Monday, March 30, 2009

Mmmm... Sulfur!

Yay!! I finally got my camera to load pictures onto the computer! It was a bit questionable for a bit there, but luckily the problem has been avoided at this point. Soooo... this weekend was INCREDIBLE!!! Yes, I have a test tomorrow, so this update will be short and followed in about a days time by a longer, more accurate description of the past few days.

Keeping it short, I visited family friends in the Bay of Plenty for (supposedly) Saturday and Sunday, returning once again a day later than expected, on Monday morning! :-) Had an absolutely LOVELY time!! Rotorua was included as well, with awesome kids along for the day! We had a blast, and I even rolled down a giant hill in a rather giant plastic ball. Sounds ridiculous, which it is! Wonderful Kiwi inventions, I tell you! And that was after watching a sheep show (with pictures of the sheering and such), wandering around Mount Manganui, and enjoying the thermal wonderlands of Te Puia Village. A Maori cultural show was enjoyed as well.

Below are a few picutres of the whorlwind tour of the glorious bay and sulfur-drenched tourist attractions.

The Rotorua Museum.

Baa baa Black Sheep...

The Bay and Mount Manganui.

Dinner at Harbourside with friends!

At the Bay of Plenty.

The village of Matamata, also known as Hobbiton!

Now that's hot mud.


Pohutu Geyser.


Goodnight, amigos.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Mystic Land Up North

Let me just begin by expressing my adoration for sand dunes. I know they are a strange thing to find super amusing, but I most certainly find them as such. I mean, how incredible is it that sand gets swept across an expanse of land and forms a beautiful mountain of messy, invasive, and gets-stuck-everywhere particles?! But really, quite amazing. And to speed down the giant hills on a dune board… even better!

And that was just the beginning of the weekend.

Welcome to Paihia!

Sarah, a friend from Germany, and I began on Saturday at about 6:50 AM to head north of Auckland. Finally got out of the city!! It was wonderful. Took the Stray Bus, a backpacker bus here in NZ. There are countless people of all ages that backpack for months on end around here… ridiculous! Regardless, we headed to the Bay of Islands for a short weekend. Planned to travel up on Saturday, returning to Auckland late Sunday evening. Then we heard about the tour that headed up to Cape Reinga! Needless to say, we returned to Auckland on Monday evening. And I’m very happy that we made the decision to do so! The Cape was well worth every minute!!

A view from the Cape!

Arrived in Paihia around 4 PM, booked tours, and then checked in at the hostel. Stayed at Pipi Patch, a Base Hostel. After check-in, Sarah and I took a walk up to Paihia Lookout. It was an unexpectedly nice walk through a winding jungle of green. A cute bridge, endless foliage, and a sweet lookout at the top! Then to dinner… took about 2 hours to get pasta. Ridiculous, but memorable, I guess! Home to hang out and then to sleep early.

Regarding the Cape trip: Drove along Ninety Mile Beach (which is actually 64 miles long, and they use the metric system anyway, so don’t know what Captain Cook was thinking!). Saw some wonderful sights on the way up, through foggy jungle-like terrain and numerous quaint villages, spotted with fishing boats, cafes, and cows. Sheep, also… even some PINK SHEEP at this crazy farm!! For pink jumpers, obviously.

Anyway… after arriving on the beach, we spent some time in the Tasman Sea, relaxed for a while, ran around, then jumped back on the bus. Oh, and I enjoyed a Fluffy on the way up! Basically like a cheap hot chocolate with froth, usually only for children. Tasty! On our way to the dunes, we enjoyed an incredible dark rye and salmon sandwich. Another tasty, healthy treat! We arrived at the dunes in just a short while, around mid-day. It was a super sunny, clear day by that time. Endured a brief introduction to “proper dune boarding” and then headed up the mountains of sand!! I must say I was quite excited, having had a lovely time at previous dunes. And these were no different! Well, we were at a lower latitude (sea level, namely), making it slightly nicer to climb the shifting sand. After taking a few breaks and making it to the top, we began our journey down! First time? A bit nervous, so I dug my feet in… next three times? Wanted to go as fast as possible and had a total blast!! Almost made it to the creek at the bottom, and the last time went in anyway. Too fun to pass up, eh?


