Posting is starting to become a weekly thing! I'll have to put in more effort!
Anyway rewind back a week and a day to last Thursday. Polyfest 2009, the Auckland Schools Maori and Polynesian Festival was being held at the Manukau Sports Bowl out in South Auckland. My friend Cleo from my church youth group was to perform as part of her school's Malaysian group that morning, so the plan was that I'd go watch (and support!) her, as well as film it and then try play it at youth group so everyone could watch! ;) It would also be the first ever Polyfest I'd have been to, so I was kinda excited!
Unfortunately things didn't go exactly to plan...That morning I caught the bus into the city and got onto the correct bus going out into South Auckland. While at first I thought the weather would hold up, it seemed to get worse the further the bus went into South Auckland, until the rain was pretty much pouring! I was sitting there in the bus, one eye keeping track of where I was on the map, thinking whether the festival would be cancelled and if I should just turn back and go to uni. I got Aonghas to text Cleo to see if she was still performing and decided to get off at the Otahuhu bus station since I knew a bus going back into the city would pass through there at least! I had caught an early bus as well so if it turned out that she was still going to perform, I could catch the later bus and still make it there in time.
I have to say sitting there at the Otahuhu Bus Station in the pouring rain was a little freaky! No offence to Otahuhu or South Auckland, but there were quite a few people there! There was one surprise for me. There was a guy dressed as one of those ghetto/gangster sorta people, you know, the shades, huge t-shirt and the bling, who caught my bus. I first thought, oh hey there's a gangster, but to my surprise I overheard a conversation he had with the person sitting beside him (I was sitting right in front of him). He was talking to the guy about the guy's involvement in the World Wars and ANZAC Day, and how he was keen to attend an ANZAC service! I thought that was quite cool and it certainly taught me a lesson not to be quick to stereotype people!
I eventually got off at the planned stop, along with a few others on the bus who must've been wagging school! By then the weather had cleared up a bit! It was a bit of a walk to the Sports Bowl but once I got to the entrance I had these security guards who wanted to check my bags. One of them wanted to know what was in my camera bag, and so I told him a camera was in there and proceeded to show him. He then asked what was in the camera and I told him tape was in it. He then asked me again and I told him tape was in it! Eventually he let me through...
The Sports Bowl was quite a large area! There were stalls everywhere and the several stages were spread out. There weren't too many people, probably because of the weather, but there were plenty of school kids which made me feel a bit old! I went over to the Diversity Stage to check out who was performing (it was the stage Cleo and her Malaysian group were to perform on). It was the Epsom Girls Grammar Indian group, so I thought there would be plenty of time since the Malaysian group were further down the programme.
I set about looking for a toilet! The nearest port-a-loo was quite a way away and by the time I got back the host announced that the Epsom Girls Grammar Malaysian Group were about to perform! I scrambled to get my camera out and find a good spot to film from. All the area around the front of the stage had been taken up by schoolkids so I had to stand right at the back and hold the camera up. The weather took a turn for the worst however, and people started opening their umbrellas which blocked part of my view!
I was also having trouble figuring out which of the girls on stage was my friend! I first thought maybe that blue girl with pig tails was her, but discovered it wasn't after zooming in on her, so I moved onto the next girl I thought was her, but again it wasn't!
Their performance finished and I had a wander around, refilled my bottle with what I thought was water (we were made to empty our bottles at the entrance and in return they provided free water, or free lemon flavoured water!). I was standing there watching Mt Roskill Grammar's Indian dance group perform, wondering if I should leave early to make it to my class in time, when Cleo and her other friends caught me! I ended up coming clean and walked around a little bit her and her friend...now I remember her name...it is Katy, Kaitlin, translucient girl or white girl!...(I forgot it on the day!) before we caught up with Jenny, this other girl in our youth group! She wasn't performing but because she's in their school's Arts and Cultural Committee she got to come for free. She lost her badge or something like that, sounds like it wasn't the first time to happen!
After the girls all talked about...something...the two groups parted ways and I continued to wander around with Cleo and her friend for a little while. We eventually got to the 'Cut Above' (this hairstyling academy) tent where they were doing up people's hair for free. Cleo's friend wanted her hair done so we hung around as she jumped in line.
It soon approached 11am when I had to go catch my bus to go back to uni. Sadly I couldn't stay to see Rutherford's Indian and Korean groups perform. :(
I was waiting at the bus stop though and by now the sun was out in full force and I was sweating! What a complete 360 change in the weather!