Sunday, December 27, 2009

From Russia, With Love

So, here I am back home in Russia.

After winning at the Her Business Awards, to top the night off, I got told I was going home.


This was fabulously perfect - this year I have spent many months of talking to schools, a parenting group, two businesses interested in the new ways a teenager can improve business service within their company to appeal to youth, and Magazine Snob in Moscow (who have been waiting a few months for me to visit them!), and finally I have come back to my home land. I'm very happy to say, that with a few days before the new year (THE biggest celebration here), I have talked to and presented to everyone who invited me, and am awaiting my next trip to Moscow, from Kazan (where I am now) to visit my friends at Snob.

Can't wait!

I thought I'd add a bit to this blog, seeing as I haven't written for a few weeks with some insights and photos of my 'White Christmas'.

Firstly, it's very beautiful. It's my favourite country in the world. I love New Zealand as if she's my sister, but I love Russia as if she's my Mum. This country is everything to me, and if I ever criticize, it's out of love (honest).

The first few days in Kazan, the weather got to over -30 degrees (i.e. very cold), and half the time here, we've spent looking for a warm coat for me. Almost everyone wears fur coats. Not because we hate animals (Russians are among the world's top nations who own the most pets per person), but because it's so cold, no cotton is going to save you!

Food is cheap. Laptops, cameras, cars from other countries are about the same price as in New Zealand. Although, you can find cheaper stuff, but it's not something you'll find in New Zealand. For example, I think the other day we got recommended a Samsung hair straightener. Same qualities as a GHD (except they've never heard of GHDs), but is something like NZD$30. I guess prices depend on where you look.

Most cars have tinted windows. It looks so shady and cool, I think I'll put some on my car when I get back. NOT.

All Universities are free. Unfortunately, you have to be almost a rocket scientist from New Zealand to get in. University Entrance exams are VERY extreme, and only the very thin top percentage of entrants get in. AND every few months, they check up on all students, and if you're lagging with less than average marks in assignments, they get kicked out. But I guess free education must have rules. Beggars can't be choosers.

Shop keepers will pretend you're interrupting their exciting day of calling up all their friends off the store phone, by walking into their store. If only they knew that their paycheck comes out of the pieces of paper we'll give them in exchange for something useless from their shop...

Russian's love to talk. In fact, they love to talk so much, they will start arguments with strangers on buses, in malls, in cafes, in restaurants, in stores...everywhere. And they never think they're wrong. Even if they ruin someone's day, or swear at them, their day has become brighter, just because they got to give a piece of their mind to someone they don't know.

You can barter at a store. Not at a market - like at an actual store in an actual mall. WHAAAT is up with THAT??!

And lastly, why I love my country on a distance....all the women look like models from a magazine. No matter how old they are, their hair, make up, neat clothes and high heels make up a woman here. If you lack in at least one of these, you're either foreign, or a man.

I love my country.
It's the most beautiful, and I hope you come here one day! :)

Hope you enjoy a few of my photos with my brother of our adventures around the big country this month...

Paris Airport - I LOVED it!

Moscow, outside our Hotel

St Petersburg - can you guess the landmarks?? P.S. They actually do hold large historic value....

Hint: A church...

Hint: Ship starting with 'A'

Hint: The square in front of the biggest museum in the world...which used to be winter palace of the Russian Tsars, and Parliament Members...

Hint: They hold the whole world on their shoulders (they're my favourite men!!)

Church: 'Spasa na Krovi'

And my favourite photo...just to show that a foreigner could never go hungry in this country!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wellington Her Business Awards 2009

Well, well, the Wellington Her Business Awards at Hotel Intercontinental proved to be exciting as can be!

Out of seven categories, I went home as winner of The Most Inspirational Role Model Award, sponsored by City Life.

Also, keep an eye out on Snap Star - photos from the night are sure to hit their website soon!

Check out the photos from the night...

