Blog Post 2: 2/2/16
It’s been 10 days since I’ve arrived in New Zealand. I haven’t been able to write any blog posts because it is so hard to find wifi here! It was only recently that I finally figured out how to get wifi in my apartment.
It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL here. I’ve never been somewhere so pretty and clean in my whole life. Everything here is really expensive, but the American dollar goes a long way. I had to buy an entirely new wardrobe because I packed all the wrong clothes (I had brought mostly workout clothes, and Auckland is quite fashionable), and I purchased new shoes, bags, dresses, rompers, etc etc for only a couple hundred dollars! For orientation my study abroad program group and I stayed 3 nights at a lodge in Shakespear Regional Park (yes, that is the correct spelling for Shakespear). Most of us got over jet lag really quickly! During those first 3 days of orientation, we went to the beach, played kayak polo, did a bit of tramping (hiking), competed in a Rogaine (it’s like orienteering), and a ton of other things. While some of the other students learned archery and rugby, my friends and I did some free climbing at the beach. That was a lot of fun, but at the end of the day we were all so beat and cut up. On the third day of orientation we went to a natural hot springs “resort”. The pools were so relaxing and there were some water slides that we got to try out.
On the forth day of orientation we went to a Marae, which is a sacred Maori meetinghouse. We attended a Powhiri, had a tour of the grounds, and slept over in the Marae. Here is some further information on Maori culture: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/marae-protocol-te-kawa-o-te-marae/page-2
On the last day of orientation, we walked to the top of Mount Eden, went on a wine tour and tasting at Villa Maria Winery, and moved into our different living accommodations. The nightlife here is great. My friends and I have gone out every night since we arrived in the city. A lot of the bars have good deals and events. The city isn’t huge, so it is really easy to walk everywhere. Auckland is also really safe. I feel comfortable traveling around on my own, even at night.
There is so much more that I could ramble on and on about, but I’ll save that for later. Cheers!