Guest Blog by Masha Kodric
It’s Saturday, 15th October, and I am so excited I am contemplating of opening a bottle of vino. It’s 3pm, so I make a cup of coffee instead and decorate the porch with a bunting I made a night before. It says “Haere mai”. I am expecting a very special visit today. The type of a visit, you wouldn’t get every day. There’s a group of heroes arriving. On foot. All the way from Christchurch.
I remember clearly when I first heard about Rachel’s kaupapa to walk with children from Christchurch to Wellington as a protest against TPP. My first thought was – how can I support them, or hopefully join them? I strongly believe that activism (in its many shapes and forms) is a part of human nature and therefore an important component of social evolution and progress. If we wouldn’t be kicking, we would still be living in caves. Literally and metaphorically.
There’s only one photo of my family in a house where I live and where heroes will be staying tonight. It is one of my favorites – black and white, featuring my parents, myself and a banner, taken at one of many protests I used to frequently attend back at home. Part of the whole fun was preparing the banners. Art, or at least craft, always comes along with activism.
Today, I don’t go to the main square with a banner. I stay at home and prepare food for the heroes. My craft is a display of organic, local veggies on the kitchen top, ready to be turned into fresh salads. A cake is waiting in the pantry to make children grin. There are many ways one can support activism and I feel so grateful that I have an opportunity to be exploring and finding new ones.
It’s quite emotional when they arrive. Children still have some energy, so they look around the house, wondering where they’ll sleep tonight. We sit down together while they hydrate themselves with lots of water, our conversation overlapping with impressions and excitement of the first day. Just before dinner, everyone springs into action, getting organized for the night and the day ahead – mats and sleeping bags are rolled out in the living room, lunch is being prepared for the next day.
We eat after karakia – children are so grateful for the food and they thank me repeatedly before crashing down to sleep. By 9pm, the dishes are done and the house is quiet.
I slip in our tiny bathroom, which is exactly the same as it was before the visit. Ten people just had a shower and the place still looks sparkling. If only politicians would be this respectful to the one and only environment we share and live in and considerate of the future generations in their decision making …
Once in bed, I can’t read. I am listening to the sounds of heroes in my house. House sleeps and dreams differently when there are heroes inside. I can’t stop thinking how utterly amazing these people are and how fortunate I am to be able to support them! I can’t stop thinking what else I could do for them.
In the lazy morning light, we take a group photo on our porch. Another one to join my favorites collection. And then my beloved heroes are off, waking up the day with a march in the rhythm of a waiata.
Kia kaha whanau – keep on walking! And thank you for being my heroes.