Family Kiwidutch are still visiting Whakarewarewa village in Rotorua, in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand.
As a geothermal hotspot there are many advantages to living here, but the practical problems exist too and they extend past just the one of trying to start a garden.
One of the biggest problems is that of burial.
Maori traditionally bury their dead and do not to my knowledge embrace cremation since ancestors are revered as much in death as they were in life.
Cemeteries are usually therefore close to the community and burial poses a problem if the ground is warm to the touch on the surface and even hotter beneath.
Gardens could be accommodated outside of the geothermal community but the burial grounds not, so a solution needed to be found as to how to inter the departed. Since even above ground is warm here, the only solution are thick concrete and lead lined graves that sit on solid concrete bases… so even departing to another world is a kind of other worldly experience, the graves stand in surreal fashion in a surreal landscape…