MC Mark Blumsky, Clare Menzies from City Life, Eva-Maria, Annah Stretton and Sally Connell:

Table 16 was the coolest:

At the VERY start of the night:

Women in Business - Eva-Maria and Annah:

Annah and Eva-Maria getting media-ized:

Lisa Martin from Go Fi8ure and Eva-Maria

Eva-Maria and Lynell Tuffery from YWCA Wellington Board & AJ Parks:

Lisa Martin from Go Fi8ure, Mandy Smale from Style Sense and Eva-Maria:

Whatta Night!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Da 1: Surviving Xmas With Teens

The 25 Day Countdown of 'Surviving Xmas with Teens' has officially started!

Day 1 is all about:


Sign Up Now 2 get your daily Xmas tip at

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why Teens Lie

Late at night, let's really dig into why teens lie....

more about "Why Teens Lie", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teen Author Eva-Maria and Entrepreneur Paul Dunn

Last night, I got the great opportunity to catch up with Entrepreneur Paul Dunn during his visit to New Zealand.

The Buy1 Give1 Chairman talks about the positive impact every single one of us can make, no matter what.

more about "Teen Author Eva-Maria and Entrepreneu...", posted with vodpod

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eva-Maria and the Otara Youth Collective Redefine Youth!

Last week's trip to Otara in Auckland was a huuuge success!!

As the papers raved about the event, the OYC girls were quick on their feet to make the event a huuge success! Apart from my workshop of 'How to get a Better Relationship with Any Teenager', the girls had a bake sale to raise money for their exciting upcoming projects! Woo hoo!!

Read all about the rave article about the day in Scoop HERE!

Check out some pics from the day below, and don't forget to connect with these amazing OYC-ers on...FACEBOOK and BEBO!

Youth Zone Access Radio!

Had an aaawesome interview today with a couple of pretty wicked teens!

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with the two amazing boys (damn!), so if they become famous soon, I do not have any actual proof that I've met them, but hey...

Victor and Brad were kind enough to ask me over 20 questions about my work, being a speaker, author, and all that jazz....

See the Youth Zone Program on the Access Radio Website Here!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

"With Mud Flaps At The Back"

Teen Trends and Fashion Today!

Inspired by a comment about a teen boy's hair as having 'mud flaps at the back', I decided it was time to dig down and give the dirt on fashion and teens.

This video is for adults.

After all, we're all just a product of the adult world!

Check out the awesomely awesome video by clicking below! :)


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dear Daddy

My good friends from DIY Father have been absolutely wonderful over the past couple of years that I've known them!
So with all their exciting overseas travels and book releases of their very successful work, I thought I'd help these amazing people out, and let the world know that here is this wonderful resource every single daddy and daddy-to-be absolutely must, must, must have this Christmas/Birthday/Random Surprise Event Where It's Cool To Give Gifts....

Their book is available online right this very second!
DIY Father - Call Me Dad

Seriously check out their site - it's full of wisdom and many dad-parenting things, and remember to grab a copy of DIY Father - Call Me Dad too..for that special man! :)

DIYFather - Call Me Dad

Monday, September 7, 2009

Social Networking 101 - Teen's View

So I thought I'd try out my knack for the camera in little informative videos to celebrate the e-book that people have been begging for me to release for a while....all about social networking, why teens love it so much, whether there's any point in it, and most importantly, how to market using social media!

Since this post, we've actually put some of the info into a 7 Day Social Media Course...check it out at and sign up to receive a lesson a day for the next week in the right hand column!

And you can click on the picture to see the video!...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Aaaaand so the trip to Blenheim started off on an absolutely amazing day...
Wellington was in all its glory and wind and rain, which even made the stewardesses flying in from all over the world in little old Wellington Airport leave their planes in a bit of a mood, but after the COOLEST plane ride (the plane inside reminded me of a big family van) with the bumps in any turbulence and skies that made you feel like you were in an unknown land with blizzards around you, we set down in sunny Blenheim.

For some reason all day people were saying how windy it was.
I didn't notice.
Wellington would refer to THAT sort of weather as a 'slight breeze' I imagine.
The sun was shining, and town welcomed me with it's coffee (I think Blenheim has the best coffee I've ever had...and I have spent a lot of time in cafes for a whole variety of reasons).

Highlights of the trip:

Blenheim Palms: Base Camp for the Night

Wither Hills Vineyards....beeeautiful place! Must be even more amazing than it was on a nice hot summer's day!

Project K Mentors Evening Workshop.
The workshop went A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
The evening consisted of a workshop for mentors and students to get a better relationship with each other, and better ways to achieve this through things like TXTing, building rapport, wheel of life, and visualization.
Check out Project K - great place to get involved in!

Awesome Trip!
Go go Blenheim!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Long Time, No See!

I've been slack, and yes, I'll admit it.
I love my dearest blog, but you know throughout the past year, big businessmen in expensive suits who are all so "amazed at how I'm achieving such big things at such a young age" have all on some occasion mentioned the word 'Twitter'.

Now, as the world keeps silently spinning, Twitter has actually made it quite big over the few months it's existed. It's become (apparently) the 'it' thing of celebrities all over the world, going as far as Ashton Kutcher taking photos of Demi Moore ironing or something (I'm embarassed to say I had nothing else to read on the plane than the magazines in the front pocket....) and posting them up on Twitter. I'm sure you could find your favourite business entrepreneurs (or maybe their assistants write the stuff for them...), Shortland Street Stars, Musicians - almost everyone on there!

So now, the usual things I'd save for blogs, might make it onto my Twitter the second they happen. The immediate update is the niche for this little birdie. Oww yeah. I must say, this function of 'waht you're doing' was always available on Facebook and Bebo and whatnot, and I never took much notice of it - why do you need to update the whole world about what kind of cookie you're eating when you can comment people that really need to know about it?

Anyway, if you still don't know what I'm on about...go here, start your own Tweet-thing, and follow me too!

And now I actually promise to put in a bit more effort into my blogging from now on.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Auckland and Schizz

So after about a billion years, I decide to update my blog.

No, no. Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about it....I'm in the middle of setting up a blog on my site....but it's proving hard due to the fact that they don't really teach you how to make websites when you're born so you have to learn everything as you go through life...maaan...wouldn't it be cool if we had little chips to install in our brains and then we'd know everything we needed.

Last week my uncle came all the way from the Mother Land. Sweet. He's in love with the Haka already. My brother-in-law and niece danced it for him a couple of days ago. He LOVED it. Says he'll dance it for his colleagues when he goes back to work in a month.

The trip to Auckland went wonderfully.
I was on the Breakfast Show on Monday morning where I met the resident Chiropractor (photo below). Awesome.
Spoke at a school and rotary, met with CanTeen, and spent half a day almost at the lovely Waiheke Island. I love it there, because even if the weather's yuck, the people make up for it big time. Someone's always eager to see you and meet you and take photos with you.

Thursday was an exciting day. I'm part of a regular youth panel on the Good Morning show. We talked about boy racers this week. All the presenters are the loveliest people you'll ever meet. Glad I get to spend all my waiting around time with them. Seriously. You know when you're with boring silly people, and you think 'I can't believe I have to spend every blah blah night with them for the rest of the year'. Yeah well these people aren't like that. Owww. It's pretty sweet - everyone's family there.

Keep a lookout....the Good Morning Show every Thursday at 10.15am. Be there or be square. And in all honesty, who really wants to be a square? I'd love to be a circle, personally. Roll around as much as you want, and no one says anything!


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Art of War & Power of Persuasion

Apart from the last days' super secret squirrel agendas and meeting I've been having, I must say the week started off and ended (seeing as tomorrow is Waitangi Day) very very productively indeed.

First off, today, I learned that people assume they get holidays. Today, after calling around pharmacies to see if anyone is open on Waitangi Day, getting back to the first guy I called, I asked if I could get what I needed somewhere else. He proceeded to go and consult with his supervisor.
The result?
They actually ARE open during regular business hours tomorrow.
So don't assume, even if the employees do.

Also, I witnessed a rather distressed Mum who tried to shove her daughter into the doors of the library, after the approximately 6 year old kid clearly showed her wish to leave her scooter outside (because of the 'no scooter' sign on the doors). Instead of an acknowledgment of her daughter's:
a) reading abilities
b) her obedience of law (i.e. no scooters, means no scooters as far as a kid's concerned)
c) her complete trust in the fact that the people outside won't touch her precious scooter

The literal 'shoving' into the library kinda got me. If this was a teenager, I'm sure this situation would end up badly for all in a 20 metre radius. So does talking not work with people? If this was her partner, would that woman be trying to shove him into the library doors and get some obedience?
"Darling, if you leave the scooter outside, someone might take it and your name and phone number isn't even written on it. And they only put the sign on the door so people don't scooter around the library and knock all the books over."....could have been one scenario.
Could have.
A billion other less physical ways could have taken place. Because, next time, that little girl won't want to go to the library with her scooter. So she will walk. And because she's little, she'll walk slower than she would have otherwise been riding on her scooter. The Mum will probably tell her off for walking too slow next time.
Where does this end?!?!

So anyway, to finish off my latest news update, at the moment I'm reading 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. I've been actually meaning to read this since I was 12, but hey, better late than never, right?
Although the book is about ancient military tactics, the wisdom in this book is still valid even today - hey, all's fair in love and war!

Ciao Cacao!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Global Awareness Campaign - Join It!

Well, the lesson learned today is that you never know what's in store for ya!
Even more so, you never know when you'll become the next spokesperson for a worthy and noble campaign!

Today started out as just another extraordinary day...I got up, and started my day with something completely different to how I started the day yesterday. For example, yesterday I woke up, and spent about half an hour updating a scrapbook I started sometime last year, but never get time to get up-to-date. Today I opted for extra exercise. Very different.

So I'm sitting, checking e-mails, doing some mail outs, rocking out to some Mozart, and by some crazy chance by the time it's 8pm, I end up being the 'face' for the Global Awareness Campaign mail out of the day.

Check this

Funny isn't it - the power of the internet. People all over the world connected today to make a finished product to market and advertise a worthy cause. How awesome is that?!

It truly is an amazing campaign, I must say.
Pett Corby really deserves alot of credit.
Check out her website here to see what she's doing, and to support her cause.
It is 100% something I believe in, because her mission is based around the fact that as humans, we should have the freedom to choose when we become parents.
This means in the ideal world, there will be no reason for abortions and girls especially will be making smarter choices in terms of drug-free contraception that works!!

It is an important issue that was bound to be raised in the 21st century. I for one have grown up in a household where things such as the pill were not accepted as a smart, or safe 'option'. Watching my friends and their reactions to the pill, there has been numerous times when I truly felt grateful and happy for knowing my Mum was right once again!

Mum does know best!

Keep happy, keep safe, keep smart!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back in Welly-town

So I have been away but with good reason....
My looovely boyfriend Fernando decided to pop by all the way from Brisbane, so I spent most of last week and this week with him. We didn't sleep on the last Monday-Tuesday night, which resulted in driving around for the sake of driving around so we wouldn't fall asleep. His plane back to Brisbane was at 7am, and mine was at 9am to Blenheim.

We survived. Mum joined me on my journey to Blenheim. She is the co-publisher, so should be 'in the loop'.
We flew in, and got picked up by Kate - the Her Business Network Co-Ordinator. Maaaan is she amazing!!!!
She took care of us, and organized accommodation and transport and everything...lovely lovely woman. That's her and I standing in the picture below:

Tuesday night was the Blenheim Her Business Network meeting where I was guest speaker.
It was the best speech ever. I had a couple of hours sleep beforehand, but I was still calm enough to speak in a slower manner than I usually do when I just want to spit out every idea in my head at the given second because I know my head will keep filling up with thoughts so I have to say them fast.....Yes.

