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Mixing It Up

06/07/2011: day #9


Today we had the international student orientation with all the students from countries around the world. It was incredible not only to see how many of us there are studying here at Otago but also the number of countries that we come from. The list was as diverse as including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Scotland, England, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark , Portugal, and Spain to Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, and Papua New Giunea to Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Chile, and then the majority being the US. It was just a beautiful thing to be included in a group of such adventurous students covering such a wide array of cultures. We then went and signed up for the bone carving class and walked through the gym and past some parks and the new rugby stadium on the way home. I ate some lunch then went back to St. David’s café to meet with Leila and get all the information on places to see and eat at in Dunedin. She is just an amazing person and I love hanging out with her…even if it’s just mostly us bombarding her with questions. We then got back together and hung out at in the basement of the international building. Of course, we yet again made family dinner together but this time we invited over some of Sarah’s French flatmates friends and ate with them as well. It was very interesting to be cooking and listening to their American music but to still hear French being spoken fluently in the background. It really is a beautiful language. We then went to a get together at one of their friends places. It was really neat because not only were we surrounded by very kind and friendly French students but also students from Canada, Finland, and Germany. It really is just incredible to be in a place where you can be surrounded by 3 or 4 different languages and nationalities at the same time enjoying each others company and all trying to understand what the person next to you is saying. People’s friendliness has just failed to amaze me. I think the best part of my day came next though. We walked to a church turned into a bar for an open mic night. There were maybe 10 people including ourselves there total, small, quaint, warm, and welcoming, all of us sharing a love for music whether it be playing it, listening, writing, composing, or performing. There were several kiwi students, a young guy from Canada, and us. It was so lovely. Everybody sang with so much soul and emotion. It was a very intimate experience and just so beautiful. I want to go back next week and listen again for sure. It felt kinda like being at home doing some studying and heaing my dad play guitar in the background. I couldn’t help but imagine how happy and eager he would be to hop up on that stage and pull out some familiar jam and just rock out to it with our little group of 10 people. One of my best experiences in Dunedin yet J


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