Friday, April 25, 2008
I've spent alot of quality time with my nephew Talan since I've been home. By far, the best was taking him to the overpass to watch the Santa Fe trains go underneath. He LOVED every second of watching the trains slowly pass underneath. I loved it because of the awesome view and seeing Talan so excited about trains pretty much made my day! We also went to La Posada and sat on the wall to watch the trains go by. Talan, you rock my world.
One of my favorite things about coming home for the summer is working the Winslow Invitational. It's perfect for me. Not only do I get to see high school friends, teachers, and coaches but I get to help out with something I love-running! Watching all the kids run makes me so grateful for participating in sports in high school. Seriously, it changed my life! I love running and always will because of the way I was pushed in high school by my teammates and coaches. This year was especially fantastic because Joseph and I had a jolly good time trying to take "serious" pictures during the long races. As the photos show, the only result we got was looking silly while wearing our "official" shirts. Also, another reason I love the Winslow Invitational is it reminds how much I love being from a small town. Here's the thing.... It is easy to bag on small town life but when you leave it you realize how it shaped you into who you are today! It seems like people who never leave are always looking for something better and when you do leave you realize it was never so bad. I love everything about where I grew up. I'm proud to be from the Slow.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It's so funny to go from life in the Southern Hemisphere, Auckland, Fiji and now Winslow, Arizona. I love coming home though. I know it is going to be a great summer. I'll be working as a tour guide at Meteor Crater for the second summer in a row. It's one of the most random jobs I've had and also one of the most fun. I meet people from all over the globe! Some upcoming events that I'm looking forward to include the birth of Kimmy's second baby in early August. We won't know if she's having a boy or a girl until the delivery! Also, Jason is coming to Arizona in late July. This is my last summer of in between college life and real life, as student teaching in Provo begins in September.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It's over. I'm home sweet home and it's a bittersweet feeling. I was never ready to leave New Zealand but at the same time I was always excited to come home. Being away from my home, my country, helped me gain an even stronger feeling of love and appreciation for my background. Now that I'm home I am striving to apply the lessons I learned in my travels at home with my friends and family.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Okay, think of any tropical calendar or picture you've ever seen in your life....that is what I'm experiencing right now. Fiji is picture perfect in every single way. The palm trees lean out over the white sand and the water is a perfect green turquoise color. It's been raining alot over the past few days but I haven't let that put a damper on my fiji experience. The rain is warm here and you can still be outside and not get cold at all. Yesterday we drove into Suva, the capitol, to experience the produce markets and handicraft markets. I appreciated the experience because it took me out of my comfort zone and into a way of life different from my own. The Fijiian people are friendly and hard working. I feel like I experienced the real Fiji, not the resort touristy fiji! We hiked to a waterfall yesterday which gave the feeling that I had stepped out of the world for a little while. I can't think of a better way to end my New Zealand experience then by stopping off in Fiji! 1 more day left in my journey, I hope it's the best day!
Monday, April 7, 2008
My last five days in Auckland have turned out to be the best. There are still two days to go but I venture to say that those will be just as eventful as the past ones have been. On Monday I said goodbye to every other BYU girl except Amanda. It was an emotional farewell because we had all grown so close. I have made 12 amazing friends through exploring, living, and playing in one of the most beautiful places on this earth, Aotearoa. I appreciate the example they all set for me. I have never felt so supported by a group of friends quite like this. At the airport the boys did the Haka right before the security checkpoint. After being immersed in the culture of New Zealand I realize the great significance and meaning of the Haka. That event will be remembered for years to come. I've been back to Te Atatu park for breakfast. Of course Jason and I ate Weetbix. I have come to love Weetbix for breakfast every morning! Jason took me to MOTAT, basically a science center with alot of hands on exhibits. Tonight was especially great with smores, dinner, and a spectacular sunset over Whenapai beach on the west side. I just can't get enough of the beaches in New Zealand.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Over our last week in New Zealand we've comprised a list of everything we love that is different and unique about this beautiful place. Gizalook (translation into american....Give it a look)
1. Hot Cross Buns: people LOVE them, and they really do have a cross on the top, you will see tham at any public function ever
2. Milo: morning tea is never complete without Milo. It's not quite hot chocolate and there's no comparison to anything else. I reccommend drinking it with half milk/water/sugar
3. Holdens: an Australian car with GM parts.
4. Juice and Fizzy: you NEVER drink juice without mixing it with fizzy.
5. Tim Tams/Cadbury Chocolate: to die for chocolate
6. you never close the mircrowave door here
7. meat pies, bakeries, and takeaways-I'll never understand the concept
8. Rubbish bags: you can only use government issued rubbish bags and they cost 1.65 per bag!
9. Cops don't carry guns here!
10. Denny's is a gourmet restaraunt here. The weird thing is that it actually tastes good too!
11. When the temperature drops to about 70 people will wear winter jackets!
12. you never have to wear shoes in public. the mall, school, eating out-no worries don't even bring your jandals!
My year 7 and 8's gave me the best goodbye a teacher could ever receive! All week they've been secretly working on a project but I was not allowed to see it. On my last day I presented them with a class book and handed out chocolate fish to each student. I wanted to show them how much I appreciated them letting me be a part of their classroom. Each of my students wrote me a poem and they presented me with several class gifts. 1. an All Blacks key chain 2. Samoan traditional lolly leis 3. shell necklace 4. fish n chips!
I feel so blessed to have this oppurtunity to teach in New Zealand. I know that I'm more prepared for the ins and outs of teaching that will most definiltey come in the near future. The best part about teaching in Auckland was the rich diversity! My students came from countries dotting all over the world; namely South Africa, Samoa, Tonga, Afghanistan, Tuvalu, Australia, Thailand, China, and India. There's something special about being part of someone else's culture.