After becoming sufficiently red-faced and sand-covered, we headed up to the Cape. Talk about beautiful overlooks! Wow. I’ve included a picture to try to capture the sheer wonder of the lighting. Wish it did it justice. This part of New Zealand is very important to the Maori people, being the location where the deceased spirits travel before leaving this land. Rich culture abounds, and the location is nothing short of miraculous to the local tribes. No food or drink is allowed on the track to ensure the purity of the sacred land. There is certainly an abundance of cultural understanding to grasp around the country.

Cape Reinga.

After Ninety Mile Beach, duning, and Cape Reinga, we headed south once again. Stopped along the way at a Gumdiggers Park where we toured the land. Kauri trees (giant) that fell several hundred thousand years ago were preserved in the peat layer of earth, preserving the wood in a natural state. There are examples in the park of 400,000 year old pieces of wood that are still workable, not petrified or fossilized. Quite interesting, really. Toured another location called “Kauri Kingdom” or something of the sort… These trees are literally so large that they have carved out the inside of one tree to form a rather large staircase! Second largest tree in the world, after the California Redwood. Then headed to the “best fish and chips in the country” at Maunganui Fish Market. Enjoyed the greasy meal, but it was definitely not my favorite thus far… We shall see! Back “home” to the hostel by 7:15 PM (over an hour late) and headed to shower immediately! So messy! Exhausted, but had a wonderful day.

Hugging a giant Kauri tree!

Day two was spent in Paihia, exploring a bit, attempting to watch the sun that never rose, and enjoying a dolphin adventure. But first, we had amazing apricot and cream cheese muffins! Once again, quite enjoyable. Otherwise, it was nice and chilly all day… Not exactly ideal for a boat trip, eh? Saw a few playful dolphins, learned a bit of history, and headed to the Hole in the Rock. It was a bit too rough at sea to go through the hole, so just observed from a rather close distance! Saw some black layered rocks, learned a bit of geology, and headed back to Paihia. The rest of our day was spent wandering around, making noodles for lunch, and watching a bit of rugby on the tele. Jumped on the bus around 4:30 PM and arrived back in Auckland by 8 PM or so.

That’s about all for the fun-filled weekend! Now it is Wednesday late afternoon and I’m getting ready to head to a friend’s house for dinner. Turned in my first project at U of A today; a “lovely” GeoFlyer for my Geology of New Zealand course. Exciting! Or not really… haha!

Word of the day:
munted: controversy still stands about usage of this word, but most commonly it is used to mean “broken, useless, messed up”

Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What a Wonderful Day!

So I just returned from a wonderful walk up Mount Hobson, which resides nearly 4 minutes from where I live. It was quite a nice hike up the footpath, past cows, trees, and craters. What a beautiful view, indeed!! Certainly more than I expected from a 7 minute walk up a semi-medium sized hill! We could see the city, Mount Eden, One Tree Hill (I think...), and the bay. Went just now, just before sunset. It was a sunny, calm day after the morning downpour; so, needless to say, a great time to do the short hike! Took several (ok, quite a few...) pictures from all around the top crater and then headed back down. At the bottom of the hill, we found a Golden Retriever!! I was super excited, and the dog came over, wagging her tail! :-) Yes, I asked the owner and got to pet the dog! Made my day! Nature, Golden Retrievers, and school. With several new friends. What a good one.

View of Rangitoto.

Touching the Sky Tower

Sweet stunt planes visible from atop Mt. Hobson!

Oh, and to top the day off, we talked about neurosurgery in Biopsych today. :-D You may well know how I feel about that kind of thing; if not, well... I find it absolutely fascinating! And then we talked about drugs and addiction, which was quite interesting as well. I must note that my professor is quite ridiculous for this class... I generally sit there and take note of the random, strange, and sometimes rather disturbing things that he says... and sometimes I even write them down! For instance, my notes read from today's class as follows: "I continue to persevere because, well, I am a rebel." In another instance, "I think I don't mind animal testing because I have become morally bankrupt." And numerous other references to locations of magic mushrooms and the such... He certainly keeps the class entertaining!

And... in Pacific Music and Dance! I actually shook my hips the right way today for the first time!! That's something to celebrate, let me tell you! We had to perform in small groups (mine being the smallest, go figure...) in front of the rest of the class (about 94 people in total). It was quite intimidating at first, but had fun! Then we worked on our chant to be performed prior to the dance. Sweet as!

Performing our Cook Islands Dance!


As you can tell, it was quite an eventful day! Moving on...

