Land Of The LETS Green Dollar
Copyright � James Taris


The New Zealand police just love us Aussies!

10. Thursday, April 3
Mt. Ngauruhoe ... Mangaweka ... Palmerston North ... Masterton ... Carterton)

Polite Police And The Cookie Time DC-3 Caf�

By 8.30am we'd left the motel and made our first stop at Mt. Ngauruhoe, a volcanic mountain of 2,287 m. The thick cloud cover hid the peak from our view, so we made ourselves a cuppa and waited for the clouds to shift. A young and curious policeman stopped to enquire if we'd broken down and needed any assistance. But we assured him everything was OK. He was very friendly and chatty, so I jokingly said, "Can you give me a lift to Palmerston North?" the town 250 km south where Bryan was dropping me off.

"I'm not going that far, but I can take you as far as Waiouru," he said, referring to the next town about 50 km away.

"Don't mind him," Bryan said, "He's from Australia."

"An Aussie! Then he can walk!" the policeman said, with a wry grin on his face.

Thankfully Bryan allowed me back into his campervan, and we headed out again just as a busload of camera-toting tourists emerged determined to photograph the volcano which was still under thick cloud cover.

We stopped at the The Cookie Time DC-3 Caf� for a snack.

Our next stop was in Mangaweka. Stopping here was more of a novelty than anything else. The novelty being a DC-3 plane which had chocolate chip cookies painted all over it. The Cookie Time DC-3 Caf� had been operating as a dine-in caf� for 14 years before it had its great makeover in March 2000. Since then it had become quite a landmark enticing travelling motorists to stop and grab a coffee or snack on board.

Ferrets And Loose Pants

Just after midday we arrived at the bus depot in Palmerston North, where Bryan and Joan dropped me off before continuing on to Wellington. My bus wasn't due until 3.15pm, so I bought my bus ticket, left my luggage in storage, then went looking for an Internet Caf�. I only needed an hour to sort out my emails, so I returned to the bus depot to have some lunch.

A couple of the waiting passengers caught my attention, and both were teenage boys.

One of them was dressed in black and had a pet ferret on a leash! This was a first for me. I'd never seen such a sight. The ferret was just like a little puppy: walking to and fro, sitting up and watching the passing people, crawling up to his master's leg and trying to climb up. Eventually the young lad picked him up and cuddled him much like you would any other pet.

The other young guy was travelling with his girlfriend and his/her mum. And it was his pants which caught my attention. They had slipped off his hips and the belt line must've been below his bum. But they wouldn't fall off! He kept checking that his red T-shirt was safely covering his backside, so I'm sure this was a fashion statement rather than a loose belt. And I spent ages trying to work out how he'd managed to keep his pants up. The front of pants seemed to sit high up around his waist, so I guessed that he'd somehow secured the front of his pants either tightly around his waist or loosely around his neck. The crotch of the pants had dropped around his knees with the trouser legs folding plentifully around his ankles. Boy, I thought. If he tried running dressed like that, he'd surely fall after his first couple of steps.

Green Dollar Queen

The bus stopped at Masterton, where I changed buses and continued on to Carterton. Helen Dew was waiting for me at the stop and drove me to her home only seconds away.

Helen and Alf Dew in their home of 44 years.

Helen and Alf Dew have been involved with Green Dollars for the last 12 years. Helen is the mover and shaker, and Alf supports her with whatever she does. In fact, Helen has even made an impact internationally. This year she's been invited to go to Germany to speak at a Community Currency Conference. And it was quickly apparent why.

"These dolls," Helen said as she showed me 5 new dolls laid out on a table top, "were old dolls I'd found with damaged clothing. I gave them to one of our Green Dollar members who's washed their hair, cleaned their faces and made a new set of clothes and shoes for them. Now I can sell them at my garage sale."

And later on she showed me the freshly baked bread that a neighbour had brought her because she knew Helen was having a guest. This was also a Green Dollar trade.

This article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green Dollar

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