Evolution and adventures

Explaining evolution to kids is harder than you think especially when you’re riding a bakfiets at the time and they’re firing questions at you from the box in front. It started on the cycle ride home today with, “How come some kids have brown skin?”. I tried to explain that humans have evolved to have lighter or darker coloured skin depending on how much sunlight the place they originate gets. People with fairer skin are better able to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight which is useful in places with lower UV radiation as vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. While darker skin types offer more protection from the sun and are important in places with high UV radiation. Elizabeth went from that to, “That’s why we don’t live in New Zealand because New Zealand is hot and we have white skin”.

Elizabeth has obviously forgotten about Christchurch and how cold it can get there. Kids also don’t seem to have a concept of time. It’s hard to explain that although our skin colour is determined by our parents and their skin colour by their parents and so on it’s our ancestors and where they came from who determine whether we are fair or dark.

Some people spend money on cars and house renovations whereas we like to spend money on adventures. Every time we come back from a short trip or weekend away, I start dreaming about the next one. Where will we go? What will we do? I seem to live my life from one adventure to the next which isn’t such a bad thing, I don’t think. I also relive old adventures sometimes. One particularly good one we made was a short campervan trip to Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook in the South Island of New Zealand. Lake Tekapo is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We went in July 2010, two months before the start of the Christchurch earthquake sequence. Here are some photos of it (Daniel is in the first one and he’s wearing a cardigan I made for him):



This was taken from the Mount John Observatory:


Here’s our campervan:


We slept here one night with not a soul around except for us:


Elizabeth was only little:


And I didn’t have any grey hairs yet. I blame the earthquakes for those.


And the obligatory sheep pic: