Once More Encounter - Abstracts about South Island
Written by: Zinnia Su-Jao Hsu in April ,2002  Translated by: Shun-Ying Lu
My first visit to New Zealand was in 1999, seven days after the 921 earthquake; since then I started to like her. This time was another seven days after the 331 earthquake; once more I entered the land. My short stay of 12 days made me feel more admiring and jealous on New Zealand. God gave the last Pure Land to the honest, passionate and generous Kiwi (New Zealander), where I have profoundly learned that following the Nature is men's only solution.

The「20th Anniversary Conference 2002」was a small but beautiful union. Though the participants were less than before, their consciousness of enthusiasm and sharing was incomparable vigorous. It was almost impossible to complete the exchanges of cultures, techniques and ideas during such haste; but as a fact a better comprehension for leather crafts was stimulated by brainstorming and encouraging through each other's creation. Later on the mutual influence and appreciation will faintly reveal from our work. Such a warm interaction strongly vibrates my heart.

Much thankfulness to the Conference for this once more opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with all. I hope my intense courses had introduced people some fresh aspects of leather crafts. I truly understand the hard work to organize such an activity, because I have been through the same situation in Taiwan. Thus I could always appreciate more in each opportunity hosted by others. Here I discreetly represent the group from Taiwan to send our most respect and gratitude to the Conference.

It was not my first time to paddle on the Avon River under her willow shade. Though the season changing brought a different color, a scene remained the same with carefree swimming ducks and easy people under the sun. Owing to her ever a British colony, in Christchurch the numerous historical buildings, culture and arts and life style all possessed an England atmosphere, a city in a flavor of freedom, easiness and simplicity. Wandering among them was like bathed in the nostalgia feeling and adventuring surprises at all times. You must travel here with your time easily to not missing each unique boutique in the Art Centre.

Riding the Tranz Alpine to enjoy the marvelous natural landscape, one scene after another passing through the window as the beautiful calendar hung on my wall. I always thought they were unreal until the moment I was really inside of them to let the train take me through the South Alpine. I was desperate to take more photos in the open-air scenic carriage, but the bone-chilling wind blew me back to my cabin and forced me to sit back. Our companions Fay, Carene, Peter, Judy, Judith and Ken, they were taking turns to chat with us, amplifying laughter popped out from our cabin on and off that drew all the attention from other passengers! Fortunately they were soon influenced by our joy and became playful, even waved farewell to us! How sweet of New Zealanders! By the way, thanks Peter to arrange the reservation for us, or we could not have such a delighted journey!

One early morning I woke up in the hotel by the lake with an aroma of grass and a thin mist in the air, something missed for years. The time seemed returned to the countryside in my childhood. Suddenly a quotation from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" was floating into my mind, "Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself." Walking along the lake, the wind gently brushed my face but strongly attracted me a metropolitan into the solitude, alone with the nature, in the pace of the sun. Queenstown located by the lake Wakatipu, takes the advantage from her position, a quiet elegant lady in my first impression, but actually a headquarter for all kinds of excited outdoor adventures. Such as bungee jumping, parapante, hot-air balloon, wild river rafting, jet motorboat ……… those seemed far too excited to a slow person like me. Luckily I had no fear for heights; at least I could experience the worldly steepest cable car for 731 meters long, unexpectedly smooth. The Gondola delivered me up to the Bob's Peak, form its observation deck I viewed the extremely beautiful panorama of Wakatipu. The lazurite-like, clear, still and deep green water resembled the eyes of the earth, honestly reflected the flourishes of autumn and the immenseness of firmament. Thanks for the accompany of Fay and Carene who made the trip greatly enjoyable.

Safely back home with my luggage filled with leather and friendship. My trip seemed much more colorful, because of the wonderful companions, encounters and even some happenings by mistake. All you have brought me so much unforgettable happiness, later for me to recall. To grow the fellowship by the enthusiasm for leather crafts, that was our hope in common in this conference. As a member of 「The Association of New Zealand Leather Workers」, I will continue my offering in the other side of the equator.