The feedback was awesome, and the ladies stayed on for dinner. The place we were staying at - Marlborough Vintners Hotels is absolutely amazing. Both at night and day. The hotel, and actually, the city in general, I must say I absolutely fell in love with. It has the serene peaceful feel that I wouldn't mind immersing into for a couple of months a year to just write.

The next day after morning hustle and bustle, we visited the local library (who had my book), the Paper Plus, the newspaper (to pick up the paper with this article :D ) and were off on our way to Nelson.

We arrived a couple of hours before the evening was to start. Once again, Nelson is a lovely quiet little place, and as Kate pointed out, it has the beautiful flower baskets hanging from the roofs, decorating the main street.

Once again, the speech went fantastic.

And then we all got hungry.
The local 'it' place to eat at is Cafe Laffare...apparently. Pop in there at some point because they have the weirdest stuff....guns on the walls, staff wearing nothing but black, and when you order food, they bring it to you raw on a sizzling hot piece of rock which in turn you must use as a stove to cook your food on. Interesting....

We stayed at an absolutely lovely lady's house - she owns properties that she sells and rents off - family business, but a very good one...she's converted me to do this when I'm older. The thing is I've always known about Property Investment, and my parents did it with us as a family, but I guess I never got into the big numbers and possibilities of it as much as I did that night driving in the orange car with this lady telling me all about it....

The house was awesome.
To point out two of my favourite things in it, apart from the fact that it was HUGE, it also had a boombox.....

and huge giraffes:

Is that sweet or what?!!

The next morning at 7am Mum and I graced the local BNI Chapter, after which we both had back-to-back meetings, up until the time we had to run off at 2pm to catch our flight!

And if anyone's been to Nelson airport, it is THE cutest thing I have EVER seen....apart from my brother....


Saturday, January 17, 2009

This isn't the Ego Talking...

Reading my own book has been on my To-Do list since mid 2008.

I must admit, shamelessly, that the last time I read it was the final edit on A4 paper, a week before it went to print in December 2007.
Still haven't read the finished-finished printed product.
I have been procrastinating this job for a while.
I'm a perfectionist at times.
If my end-work shows any sign of flaw, I WILL set off a nuclear bomb inside of me, filled with regret, depression, and negativity.
Not to feel like I'm not good enough for the rest of my life, but it is because at any point I can go back to past work, and even if it felt like 110% right back then, now, it may feel like 70%. And 70% is 40% off what it needs to be.

Tis the way it is.

But guess what.
Today - out of all the busy days, I actually sat down to read it.
Amazing isn't it.
Jokes aside though, I'm about halfway through it.
I actually laughed in some parts. How crazy.
And yes, the dreaded happened - I found a couple of places that would now need changing, but hey I was 16 when I wrote it, 17 when it was last edited, and now 18, I still strongly agree with everything. I don't think I took too wrong of a path.

Actually about 15 minutes ago, my friend came round to drop off some books he borrowed off me.
Needless to say you can imagine his reaction when he saw me sitting on my bed, cracking up while I was reading this book with my name on it.

There's one part that got us both laughing...just because we're at a loss where my train of thought was when I wrote this (actually a similar situation happened, so there)...

So I'm talking about how saying 'No' to the little things will mean it's an automatic 'No' for the bigger things, etc. And I'm talking about what if there was a real cool gig happening 3 hours away, your teenager wanted to go to it, and they remember last time they asked you to drve them to the mall, and you said 'NO!', so this is how they'd find transport with their friends to this gig.....

This means your teenager and their friends may go to the extremes and somehow find their mate's girlfriend's heroin addict dad who doesn't have a driver's license to drive them there.

Hey man, it happens in real life alright....
If you wanna read more, or make sure it's really in the book, check it on page 17.

