“I’m Going on an Adventure!”
Yes I did choose another LOTR quote for my post title, its fine. Day 5 here in New Zealand and I am absolutely loving it here. So far I’ve been in Auckland/Whangaparaoa Peninsula! The whole lot of IFSA-Butler New Zealand kids were there (54 students) and that was really cool because I met a lot of interesting and fun people! We stayed at the Shakespear Lodge YMCA on Whangapoaraoa Peninsula for two days and nights and got to experience the outdoors and get over our jetlag. We did orienteering (spelling?), swimming, kayaking, and in my case coasteering. Coasteering essentially walking along the coast and then jumping off of rocks into the water which was super fun and also freezing. We also swam out to a ship wreck! It was fabulous! On the third day we went into Auckland and explored the town. It was awesome because the Chinese Lantern Festival was taking place in Albert Park and that was pretty and cool to see. I also perused the free art gallery with a couple of friends and saw some cool modern New Zealand art. We then walked down and stopped at a local cafe and got some REAL New Zealand coffee which was also good. After that we headed back to the bus and went to a Marae which is a Maori village and got to experience their culture. It was a really interesting and memorable experience because it was like a time machine that I never thought I would be in. Prior to our arrival we elected two chiefs who were to speak on our behalf (in Maori no less) and it was really touching because one of our chiefs dedicated his speech to one of his best friends who died two years previously. Needless to say it brought tears to many eyes and the Maori who were there were also very touched and appreciated what he did because departed loved ones are a big part of their culture. Yesterday was another travel day. We left the Marae and drove up to Mt. Eden in Auckland and took some pictures and then it was time for everyone to split up into their respective school groups and fly to their new cities! There are 11 of us here in Christchurch and so far so good! Its beautiful and I’m loving my flat! We’ve done some grocery shopping and experienced some night life! Tuesday is orientation for the University here and I’m looking forward to that! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more stories and hopefully pictures soon!