A Travellerspoint blog


semi-overcast 10 °C

Its been a long while since we last blogged but that's with good reason! We have finally fallen pregnant and delivered into the world a beautiful baby boy. We feel so blessed after 4 long years of wondering if would ever happen again.

Early Sunday morning the contractions began and before I knew labour was in full swing. Just after 11am that same morning Nikolas George Tamati Markotsis was born weighing in at 9 lb 3 oz in excellent health and full of spirit.


His name is very special as with Eleni it has much meaning to us and celebrates his heritage. Nikolas is of course Greek, we also chose it because it is the name day Marty's Grandfather took for his birthday, George is Marty's family name (his middle name, his Dad and G'father's first name etc) and Tamati is a Maori reflecting where he is born, Marty's mother's New Zealand heritage and is Maori for Thomas my G'fathers middle name who is never far from my mind or heart.


Nikolas and Eleni and such a special pairing. Her maternal side is definitely out there however I still can't convince of the value of nappy changing. She is in love with him as much as he is with her and he will follow the sound of her voice as she moves around the room and he loves to hear her sing!

Daddy and Mummy are so very proud. He is a wonderfully natured boy so very settled with giggles and laughter for everyone who wants to share. He truely is an enormous blessing to all of us and we feel so blessed (cant say that enough) to have him in our lives.


Personally I am enjoying the time off school taking stock, pausing and reflecting on the last 2 years ( we really have been in New Zealand for 2 years amazing).

Enjoy the photos, sending our love across the ocean xx


Posted by JenniM 15:22 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Marty does Movember

For those who didn't get the email, Marty put his razor down for the month of November and registered for Movember a month where men can grow a mo (mustache) to raise funds for charity. Movember New Zealand was raising funds for the NZ Cancer Society and the Mental Health Foundation of NZ.

So it started as a light smudge - with all my dark haired team mates having much more obvious mos.

I played it up a little:

In summary I raised $50 towards the more than $1000.00 raised by my work team.

I'm not sure when it closes but my donation page is:


or type http://nz.movember.com/mospace/252200 into your browser.

Here's the final result - which has for the forseeable future has been shaved off


Posted by JenniM 22:53 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Eleni Caught a Fish!!!

Kids fishout at a local trout hatchary

sunny 19 °C

Thanks to Theo (Greek for Uncle) Dimitri we found out that the local angler's association were having a kids fishout on Sunday.

So on a very warm and sunny afternoon we signed up for the fishout licence, paid our money and ...

waited. The perfect lesson for budding fishermen - patience.

After waiting patiently Eleni was shown casting technique by one of the senior member of the angler's association.


Then (practicing patience) we lined up to fish in the pond with real fish.

The president of the angler's association (who also works at Scion) helped Eleni land a 485 gram rainbow trout.


In case your wondering the fish is now in the freezer waiting for Eleni's uncle to come and help her cook it.

Posted by JenniM 00:08 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Hell's Gate

Locals day at Hell's Gate thermal wonderland

sunny 15 °C

On a quiet Saturday morning we were browsing the newspaper over breakfast, when Jen spotted that not only was Hell's Gate having a gold coin entry fundraiser but also her school's Kappa Haka group were performing.

Once we got through the gates we had the opportunity to hear the Kappa Haka group reherse as well as perform, we got to do some mini carvings and as a bonus got temporary tatoos on our faces.

The geothermal landscape also offered lots of bubbling mud and hot pools.


Posted by JenniM 00:57 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

A year already

sunny 15 °C

Time has flown, I cant believe it. Its now a year since we moved to NZ, a bit more for Marty and Eleni. This year has felt so different to the time we spent in Montreal and a completely different pace.

It has been a little hard not to compare Rotorua, NZ with our year in Montreal or even the 3 years before that in Brisbane.

Finding accommodation, buying two cars and a house, Jen finding work and Eleni starting school has certainly made this year go past fast.

As a little catch up from the last entry (May - sorry):

Our dog Clifford has quadrippled in size.


We didn't get any more snow. Winter just got cold, not as cold as a Montreal winter but the buildings are less well insulated/heated than in Canada. We also discovered the beautiful big, room for all the extended family, house we are renting is much harder to heat than the little, cosy 3 beadroom house we started our NZ adventure in.

In June to celebrate the shortest day of the year, Scion has a tradition of taking a dip in the frigid Blue Lake. I (Marty) decided to try it, in the spirit of immersing myself in work culture. I did it, it was freezing, the mulled wine and chocolate fish (fish shaped, chocolate coated marshmellows for the non-Kiwi's) helped but I'm not rushing in next year.


Jen and Eleni went over to Umina, NSW, Australia to see Jen's family and attend a friends wedding in Sydney. The lucky girls not only got to fly on an Emirates A380, they got invited up to the cockpit by the captain!!!! Very jealous Marty.

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Eleni is thriving in school. For most of the last term Eleni has been catching the bus in to school, and more recently we worked out she can catch the bus from her school around to Jen's school where Jen can collect her and drive them both home.

Jen has been working as a year 8 teacher, and now 6 months later has sorted out the relevant paper-work and untangled the red tape to get herself and her qualifications recognised by the NZ education system. School has its ups (organising fun activities and excursions) and downs (really rude children) for her.

As with our last two moves it has taken us some time to settle in and find our way but things are comming together and we are really settling in.

Posted by JenniM 00:55 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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