Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Over half way done!

Oi! I hope everyone is doing well. I apologize again for no blog last week! I was kind of busy and out of the house most of the time. Anyhow, last week was a weird week for me considering my mates and I had to get used to going to school again (haha). I did however enjoy last week a lot because we had to rush through one of our cooking units, which was "hot finger food" so that meant we got to cook everyday of the week except Friday. Then this past weekend I helped my host mum in her cafe for 3 days because on Monday of this week, we did not have school because it is the national Labour holiday. We were so busy in the cafe it wasn't even funny! It was nice to get busy and have something to do that keeps you on your toes. Besides school, there hasn’t been a lot new with me. I am however quite saddened because I know that my time left here in New Zealand is quite short so I am trying to get out and experience everything I can before coming home to the USA. My Austrian friend Nina and I leave to go to the South Island and visit Christchurch on the 17th of November so we are quite excited for that. We also have a trip booked to take a 9 hour train ride from Hamilton, which is located towards the top of the north island, and travel all the way down to Wellington which is at the bottom of the north island. It should be really fun because we should get to see much of what New Zealand has to offer. We will be taking that trip on the 10th of December and staying there for a week. Overall, nothing new is coming up that I know of but then again, things are always coming up for me to do, I am normally just unaware (haha).
At the bottom, I have attached a few pictures! Enjoy! Thanks for reading!

My new meals which I eat all the time and have adapted to love!

(includes corn silverside, califlower, broccoli, cooked cabbage, mashed spuds, and green beens)

Something tells me I am eatting better than my mates back in Osseo? haha.

My steak my mum gave me to cook
in cooking class (I ate it all, not a problem)

Me and my mum outside her cafe. (Luna Cafe)

Picture of me above Hahei beach

Friday, October 24, 2008


Sorry for the delay with the blog. Not lots of time to write this week due to the Labour Weekend in New Zealand. My town REALLY fills up and gets busy. I will write a blog post after the long weekend is over. Check back around Tuesday or Wed next week! Cheers!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Adventure!

Hello everyone! I am actually really excited to write in this blog this week because I have so much to tell! I will start by saying that overall, I had a pretty fun holiday break from school. It was nice to be able to go to the ocean everyday and have beautiful weather. I was also able to help my host mum in the café when she needed me (which keeps me on my toes!). I didn’t really get to see many of my mates over the holidays but I still enjoyed myself!
Ok! I will now break my news! On Sunday night, my host mum and dad took my host sister Shelly and her son Greg back to the airport. Meanwhile, I stayed back and helped finish some of the work in the café. After work, I went up to my host brother Chris’s house where I found him in terrible pain. He had been working on his retaining wall and been working with wire when the wire snapped back and hit his hand. His had now has mussels out of place and bones shattered (not good). However, he was still in a good mood and wanted to take the dog for a walk. So Chris, his fiancée Tracey, and I headed down to the beach to walk the dog. We got about halfway along the beach when I spotted some fins in the water. We got closer and we noticed there were about 8-10 dolphins in the water. We all sat there and stared at them and I told my host brother, “Man I wish I had shorts on so I could go swimming out there!” He then told me to just jump in there anyways. I thought about it for a minute and then stripped down into my boxers and ran out there! (Sorry I didn’t rate this blog PG or R haha). The dolphins were only 15-20 meters from shore so they were easily within swimming distance. I managed to get out far enough to them but they just kept swimming up and down the beach. Eventually, they decided to come towards me. Before I knew it, I had 4-6 dolphins swimming right around me! I was able to reach out and touch them! It was an amazing experience to actually swim with dolphins in the wild. However, because these dolphins aren’t trained to be around people, you cannot ride them like you can at Sea World (haha). It was still so amazing to be that close to them in the wild and be able to touch them.
Besides my dolphin encounter, I haven’t been up to a lot besides school. School started again on Monday and everything is back to normal. We only have about 4 ½ weeks of school left and then we are done. That will give me lots of time to travel and see more of New Zealand. I have attached some pictures of the dolphins and I at the bottom. However, they were taking by my brother with my camera phone so they aren’t as close but I hope you can still get the picture! Thanks for reading!

Almost got em'! Quite a ways out yet

All tired out from swimming (haha)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Giant Jumbo Muffin!

