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Journals from Waikato-New Zealand Fall 09

2009-10-18 Adventures With the Family

October 1, 2009: My latest Adventures I cant believe its already October! I feel like I just got here yesterday! Lately I have been keeping myself pretty busy. After I got back from the two-week break, I had an anthropology test, which went OK, and then on the 12 of September I went to watch the All Blacks play against South Africa with a bunch of friends. The All Blacks are the New Zealand rugby team, and one of the best rugby teams in the world. They played at the Hamilton Stadium, which was nice because all we had to do was hop on a bus. The game was a blast! The stadium was full, and the cheering was loud and crazy. Unfortunately, the All Blacks arent having the best season this year, compared to all the many they have had in the past, and, well, they lost to South Africa by three points. I dont exactly understand the scoring system of rugby yet, but I think I get most of the other parts of the game. I really enjoy watching it too, though I miss football--which, by the way, is a sissy sport according to the kiwis because of all the pads our boys wear. And believe me, if you saw a rugby match, you might start to agree. The next week was hectic for me as well because I had a project due in my Principles of Human movement class. The project was to learn a novel (i.e., new) motor skill and to write a report on it. I chose to learn to fold origami kangaroos. It was quite the experience folding tons of origami kangaroos, but I made it through 20 hours of practice as required by my professor for our project. We had to keep a diary of our progress and research learning methods and compare them to our own. It was a fun project, even though it was slightly tedious for me. I turned this project in a day early because I was going to be in Paihia at the Bay of Islands with some friends Thursday through the next Monday, and my project was due on Friday. Once I turned in the project, I was in play mode again. Five of us got on the Nakedbus and rode all day up north to Paihia. Here we went on a cruise around the Bay of Islands, which is beautiful, and we were supposed to swim with dolphins, but that didnt quite work out. You see, we ran into a pod of dolphins in the bay and some type of diving bird. They fly around out in the bay and then when they see a fish, dive straight down into the water and catch it and then come back up to the top and swim around and eat their fish. It was crazy to watch! Then we found a whale and it was apparently very rare that a whale be seen in the bay, so we followed it, and followed it, and followed it some more for an entire hour. Now, had we gotten to actually see something of the whale, I wouldnt have had any problems with this, but we just would see it come up for air, and then it would disappear again. After a while we eventually moved on and went to the famous Hole in the Rock and got to go through the hole in the boat and came back towards the bay and ran into some bottlenose dolphins, which are the type of dolphins you swim with because they are patient and like to play. But by this time we had run out of time, and so were not allowed to swim with the dolphins. It was sad, but we had fun anyway. For the rest of the weekend, we just kind of relaxed. We went kayaking and walked around town. It was lovely. Then back to school again, where I had to write a paper and an outline for a research paper which both had to be finished before Friday because I was leaving to go meet my parents and aunt and uncle. Yes, thats right! My parents and aunt and uncle came to visit me! We met in Auckland, and then flew down to Queenstown where we stayed for a couple of days. We visited Milford Sound and took a cruise there. We also took a cruise on the lake in Queenstown as well as rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain and went lugeing. It was a blast! And the view was amazing! The mountains down south are so high and very gorgeous. Then we went up to the Franz Joseph Glacier and took a bush walk out to the tip of the glacier. It was pretty cool. Had it not been raining we would have taken a heli ride to the glacier and gotten to climb around on the glacier, but it was sweet just the same. We then came over to Christchurch and stayed there for a night and then up to Picton to catch the ferry to Wellington. Christchurch is a very English town and has lots of older buildings that are breathtaking. There is a church in the middle of the main square, which is the biggest church in the whole south island. We went to the Cantebury museum there, which was very interesting and lovely. We are then heading back up to Hamilton because my family wants to see my campus. It has been a great trip so far, and I have missed them so much! I am glad they got to see New Zealand, though, because you can only show so many pictures. The real experience is being here. Ta ta for now! Kia Ora! Megan

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