Click the photo below and get the book - it's REALLY good.
And ask my friends - I wouldn't say this if I didn't believe it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How To Get What You Need and Want

So it's all decided...I'm going on TV.
TV1 to be exact.

It's gunna be awesome.

Two things to teach you children:

Great things happen when you don't even think about it.
Ask for what you need.

That's it.
You are educated to go into the world when you know that.

Fly Pretties.

Fernando, I love you. x

So I'm still lining up Her Business Network speeches around the country. Also gotta practice for them. And I'll be going to Waiheke Island when I'm up in Auckland start of February to see wonderful people! So excited! I love that island!
For today, must contact media in towns I'm scheduled to be speaking at.
Also, send off books I packed yesterday.
Contact more people to help with my one million mission.

Sweet as a cupcake!

Let's get started!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The big small world!

I swear the world is tiny when you think about it, and huge when you don't notice it!

I was at the shopping mall today, and in a matter of half a minute of going in, I lost my brother. How can that happen?!

On the other hand, I JUST got an e-mail. And this is the THIRD e-mail like this I've received since Thursday. It started off with
'Hi Eva-Maria, etc etc etc. Also by the way, I think it would be awesome if you connected with blah blah blah.'

And this blah blah blah is for the third time another person I personally know!! And this particular person he referred today lives in a different country too!!

Whatta way to start the evening eh.

Totally stoked about TV1 contacting me though because apparently they 'heard I am touring New Zealand in February-March, so they wanted to catch me on their show'.

So so exciting!!
Getting ready for the Her Business Network Speeches. Keep an eye out on my site, because we're going to be putting up a whole lot of dates of when and where I'll be!

I'm listening to a Russian song, the focus of which is brunette and blonde chicks.
Just realized.

Just the daily piece of random news for ya.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

CC, PC and ACC

I'm gunna make this quick...
So I just got off my second conference call today.
LOVE business through technology.

You know the funny thing though?
We live in a world where technology dictates our every day lives, yet it'll still take about 17 minutes for a group of 5 people to get all their internet connections more or less to get working together.
OK, so we're past the first danger.
Secondly, something will go wrong. A presentation won't open, someone's computer will crash (great timing, right?), or someone's girlfriend will call in a jealous rage. It can all happen, right.
You will personally disconnect on average about twice. Consider it the norm in our complex age.

Technology eh...can't live with it, can't live without it.

So I got this e-mail today from a friend...

Ch-ch-check it owwt.

Seriously some cool stuff in there. Basically comparing online relationships to real life relationships.
Very true...because as they point out, online is all about consistency - you gotta keep your image, message, etc etc the same. Because once you change it, people get confused, uninterested, and BANG you end up with less contacts.
Real life is much easier (maybe that's why contradictory me likes it so much).
You can like this person one day and that person the next.
You can have a friend fall out, and then be back on tomorrow.
You can change jobs, and your friends will get it.
You can change your political views a complete 360, and your friends will understand and keep up.
You can go get plastic surgery, and the people you know will still know it's you.
Haha good luck trying to change your photo online after plastic surgery. People will think the person in the photo hacked into your account, and delete you as a friend. What a tragedy!

Actually, it's also funny how we dictate how many friends we have by 'numbers' on our profiles. In real lifem you see a good friend, and mentally you know 'They're my good friend'. Online - completely different game, ma man.
Gotta keep up cuz you snooze, you lose.
There ain't no other place out there where that saying it more true.

So technology...can't live with it, can't live without it.

And also another thing....Why is it that every time I sing out of my hotmail account, ever since yesterday, the redirected page keeps coming up with the same headline and photo: "Breaking News: Teenager claims McDonald's burger infested with maggots".
Hell if that's breaking news, then call me Tomato!
That's SO disgusting! I don't wanna see that!!!!
No wait...I get it...I should be a bit more sensitive to the subject...I mean, in the meantime while no one's bombing any peaceful countries, the media gotta make something juicy outta nothing, right?
We call the people powering this: ACC
Croutons (they're the dry crusty media who have contributed to farming and grooming entire generations of people who believe as humans they're mentally 'attracted' to disgusting news and gossip).

