Ever since my arrival in Nelson ten years ago, I have been searching for Paratai’s daughter Moana, convinced that Paratai had told me she lived here. Paratai, my Maori kuia had died when I was living in Chevak, Alaska. Last Tuesday I attended a tāngi (funeral), where I finally learned of Moana’s whereabouts. I had been searching under the wrong name! A call later that night put us in touch.
The following day I finally met Moana, who is the image of her mother. As though Paratai was pushing us together we fell into each other’s arms. “I can feel Mum with us,” Moana said through sobs. I nodded, too choked up to speak. Hugging Moana felt just like hugging Paratai.
We found a café in the grounds of Founders Park and pored over the photo albums Moana had brought. I gave her copies of my Alaskan memoirs in which Paratai lives on. Dancing on the Tundra includes a dedication to her memory. We talked and talked and talked.
“Have you considered serialising your book Walking on Ice, Emma?” Fifteen minutes later we had a verdict. “Let’s do it!”
The 15-20 minute-broadcast of Walking on Ice will begin on Monday Sept 25th at 10:30 am with subsequent broadcasts on Wednesday and Friday at the same time. The serial with continue to be broadcast for 7 weeks, every Mon, Wed, Fri until the story is finished. Each Saturday night at 7pm there will be a catch-up session of the previous week's recordings.
Fresh FM is a Community Access radio station which can be heard on 104.8 in Nelson-Tasman, 95.0 in Takaka and 88.9 in Blenheim. It also operates in the inner Nelson City area on 107.2. Apparently there is also a possibility that other FM stations will pickup the program and broadcast them in different centres.
This exciting development means that I will be creating audio files of Walking on Ice that I can subsequently release as an audio book; something that so many of you have asked for.
Whew…. Ain’t some days just straight out of the box?