KatiKati Ukulele Fest! April 1st-3rd

Found this today http://www.culturevulture.co.nz/blog/ukulele/festivals-events/katikati-ukulele-festival-2011/

After enquiring it actually looks pretty darned decent!, heres a few more details

A month out and planning is well advanced, to make the Katikati Ukulele Festival a fun weekend for everyone. A children’s art competition to decorate ukuleles is underway. Preparations for the festival depend on local support and willing volunteers, and so far we have had a good response.

Thank you to Creative Tauranga, who featured our festival in the February issue of Creative Beat.Also to Jacquie at Katch Katikati who has spread the message far and wide.Fundraising, to make the festival affordable for all, is still going on.

Let us know if you can help. We still need a sponsor to photocopy songs sheets for festival participants.Ukes-A-Plenty have been busy busking and performing at various functions. We busked for the Red Cross Christchurch appeal, at the weekly produce market on Friday evening.

We are making it a weekend long festival, to encourage people to come to town and stay overnight.Friday, April 1 we have a free music jam at Katikati RSA (on main highway, at south end of town.) Delicious meals are available from 5.30pm and music from about 7pm. Just join in, or get up for a number. Any instruments welcome.

Saturday, April 2. Main festival is in Katikati Memorial Hall, from 12.30pm till about 5pm. Gold coin entry. Bring your ukes along, for a sing and play long with Mr Ukulele, Kevin Fogarty, workshops from Big Muffin Serious Band on strumming then plucking, followed by an open mike session.Big Muffin Serious Band will be in concert from 5.30 till about 7pm. Entry $5, school children free. www.muffin.net.nz

Sunday, April 3 at Athenreee Homestead, Athenree, (just off SH2 on road to Waihi Beach.)  There will be a morning tea, homestead tours and ukulele entertainment from Ukes-A-Plenty from 10am till about 12. A fundraiser for the worthwhile restoration of Adela Stewart’s homestead, with entry, tour and yummy morning tea just $10.  See their website for details. www.athenreehomestead.org.nz

Comfortable accommodation is available at Sapphire Springs Holiday Park, www.sapphiresprings.net.nz/ Just a few kms from town in motel type cabins and with lovely clean hot pools, also at Athenree Holiday Park, or various B&B’s, Motels etc. See websites for KK info. www.katikati.org.nz or www.katikati.co.nz

The Children’s art fest is being organised by Linda Ojala,  lindaojala@hotmail.com. Teachers at Katikati primary and year 7/8 at the college are participating with their students. All the ECE centres in town have the details, as well as Pahoia and Matahui schools. Any other children can pick up an entry form and ukulele template at the information centre. Entries need to be in by Wednesday March 16.

We have a lovely red Makala ukulele, (thanks to Music Oasis, Waihi) a designer uke bag, with tuner, two uke books and a free beginner lesson (if needed), which is being raffled, along with a spectacular food basket and laundry bucket raffle. Spot prizes, to make the day more fun for all ages, are being gratefully received.

Financial support is also very welcome.So if you can help we would love to hear from you.Please contact Christine Donehue phone, 0274 809 261, (07) 5495827 or camellia@pcconnect.co.nz if you would like to help, or for more information.

Fiji holiday – day two

We were so tired last night we went to bed at some ungodley early hour. I think it was barely dark so around 7pm. Then we woke at about 5:15am with upstairs moving chairs. We dozed in bed for another 30 mins reading and playing with phones then i got up, made a cup of tea and sat on the deck watching the workers.

Its interesing seeing how many people it takes to make a resort this size work. Whilst i appretiate the pools looking like large rock pools with beaches, they all need too be cleaned daily taking a fair number of people. Some swept the sand back out of the pools, other racked the sand back flat, and another set picked up all the garbage and fixed plants etc, plus the odd one or two keeping an eye on the lot.

We had breaky about 6:30ish or so since the kids got up, then we went down to the local shop and grabbed some postcards and stamps. After doing that we decided to go to the pools and look around. My son, oldest daughter and I decided to go canoeing out in the sea to see the coral but we couldnt see much, my hubby and other daughter went swimming. After getting back we all jumped into the pool to waste a couple more hours.

