over the Pole to Aukland. Better part of a day's travel. When in New Zealand, they will be 16 hours ahead of our time.
Their area of New Zealand is rural, so settling for everyone is relatively graceful. No big city but no Southport bridge either. Its an adjustment, but they have been there before. They will rent a small farm house and instead of sailboats, seagulls and lobster boats, there will be sheep and cows and perhaps a new pup (yet to be determined).
The crew lived in New Zealand for nine years before. Kate was 4 when they first landed and Sage 11 months. The girls will go back to old friends at Whangerei girls school, where Kate will be in 9th grade and Sage will be going into 7th grade.
The girls' year back in Maine has been full. Kate, an accomplished pianist, has continued her musical studies, competed swimming, and sailed 420s with the Southport Yacht Club. She also ran track and played soccer. Sage has been equally active with swim team, field hockey and theatre. She also was quite instrumental in bringing the solar energy subject to the fore on Southport with classmate Sarah Harris.
Parents Jim and Jen have been busy taxis as well as working parents, Jim a fine finish carpenter and Jen lobstering here and continuing to run a fledgling business in New Zealand which she hopes to grow upon the family return.
We've always been big fans of Kate and Sage. When they were younger, we spent time with them and grandmother June Elderkin. Our daughter Morgan and son-in-law Andrei were completely smitten with the girls and looked forward to their visits with great joy. Jumping off the Pratt's Island bridge a high point well documented.
We will miss the gang but know that they will visit back and do well. We wish the family great success and good fortune. “Kia Ora,” in New Zealand meaning, as I best I can tell, “Cheers, good luck and best wishes.”
Happy trails. We love you.