My homestay mother has been away to Wellington with her work for the past few days. I've been out and about, so it hasn't been too bad. Actually, not bad at all. Missed home for a bit a few days ago, but it's super amazing to be able to SKYPE often!! :-) I also enjoy talking to you all back home via Facebook chat. Thanks for letting me know how things are going in your life as well as checking up on me! I love to hear from you!

That is all for now! The Brazilian couple is fixing dinner (fish filets!) and I am going to socialize with them. (*Note: The Brazilian girl showed me pictures of her dogs, family, and friends from back home! Very exciting, as she has been quiet since they arrived. She is super sweet, though!)

Bay of Islands this weekend with my friend, Sarah, from Germany! Certainly excited! Updates soon.

G'Night, friends! <3>


Someday I would like to call a spot like this "home."

Our crew at Long Bay.

Cook Islands Dancing!

Mmm... a fresh doughnut and a Crunchie Bar.... wonderful and extremely unhealthy!

Pasifica Festival.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Only a few pictures!

At the Blues vs. Sharks Rugby game!

Some sweet gold metallic pants that I found... :-)

Fun on Long Bay!

And a view of Auckland Central from atop Mount Eden!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Beauty of the Island

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Flamenco class today!! Taking the class as part of the Uni Rec Center Programs option, and it’s quite exciting! We are going to have a fiesta on the last day of class. Yay! I figure this is a better option than the Monday Night Salsa at Mission Bay… last time I had a rather scary experience, seeing as I went alone and the place was loaded with 40-year-old men… Not the best environment, so needless to say, this Flamenco class is only girls and is also something new and fresh to me!

Now I’m watching “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days" while typing. What a lovely movie, eh?! Speaking of movies, several friends came over to my homestay to enjoy a study and movie party yesterday! Watched parts of Dirty Dancing, August Rush, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. And the girls cooked dinner! Tasty, sort of… hahaha! It made me feel like such a local… having friends over to “my house.” Strange.

Otherwise, we are planning on going to the Bay of Islands this weekend! (up north of Auckland, fyi) Very excited!! May try to take a cruise for dolphin watching and to see the infamous “Hole in the Rock” as well as visiting a remote island of sorts. There is also a tramping trail to this supposedly beautiful waterfall. Sweet as! Excited to get out of the city for a bit, so it should be a great time whatever we decide to do. There is always something to do around New Zealand; I only wish I had limitless time and no homework! Camping in Coromandel sounds wonderful right now… Cook Islands. April 6. Here I come! Mid-semester break is sneaking up quickly!!

And with regards to homework… it’s a bit different than Mizzou. There are not the typical “mid-terms” with a test before and after to balance your class points. Rather, we generally have a large paper, perhaps one test, and a final exam mid-June. Should probably get on my essay writing early! Finished my Pacific Music and Dance journal for this section, and need to be working on my GeoFlyer for Geology! That is the new course that I picked up, after freaking out about Spanish and settling for switching classes. Geology of New Zealand: Half a Billion Years on the Edge! We even have a day field trip! Hooray!

Pacifica Festival! I mentioned it previously, but can’t say enough about it! I felt as though I visited eight different islands in one morning. It was incredible! What a lovely and rich culture each of the islands possess. Marvelous.

A taste of New Zealand:
"Ta" --- thank you
Feijoa cereal --- amazing!!
Rubbish bins, lollies, Hokey Pokey, and rugby aplenty!

That’s all for now! Time for sleeping. G’night and love to you.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dancing and Singing

The following is an excerpt from my "Pacific Music and Dance Journal Assignment." I believe it is a nice representation of the class so far. Enjoy!!

And more "real updates" to come in the near future!

Thursday, 5 March 2009
We had our first day of Pacific Studies 110 today! I get the feeling that it’s going to be a wonderful class and I’m very excited to learn a few Pacific Island dances! Although I can’t shake my hips very well… I am missing choir already, so hope that the music and artistic side of this course will satisfy my desire to be surrounded by music. In fact, adding a cultural aspect is even more exciting! Looking forward to seeing how the course works in a practical manner. Starting with Cook Islands Dance tomorrow, though I don’t have a sarong at this point! No worries, as I will talk with Marg, my host mother, to see if she has one that I can borrow during our first dance sequence. The videos that we watched about Pacific Dance were wonderful and they give me inspiration to learn more about the culture behind the movements. I do believe that reading and writing about various islands will assist in this venture. It was a bit confusing when we were discussing the so-called “Course Reader”, but will hopefully get clarification on our expected assignments soon!

