Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stormy Weather in the North Island!

Hello everyone! So what have I been doing lately? To tell you the truth, not a whole lot (haha). I was suppose to have a “Ball” last Saturday but I wasn’t able to attend do to a high powered storm that hit the north island hard causing horrible damage to houses and to electricity. Parts of Auckland were without power for 2-3 days. And because they were without power, they were not able to get water with pressure and they were not able to cook unless they had a fire. At my house outside of Hahei, we were without power for a little over a day. So therefore, because I did not go to the ball, my host mom and I had a “read off” in candle light. We had 10-15 candles going so we could see. We also cooked our meal over the fire. There is another storm that started last night (Tuesday) and will continue through and hit more harshly on Wednesday.

Now about my school. It has been going great but it is still very different and hard to adjust to. However, I am very glad I decided to take a cooking class. I am able to learn about many New Zealand foods and how to prepare them. My host mum and I were talking about the differences in American food and New Zealand food. You probably wouldn’t think there is much difference BUT there is. The weird thing is not the differences in the food, it’s the differences in taste. The hamburgers here, taste way different than the burgers back home. (I prefer Wisconsin burgers). Some other unique things about New Zealand so far is they don’t have “Yield” signs. Their signs say “Give Way.” McDonald’s also seems way different, even though I have only eaten it once since I have been here and that was at the airport. At the counter, they ask if it’s for sit down, or take away. They also have the “Kiwi Burger” which is a popular burger for New Zealand people like the Big Mac is a popular burger for American people.

I don’t want to keep on blabbing here so I will stop now. Nothing has been overly exciting yet so hopefully next week I will have lots more to tell. Stop by next week and I should have another post available to read. At the bottom, I have added a picture showing where I am living in New Zealand (red star). Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Hello everyone! I have decided that I will TRY and post something new every week on Wed. It will be Wed for me so Tuesday for you so check it either late Tuesday night or early Wed morning. School started for me on Monday. It was probably one of the worst things I have ever had to do in my life. I knew NOBODY, and when I walked up to the school, 100 faces stared right at me, which made me slightly uncomfortable. I did however make it through school that day and I left with 8-10 friends and for lunch, I was invited to a friends house. Describing the school is very difficult. Back home, there is one large building with everything inside. Here, your classes are in a square but you have to walk outside to get to them. It has rained every day except for Tuesday so my books often get wet. The rooms for classes are very small as well. Our cooking facility at school back home is probably 3X the size of the one here. Then again, I dont have a class with more than 11 people.
My headmaster, Mr. John Wright, is very nice. He is great at what he does. He has talked to me several times this week and I am only on day 3. He says it is important to get to know every student well.

The classes I am taking are, Math 12, NZ History, Music, Cooking and Catering, English 12, and Spanish 3. The spanish will be done online because they only offer Maori, and French (I believe). The cooking class is very fun. However, the room is small but we have soooooo much fun! I also enjoy the music class, eventhough there is only 10 of us or so. I think everyone plays an instrument except for me, so I guess I have to sing (haha).

Overall, I think it is great here so far except for the weather. That will get better. I think I have fully adjusted to the whole "driving on the other side of the car and road." At the bottom, I have thrown in a few pictures of a bunch of us at the orientation in NZ. It was held just south of Auckland. Thanks and stop back next week for another post! Hopefully I won't forget! See yaaa!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Life in Kiwi Land

Hello to everyone again! I am presently sitting at orientation in a small town about an hour south or Auckland. Our plane landed on the 18th of July around 5:40a.m. It was an 12 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. The year long students from the states met up with us when we landed in Auckland. At the airport we got to meet other students from Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. All of us are extremely tired and trying with our best efforts to battle the time change. Orientations actually started the day we landed. When we were at the airport we had a 1 hour shuttle to the orientation site. The group leaders told us we were not going to sit in meetings at all. They said the main goal is to keep us awake and force us to sleep at night and have us awake when its day. So after saying that, we had all been awake for over 36 hours, unless you slept some on the plane. I however, slept only an hour because of some bad turbulence. I must add in, the plane meals were very good. During our first meal, we were served chicken cacciatore, which for anyone who doesn’t know, is chicken mixed with peppers, tomatoes, and sauces. It is also served with orzo pasta and peas. For breakfast we had the choice of many things such as fresh fruit, muffins or bagels, cereal, and a sausage breakfast wrap. (We did not starve). At the orientations today, we got to meet several people from all over the world. These countries include: Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Canada. The Canadians that arrived are the ones who live in Quebec and speak French and very little English.
Now onto host parents! My chapter (area) president picked me up today from the orientation site and brought me to a meeting point where my host parents were. My host parents then took my up some of the worst roads I’ve ever been on in my life. If you think Pleasantville is bad, you haven’t seen anything yet!!! My host parents have a very nice house and it feels very much like home. It is kind of weird in New Zealand because I have only been here a few days and I’m already using many New Zealand words. Please check back sometime later for another post! School starts on Monday! I’m kind of nervous! Talk to you later!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The city of LA!!!

Hello everyone!!! I landed in LA Tuesday morning and am here until Wed night. Today, Wed July 16th, I am sitting in meetings until about 6p.m with other students. students are from all over the US. From Maine, Alaska, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minn. These There is a total of 9 of us. 1 going to Malaysia, and 8 of us going to NZ. These meetings have been very informal and interesting. We have had great fun over the last day and a half! 5 of the 8 students going to NZ are staying there for only a semester. 3 of them are doing the year program. The 5 of us going for a semester will be riding the same plane and the year students will be on a different plane. We leave tonight around 9p.m and will land in Auckland, NZ around 4a.m on Friday. In case your wondering, while we have been in LA, they have not been starving us! The meals have been great!!! When I get to NZ, I will be sure to post some pictures. Keep looking for more updates!! See ya!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


My official school placement will be Mercury Bay Area School. If you are curious where that is, it is located on the north island, east of Auckland! I also got my host family information tonight! My host parents are Mr. Tom Morgan and Mrs. Patricia Morgan. They live and own a cafe in the town of Hahei, which is close to my school. My transportation to school will involve a short 3-4 min. ferry ride and then another 5 minutes by bus. Quite interesting!!! When I find out more information about my host family and school, I will be sure to post as soon as I can. If you are curious what my school looks like, feel free to visit their website! The website address is: http://www.mbas.ac.nz/index.php?mid=0

If anyone has a comment or question, please feel free to leave it because you might not be the only one with that question. I will do my best to try to answer it! Thanks for reading!!! Stop by soon again for more posts!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Zealand Adventure

For all who are reading the New Zealand Adventure, I will be departing Osseo, Wisconsin USA on July 15, 2008 and arriving in Los Angeles where I will stay for one day to have a brief orientation with other students traveling to that side of the world. I will depart L.A. on July 16 at around 9:00 p.m. and arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on July 18 very early around 4:45 a.m. due to the crossing of the International Date Line. I will then stay in Auckland for a day or two for orientation purposes. After the orientation, I will then meet my host family for the first time and begin school soon after.