Kia ora everyone! Sorry my blog is late this week! I just have not had a lot to write yet. Not too much going on lately besides the weather being rubbish. The first week of holiday break was really nice and sunny and now the second week has turned cloudy and windy! Oh well though. No school so why complain? (haha).
On Thursday night, I helped in the cafe and then later that night, my host mum came in with her night crew and chefs to practice some of the main dishes that will be served. The cafe won't open for nights until next Saturday so we got to try a bunch of main dishes which was nice. I was also able to learn a few things from the chefs as well. I was also able to meet my host sister for the first time this week as well. My host sister Shelly, who lives in Ashburton (south island), was up visiting with her son's Greg, Nick, and James. James lives in Hamilton which is only 2 hours from us. It was nice to get to know them. My host brother Chris is my mum's son. Shelly is my dad's daughter.
I suppose you all are wondering why I titled this blog "Giant Jumbo Muffin"? Well it is a funny story really (haha). It started with a text message I got from Nina one day. Nina is the Austrian girl in one of my past photos. She was joking about me being fat from all the food I eat and came up with the name "Jumbo Muffin." I told my host mum about it and she said "At the rate you’re going, you will be a GIANT jumbo muffin!" So the phrases went together and that’s how it came about. Kind of funny!
I also have tried to schedule another trip. In the middle of December, I am trying to get down to Wellington (the capital) to visit the city and sites there. I would be going there with an exchange student/students as well. We would take a plane down there and then possibly a train back. The train back would be a great idea I think because you would see so much of the north island. It would be about a 6-8 hour ride in a train across beautiful country. I love to travel so I will be doing lots of it while I am here I think.
Lastly, I was able to make it to my first movie in NZ. My mate Fraser and I went to see Hellboy 2 in the movie cinema a few days ago. It was quite nice to get out and do something different. Fraser's mum has also raised her hand to be my leason. My leason is someone that I will be able to contact if I have a problem arrise or need a place to stay if my host family has a family emergency. Fraser's mum's name is Robyn. It is nice having her as my leason because she works in Whitanga so Fraser and her both ride the ferry across in the morning with me and the other students.
As I mentioned, I don’t have a lot to post this week besides school starts again on Monday. I would just like to add before I conclude this post, I would like to thank the Ron and Gen Johnson for the package of lollies (candy) I got from them. It was great to get American candy and chips! My host family loved the chips as well! Thanks for that. I know there are things that I plan to write in my blog posts that I forget about so if I do forget something major, I will make sure to include it in my next blog post. And as a reminder, don’t hesitate to email me with anything! Thanks for reading and I will make the blog more interesting I hope next week! Cheers!

ps. The pictures below is of Norman and I at a bonfire beach gathering and then a picture with a bunch of my mates from school.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Living a dream!

Gidday mates! Sorry my post is late this week! I totally forgot about it! Anyhow, what has Josh been doing this past week? One of the projects I have been working on is helping my host dad dig post holes in the back paddock (field). The purpose was so that we could separate the 5 cows and 2 calves we have. I have also been helping my host mum in the café with a few things. I find it funny sometimes helping her with stuff because it always has to deal with electronics (haha). I help her with her laptop at least 2 times a day and for some reason, the printer never wants to cooperate. She really loves having me around to fix the stuff that she would just put away and give up on. As she always tells me, “I would just get frustrated and put it away because I don’t have the patience for it!” I have also been trying to just enjoy my time off and hang out with mates. When I go into my town (Hahei), I normally help my host mum for a few hours and then I make my way down towards the beach around noon. I am normally there laying on the beach for a few hours and then head back up to the café to help her clean up and head home around 4pm. We live about 10 minutes from the café so it’s not a long drive. Lastly, last night was my first night on the beach with a bonfire. It was nice being able to see all my mates from school there. I still find it funny being able to see the beach everyday if I want because it is so close. Back home the nearest ocean would be about a 2 ½ hour flight if I am correct?

Now for the big news! Me and a few mates that planned to go skydiving, cancelled the idea for the holidays. We are going to plan for later in the year because-
(1) It is going to be much warmer
(2) School will be out
(3) Transportation is easier for host parents and bus services run more frequently

I also am having a friend (that I met at the exchange camp) come stay with me in November for a weekend. We might possibly do the sky diving that weekend. Her name is Nina by the way. She is from Austria. (Yes it is a girl, surprise right?? haha). I believe her and I are also going to do the helicopter ride in Whitianga (the town where I go to school). I have always wanted to ride in a helicopter so it should be fun! Nina and I also chatted at the AFS exchange camp and it turns out that we both wanted to go to Christchurch in the south island, but we didn’t want to go alone so we decided to go there together. That should also be heaps of fun! AFS does a billeting system which is where they find a AFS coordinator or family who is willing to accept you for however many days you want to stay in an area. That is really helpful for us students!

Alright, so I just looked at what I have written and I see I have written quite a bit so I don’t want to keep blabbing. Anyhow, I have been receiving a few emails from people back home so it is nice keeping in touch! Again, if anyone has any questions don’t be afraid to email me. (hound_dog588@hotmail.com). Hope all is well! Thanks for reading!