*Saturday, 14 March 2009
I went to Pasifica Festival today with a few friends!! Amazing! Although the rain cut our time a bit short, we had an absolutely wonderful experience. I especially enjoyed watching the Cook Islands dancing, music, and other presentations. The way that the women felt the music was incredible. Very similar to the DVD that we watched the first day of class, but right in front of my eyes. The colors were stunning and the friends and family entirely supportive. Chanting, cheering, and laughter were all a part of the celebration of a rich culture. What a treat!

If you would like to see the purchase that I made at the Festival, check out my Facebook Profile Picture! Hope you have a lovely day. I would love to hear from you!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Uni Week One: Check!

Finished the first week of Uni in Auckland a few days ago! Switched my Egyptian History class to the History of Medicine (mainly in Britain), which is pretty sweet! Loving the classes, especially Pacific Music and Dance! Wow!! It's going to be an amazing class and we learn three big dances that we then have to perform for credit! Yikes! (Cook Islands Dance, Tongan Dance, and Somoan Dance) Had a lovely time and even met up with another friend from Illinois (that I met here).

Absolutely loved the week of courses, which is exciting! Spanish is going to be very difficult, but meeting with the professor tomorrow to work through things. :-/ We shall see! Otherwise, Biopsychology is sweet (crazy-fun prof!!) and beginning the lab this week, Friday. We are learning about the anatomy of the brain, so totally loving the class. :-) As for the medicine course, we are currently learning about the debates between medicine as a detriment to health versus medicine as an opportunity for improving health. This mainly occurred in the 1970s, but much of it continues today around the world. Quite interesting, really. Pacific Music and Dance... Working on the Cook Islands Dance at the moment, sarong and all! It's lovely and even enjoyed the Queen St. Sing Sing this weekend (which included dances and singing from the Pacific Islands. Super fun! On Friday, I went to a "Tertiary Student Christian Fellowship" gathering, which was quite interesting. The diversity on campus is stunning to me, but I adore that aspect of Auckland! They say that would be different if I were actually a Kiwi, but for now, it's lovely. :-)

Indeed, this weekend was full of beaches, rugby, and touring Waiheke Island! Began by studying for a while, reviewing Spanish, and then looking over my weekend options. Ended up going to meet some new friends for Friday evening and then planned to attend the International Orientation event for Saturday. We took 5 buses to Long Bay, a beautiful stretch of beach FULL of flies and mosquitoes! Annoying, eh?! Then we rushed back and headed to the Globe to meet friends for my first-ever rugby game! It was amazing!! Eden Park, home to many sporting events, is quite awesome and we had a great group of people cheering for both teams. Regardless, South Africa (the Sharks) won the game! People singing, cheering, flags waving, and all! Reminded me of the World Cup game in Berlin... Then around town to enjoy the Auckland Festival and the Queen Street celebrations. Amazing music and dancing in celebration of New Zealand and other Pacific Islands. Home after a bit, then to awake early for a venture to Waiheke Island.

Woke a bit later than expected, the bus was late, so we decided to take the Link Bus (leaves every 10-15 minutes) to the ferry wharf. Arrived at the University (about a 15-20 minute walk from the wharf) at 8:05 AM with the ferry to leave at 8:15 and no ticket in hand... needless to say, we ran the whole way to the ferry, stopping along the way at an ATM, and got on just after they had pulled the walkway to board! Sooo close! Definitely an adventure. Met up with some friends, worked on plans for the day, and arrived on the island around 9 AM. We decided to split into two groups, with the group I was a part of deciding to rent a van for 8 of us. We basically drove from beach to beach and vineyard to beautiful lookout spot all day long! It was a glorious, sun- and rain-filled day of relaxation. I especially liked Oneroa Beach and Palm Beach. Beautiful and calm. Enjoyed some of the best grapes that I've ever tasted at a little vineyard along the way. Mmm... Headed back on the 6 PM ferry after enjoying the beautiful day. Dinner back in Newmarket, nearby my home, at a place on Nuffield Street. Home to get some sleep early!

Today, Monday, I have no classes. I'm planning on studying for a while at Albert Park and then have a few brief meetings to attend mid-day. It's a bit overcast and such, but just wait for a few hours and that will change. Similar to Missouri, eh?!

