Thursday, 18 July 2013

First Week, First Blog Post!

 Hi everyone! I've officially made it through 11 days in New Zealand, and its finally time to start blogging! I got to my new home, Wellington, last Wednesday, and since then everything has been a whirlwind. Its hard to prepare completely moving to a new city by yourself, and even harder when that city is almost as far away from home as possible. But, I think I'm finally settled and (starting) to really know my way around!

Before getting here last week, I had a three day orientation with the program I came with. After arriving in Auckland on Sunday morning after the craziest 30 hours or so of traveling, we walked around the city and had our first experiences of what things are really like in New Zealand! It was also the beginning of me taking excessive numbers of pictures everywhere we went.

Auckland Sky Tower
Crater formed from a collapsed volcano

The next day, we went to Matamata (also home of Hobbiton!) and Rotorua. In Rotorua, we went to the Agrodome, where we were able to play with lambs and goats before seeing a show which included seeing a sheep be sheered.

 That night, we went to Rainbow Springs where we were able to see lots of native New Zealand wildlife, including the Kiwi! NZ has a lot of species that are unique to here, so being able to see them is a really valuable experience.
The Tuatara
On Tuesday we went zorbing, which is essentially rolling down a hill in a giant plastic ball with water inside so that you stay sitting (mostly) upright. I don't have pictures yet but I recommend watching a video and doing it if you have a chance! It was a ton of fun.

We also got to see the Lady Knox geyser erupt, and visit a geothermal park to see all of the awesome features of the natural landscape. Definitely nothing like Vermont and New Hampshire!

Finally, our last activity of orientation was going to the Tamaki Maori Village, where we experienced a traditional Maori welcome and meal.

And that was our journey here! Getting settled in, finding everything and learning about how to live in Wellington has been a process, but I'm now feeling like I'm not totally out of place. Maybe the biggest adjustment has been getting used to not having heat in my apartment! The weather is finally getting nice though, meaning that its less chilly indoors and also fun to walk around the city and explore.

Also: many of you are probably wondering about the title of my blog. "Sweet as," or anything followed by "as" is a common Kiwi expression I love, and what better way to pick it up than to make it my blog title!

Well, thats it for now but I will keep updating here as soon as I have time!


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