Bloggedy blog blog.
Hello lucky friends and family who have stumbled upon my first ever blog! (Okay maybe not lucky. Probably just bored.) This will be the first of (hopefully) many posts about my time abroad in New Zealand. If you didn't know already, I will be here at the University of Auckland through the middle of November. I chose New Zealand as my study abroad location because (1) it's a place I probably wouldn't normally come on vacation, (2) there are heaps of things to do here, and (3) it is very different from New York. I should probably also thank Yena, because the idea of NZ really was hers first, and I kinda stole it.
I think it's a little lame-o and self-righteous to think that people will read this blog regularly, but I think it's a good venue to share a bit of what I'm doing and to post some pictures!
Anyway, I've been here about a week. It's about 1:45 am here, but I really wanted to get this going. I came with Arcadia University's Global Studies program, so they organized a trip to Rotorua (south of Auckland, quite smelly, also means "second lake") and I've gotten to know all the other Americans in the program. We saw some great scenic spots and wildlife, lots of geysers, and went to a "thermal wonderland." Haha. We also went to a Maori cultural experience where we saw what life would be like for Maori (indigenous peoples) in the pre-European times. The Arcadia program director told me that a couple years back, an observer laughed at the haka dance being performed by a Maori man, and the Maori head-butted the observer. The observer ended up in the hospital, and the Maori ended up being prosecuted!!!
So I'm now in my student accommodation. I live in a small apartment building in a 5 person flat (we all have our own rooms). Our room is finally full with 2 Americans (1 from my program), 1 girl from Holland (goes to school in Hong Kong!), and I believe 1 New Zealander. My building houses about 100 students, many of whom are from the UK, Canada, and America. Luckily we do have some real Kiwis!
Thankfully I'm starting to adjust to the weather here--it's chilly, but then it gets pretty warm when the sun is out. I've learned a famous saying that describes the predictably unpredictable weather here: "If you don't like the weather in New Zealand, just wait a few minutes." Speaking of speaking, I've learned "flash" means something along the lines of fancy; "gumboots" are rainboots; and "fanny" is something one should never say, unless one wants to be a laughingstock.
Anyway, that was pretty long, but pictures are below. I'll try to post again soon....I miss everyone at home and hope all is well wherever you are!