That's all for now. Peace. Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Music, Egyptians, and Newmarket

Oh, the lovely beach. :-) Mission Bay is amazing! Relaxed there the past two days and have had a wonderful time! There was a SWEET Jazz Festival that we stumbled upon (or, rather, that stumbled upon us while at the bay) last night! There was an awesome high school ska-ish band called "Grammaphone" performing, so that was neat as well! On another note, hopefully I will learn to windsurf sometime before the summer comes to an end!

Now in my new home, which is also great! Marg, my new homestay mother, is quite unique and very compassionate. She has already lent me some shoes and wants to do whatever possible to help me see the city as a local. Visited the top of Mt. Eden; incredible view of the city and a great help in orienting myself in Auckland.

First day of classes at the Uni today! Only had one class: History of Ancient Egypt. Pretty boring with only introductions and such... But at the end, the professor (who is American or such) left the room and a mummy walked in from the back... down the aisles and all! This dude was advertising for the Egyptology Club on campus! The whole thing was quite amusing, really! :-) That's about all for classes today; lunch with lovely friends, then to the beach! A wonderful, relaxing day.

G'Night for now! Miss you all. <3

Entering the Land of Kiwis

After a nice conversation with the gentleman seated next to me on the plane, I arrived in Auckland around 3 PM on February 16th. *Happy Birthday, Anna!*

As I write this, I have been in New Zealand for nearly two weeks! Wow, I am falling behind in updates already!! So here is a snapshot of what has been happening since arrival.

Met up with Des and Lois, family friends, at the AKL airport and traveled to their son’s home. We stayed there for 3 days times. Day one: visited Sylvia Park, an amazing, rather huge shopping center! Very modern, clean, and nice. Tried on some boots, enjoyed lunch at Hollywood Express (where they play all American music from Hollywood and such), and then picked up a phone from Dick Smith’s Electronics. I’m now on the Vodafone NZ Network for one year. J I mustn’t forget the three times that we enjoyed tea… just on day one! Regular tea, pomegranate and grape tea, you name it! Even purchased “tea for two” at lunchtime! Tasty and more relaxed than the US style of “go, go, go.” *Happy Birthday Holly!*

Day two: Relaxed for a bit at home, then headed to look around the city. Drove to Devonport, took the ferry across to Auckland Central City, and looked around a bit more. Got a feel for the area, which is nice now that I have to be navigating alone many times! Checked out Britomart, which is the central transport center for the downtown area. Visited their son, David, at his workplace near Queen St. Then headed back after breakfast/lunch/tea! We didn’t have the “chilly bin” (portable cooler), so we went to New World for groceries just before heading home. Found some strange veges… broccolini?! Purple sweet potatoes? But ended up with some super yummy whole grain bread, fresh fruit, and shampoo! Home, cleaned up, and then had evening tea. Then we headed out to help David’s friend move into her new apartment. Location: Parnell. A beautiful place with many old cafes, brick roads, and much more! Even a Chocolate Boutique (where Bill Clinton has visited...)! Walked down the street to find amazing side streets and adorable homes. Wonderful! After that excursion, we headed home and enjoyed a long sleep.

Day three: Highlighted by Mission Bay, wandering about the city, and more! Took the puppy, Chelsea, for a walk! Lovely spaniel of sorts. Learned a bit more about the Kiwi language. J If someone asks you over for tea, it’s not necessarily going to include a cup of tea. Nor does it limit itself to tea alone. It may be dinner included, or may just be for a chat! That aside, we took a nice journey to the Mission Bay area. Very nice day, sunny and all! Saw the city from across the bay, which was also sweet. There is a long strand of beaches surrounding Auckland (a big difference from mid-Missouri!), so we took a look around. Trying to get my bearings by doing so. After a relaxing day of lounging, beaching, and chatting, we enjoyed tea and dinner. Watched the news about Obama and the US Economic Stimulus Plan. The States are always in the news and everyone has questions about my opinion of this and that! Oh! And David loves airplanes and actually has a home theater with plane seats in rows! Wow! After dinner and cleaning up, we headed to a little cafĂ© downtown somewhere. Drove around for quite a while, including ending up under the Auckland Bridge! There are houses under the bridge; it’s quite strange! Had a tall glass of hot chocolate and then returned home again.

Day four of Auckland: Woke early. Finished packing and headed to my new home! Located in New Lynn, a suburb of Auckland, it took quite some time to travel due to traffic. Arrived around 8:40 and Wendy, my host mother, arrived at 9 AM. Greeted with a hug, moved in, and unpacked! Orientation began at 4 PM, but was picked up around 2:45 to travel to the city. Met a few new friends, began orientation with the other homestays, and then met with the big group of IES kids! Gael, the coordinator of IES here in Auckland, bought us some sparking apple juice: quite nice, really!