The girls wanted to book in and get braids since everyone else here did and it was $2 per braid. I said they could but only if it was out of their own money, which they worked out was fine. The older one got a half head of cornrows for $20, the younger got similar but shaped in a cool way for $32. The odd thing about the money here is that the exchange rate is in our favour, so that works out to be cheaper in NZD than Fijian dollars. The ladies who did the braiding were lovely to talk to, however it turned out they only made $3.50 an hour, plus whatever tips.  Also, work was a 3 hour round trip away! We made sure we tipped them each well! i know what things cost here!

We took a trip down to the Ports on the local Bula Bus, which was another excellent experience, and then went to Mama’s Pizza which *everyone* told us to go to. Once we had eaten there we realized why! the ‘Large’ pizza fed a famliy of 8 nicely, it was a good half mtr round at least! We got 3 medium pizzas and over ate. We had a gormet chicken and garlic one, and the other was half meat lovers, half hawaiian (bit of a bastardisation since we were in fiji!). Boy did it taste fantastic however!

I picked up a couple of other items at the shops there, and a bottle of wine. The one in my room had been calling my name, however it cost $50 if i drank it. Turns out they had decent NZ wine for $25FJD (about $18NZD) which was excellent, plus the makings of pancakes for tomorrows breakfast. No maples syrup or cream or anything like it at all however!

After getting back i sat next to the pool (it was 8pm by now) with my bottle of wine, and a good book, whilst the others swam for the next hour. Everyone went to bed late, we plan a decent sleep in tomorrow.

We booked in a couple of day trips for the weekend since everything here is closed at that time. On Saturday we plan to head on out to a Cave trip which includes some tramping, a visit to a local village, a kava ceremony and some other great things.  Sunday we are doing a island hop and stop over cruise involving some snorkling over coral, a submarine thing, glass bottomed boats etc.

Monday is our leaving day so we are gonna hang around the resort.

Waterproof camera cases – and my awesome sister!

For those that know me, know i do a little photography. I have always wanted to take it underwater, to the point of using Glad resealable bags with my cheap Fuji point n shoot camera (wouldn’t try that with my Canon 450D SLR camera!).

Yesterday i got home to a large parcel airmail. I opened it up and there was a pile of all sorts of waterproof gear from ipod pouches, waterproof earphones (now you can apparently listen to your iPod in the pool!), and a couple of waterproof camera cases all from Aquapec . It turns out it was an Xmas present from my totally awesome sister Angela

We promptly filled the bath and tested the point n shoot camera in the smaller camera bag. Results were interesting, the photos came out well but it was hard to try and get the camera sitting in the pouch in the right place as the bag was much larger than the camera. Also the lens protrudes when turned on and of course moves in and out which made life interesting. If pressure is put on the lens then it can push the lens off its rails or damage the camera. I was a little worried about this so i grabbed a toilet roll, cut it to size, then taped it onto the camera like this.

The bath isnt huge, so was a little hard to get good shots that were not ‘in your face’ too much. This is one of the resulting photos

Today we took the lot of it down to the swimming pools. We got a LOT of attention for taking so many cameras into the pool of course, but it was fun. The smaller camera is able to do video which was cool, though I havn’t watched ot downloaded from it (and wont until i can find its cable!).

I had trouble seeing through the viewfinder on the SLR a bit but that turned out to be my goggles, i switched through a few that we had including a face mask or two, and used the best snorkel gear for better underwater time. I had some trouble with floating and not sinking enough, next time I will make a point of squeezing excessive air out of the bag and using a deeper pool with a solar pool cover. The SLR waterproof case looked like this

This meant that if the lens was shorter than the tube it was baggy at the end and the resulting photos had a nice vinegette going on from it. Ill have to hold that in place in future. width wise my 72mm lens only just fit into it, i wouldnt try any larger thats for sure! Here are a few more photos I took today from in the pool.