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Billeting Festival Attendees

My name is Elaine Brown from The Waikato Treasure Chests team in Hamilton, New Zealand.

When we were asked if anyone would like to host someone from the Argentinian team, I immediately thought this would be a great experience for my family. My young children were very excited to meet someone from Argentina, especially someone who speaks another language.

We hosted Matilde Yahni, Captain of the Rosas del Plata team. Matilde arrived with great enthusiasm and made us an Argentinian dessert, Dulce de leche on candied squash, alongside two types of Alfajores. An unusual dessert, but surprisingly delicious.

On the Wednesday after they arrived, Cecilia, the Argentinian ambassador, the other hosts (Jo and Saskia) and I decided to take our guests (Matilde, Mariana, Jessica, Cynthia, Adriana, and Debora) and two lovely American’s, Nancy, and Sally from the composite boat Pink Hope Across Borders, on a trip to Bridal Veil Falls and Raglan. It was a relaxing, but thrilling day, running into lots of other paddlers visiting beautiful Raglan. I think we all felt a bit special to be part of something so big, in the Mighty Waikato. We also shared a lovely meal at Jo’s house, where our guests were treated to some delicious kiwi kai.

It is a great way for an overseas team to get to experience the kiwi culture, to get to know a sister in paddling and in breast cancer and I am so pleased I had the opportunity to get to know Matilde.

What a fabulous experience, certainly one I will never forget.