Anyway, after our initial meeting and all, we each journeyed home and prepared for our adventure at the Maori marae (meeting place). Headed to Leigh on Friday morning. We were welcomed onto the marae (in pouring rain) in style and then performed the nose-touching greeting. After some introductions, tea, and moving mattresses into the marae, we had a lovely time relaxing, learning a haka (song) and then putting a war dance to the words. One of the girls taught me how to weave a flower, which was pretty sweet. Learned a lot about the history of Maori people, including stories, moko (tattooing), and much more! We were supposed to be snorkeling and doing other outdoor activities, but sadly the rain interrupted our plans… Went to a pub, Sawmill something or another, to listen to a (regae?!) band called “The Ragamuffin Children.” People go barefoot very often, which is sweet! Enjoyed a chai latte, chatted with a few new friends (American, German, and native Kiwis), and tried to resist dancing to the live music!

Finally, on Saturday, the rain let up! We divided into groups and were able to head down the huge hill to the sea. Went fishing with hand reels and then loaded into sea kayaks for a journey in a sheltered cove of sorts! Had a wonderful time!! Found a giant sting ray, ate some kina (sea urchin --- hmmm…), and soaked up the sun for a bit. Then it became overcast again… lunch, weaving, and a final goodbye as we performed our newly learned haka. Headed back to Auckland Uni and settled on spending the evening in the city. Attended Starlight Symphony, which was INCREDIBLE!!!! Loads of music, picnicking, laughing, and then a fireworks and laser show!! Yay! Even took pictures with men in yellow spandex suits! They were ridiculous.

Free day! It’s quite a journey to catch the (correct) bus and get home to New Lynn… A 1.5 hour journey at least! But I successfully read the timetable (with a bit of help) and caught the bus in time on Sunday morning! Attended church with Wendy and the kids, then had lunch at a “Welcome Gathering” of sorts at Mt. Albert Baptist Church. Fun times and nice people. Relaxed for the remainder of the day and just got settled a bit more.

The following morning, international orientation began! Left home at 7:30 AM to arrive at the welcome meeting by 9:30... I believe I took the wrong bus, but still not really sure…

Regardless, the Kiwis do a wicked awesome welcome! Dancing, war songs, and tea! What more can you ask for?! And we even got two different welcomes on different days! Toured the campus (a bit smaller than Mizzou’s campus, but almost 50,000 in the student body!), enjoyed lunch on campus (at Slurp) for the first time, and then headed to a scavenger hunt of the city! When they said “of the city,” I wasn’t exactly expecting a 2.5 hour trek around the world… but that’s what it was! Quite a great time, met new friends, and had many laughs! And to think I didn’t even want to go. Now I know my way around the city a bit more (but definitely a lot yet to learn…).

Orientation week flew by! Thought I might head to Christchurch, but that didn’t work out. Then planned to go camping in Piha, but that didn’t work either due to a lack of transportation and the rainy forecast. L Sad, but it worked out just fine in the end! Hung out in Auckland, got to see the city a bit more, and spent the night at a friend’s dorm two nights in a row! Went to Globe Bar, but was a bit too loud for my liking. Visited Mission Bay once again, which was nice. Learned the ropes of public transportation in a place that’s not the best at city planning… Signed up for Dessert Club and a few more clubs of the sort! Attended Life Group (on two different occasions). Relaxed in the sun and played at the pool with the kids. Orientated myself on campus and such! Signed up for classes and finally got that settled. Now I’m taking Ancient Egypt history! Sweet as! Also visited Lynn Mall and Foodtown with Wendy and Fleur.

And now I’m moving. My current location is too far from Uni and it is not the best idea for me to be walking home alone from the bus stop (usually about 20 minutes walk) especially in the dark. Moving to Remuera Road, which is only 10-15 by bus to the Uni, or about a 45-minute walk. Much closer and should be a positive thing! Everyone is very understanding, which is nice. I’m very grateful for those who have helped me with setting up new accommodations and shifting (it’s not called moving here…). I’m also a bit sad to be leaving because this is a lovely family, but will be visiting for dinner again soon!

Time to go for now! Love and miss you all. From Auckland, XOXO.