Either way, I'm grateful for this beautiful world we live in.
The Earth is still revolving around its invisible little stick, and it's consistently night and day, which means it won't be stopping any time soon, so I'm glad.

Love, Peace and Respect

Go Green, Man!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Coming of Age

So at 1am this morning, we flew into good old Wellington.
Let me tell you it was one amazing trip to Brisbane.

We left on the morning of the 26th December. I didn't sleep the two nights before, hence the photo.

This is what people look like when they've been awake almost 72 hours straight (a 2 hour nap on Christmas day morning doesn't count).
The over 3 hour flight consisted of speech practicing and a small sleep time.

Woodford Folk Festival is about 1.5 hours car drive from Brisbane. The heat and humidity was unbelieveable for Mum and I who are almost used to the cold Wellington weather. We started buying water. Just in case dehydration was hiding around the corner.

There were just under 20 speakers like me who got invited to come talk and run workshops for the biggest festival in Australia which alone attracted 3,000+ performers. That's only the performers, not taking into account maintenance workers, drivers, people with stalls, and most of all, visitors. The grounds cover 340 acres of land...or some rediculous number like that. It's crazy!

Here you can see the speaker's tents:

Let me tell you. Our first class tents were amazing. I can tell you that much. I didn't mind the camping part of the trip as much because the crazy school camps are still fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday. To be honest, I was amazed at the amount of room in the two person tent we got. Of course, it was wonderful because we didn't exactly pack light...I can swear to you I have NO idea how that happened...stuff does pile up though don't it.

Hiding in an air conditioned hotel room wasn't an option at this place, so if you got too hot, you could go stew in the tent, or walk around under the sun. If we look at it logically, it would have been worse if it rained. I'd rather die from drowning in my sweat, rather than from pneumonia.
However that's open to individual opinion.

We would keep waking up early. A three hour difference is actually HEAPS when you experience it.

The first couple of days we got everything together - scoped the place out and all that jazz.

We finally found where I was doing my speech on the 30th - it was the Blues and Roots Venue.

And this was the sign for all the speakers (I'm the second one from the top left).
Some pretty awesome people that come to this Festival.

Look - I found a 'Shut Up!' Caravan!

Te festival was amazing.
Met some very interesting people, spent some time with Mum outside of home. It was so good. Although I did have minimum internet and cell phone access, I wasn't using then every day. It was liberating to say the least.
At places like these, what you're presenting really needs to be in synch with the mentality of the people that come to it. You gotta take into account - people that will come to it - are they looking to listen to a whole bunch of scientific facts and research, or have things spelled out? Do they mind moving around with hands-on activities, or would they rather have discussions.
Very very important.

Also, gotta start doing some things...gunna start a sustainability teenage movement this year as well. I have absolutely NO idea how to help the Earth. Being at Woodford though has opened my eyes to a lot of the politics surrounding the economic crisis and global warming, and such issues. The thing is there isn't any more time for Al Gore to come up with another movie about how the world's dying out. There's no more time for businessmen in suits to sit around 'brainstorming' and making plans.
It's time to step up, and do something - do anything, because plans for the past 30 years haven't resulted in radical change for the environment. And all I'm thinking, if action is all that's needed, why can't it be teenagers taking initiative?

All in all, the workshops and speech went wonderfully. Very happy about it, and the book sales over there as well. I think we almost sold everything we sent through.
This trip has definitely made me grow up even more mentally.
I'm an international speaker, since we flew in back to NZ, 15 books have been ordered through the website by people primarily in Australia.
Got time with Mum to learn more from her.
Thanks to the heat, I got to relax for almost a week. Much needed - I feel more energized for this year ahead!

Also I got back one of the most important people to me.

It was a successful trip to say the least.


All the very very very best!