Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

The first week

3 July, 2011

It’s Saturday, around 11:30 PM NZ time, or about 5:30 AM Cleveland time (I think). This is the first time I’ve had to actually sit down and record some thoughts about everything so far. Which means that I’ve gathered a lot of thoughts since the last time I wrote anything. It’s hard to know where to start, exactly. For now I’ll just jot some things down quickly, but if I have time I’ll get into more detail later on.

In the past 7 days I have:

  • Flown over 18 hours on various planes, finally arriving in NZ two days after leaving home (thanks to crossing the international date line). Watched the sun rise over the Auckland skyline.
  • Met over 40 new, interesting fellow adventurers from all over the US (and world).
  • Gone kayaking on the Pacific, subsequently seeing my first real shipwreck, and exploring a hidden beach only reachable by boat of some sort.
  • Relaxed in natural hot spring pools – they were really hot.
  • Seen 3 double rainbows within one day.
  • Learned a new skill I do not have – archery.
  • Learned the rules of, and – wait for it – actually PLAYED rugby. RUGBY. PLAYED.
  • …RUGBY. Yeah, I know.
  • Learned two traditional Maori songs.
  • Heard NZ babies speak with NZ accents. Adorbs.
  • Stayed a night in a Marae, witnessed a Haka, and shared meals with Maori.
  • Eaten baked beans on toast for breakfast.
  • Bought 4 cappuccinos, as well as a “short black” which apparently is a shot of espresso.
  • Tasted wine at Villa Maria estates.
  • Wandered the streets of Wellington all day, all night, in a pack of obnoxious Americans.
  • Climbed to the top of Adams Terrace and Landcross to find my place of residence for the next 4 months.

Most importantly, here’s what I’ve learned this first week:

  • I’m really not afraid of flying after all. In fact, I think it’s one of the coolest things people can do. Looking at the world from that height is surreal and freeing, kind of like peeing outside. (?)
  • NZ lingo, such as:
  • “Sweet as” = cool, legit, etc.
  • “No drama” = it’s not a problem, don’t worry about it.
  • “Flash” = cool.
  • “Nibbles” = appetizers.
  • “Sneans” = sneakers with jeans, which is apparently super socially unacceptable to wear, by the way.
  • Some Maori words, such as:
  • “Wahine” = woman
  • “Kai” = food or a meal
  • “Kia ora” = welcome.
  • where to find kiwis. (as in the birds.)
  • NZ is COLD.
  • …and expensive. :(
  • But most most importantly, I guess I’m capable of way more than I thought I was.
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