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Journals from Waikato-New Zealand Fall 09

2009-11-18 Finally Home

Sunday, October 17th, 2009 All right, so it is officially the beginning of our study week break. It is very similar to dead week at bigger universities in the States. There are no classes, and no exams. Some professors make assignments due, while others expect that you are studying for your exams. Most kiwi students went home to their families and played all week, but some kiwis were actually studying. A lot of the international students decided to travel. I have a friend who went up North to Cape Rianga and another couple of friends who traveled around the Coromandel Peninsula. In all honesty, I dont know why I didnt make travel plans. I could have easily gone somewhere for a week and come back refreshed and ready to study. I think, though, that I am just getting to the point of enjoying my last few weeks with my friends. It doesnt really matter what we do, or where we do it. In fact, I am kind of sick of traveling, which seems really strange to me since that is all I have been doing for the last several months. In all, I think this week was good for me to just hang out and sleep in. Some of the boys were getting restless, though. Today, my friend Jordan sent me a text asking me if I wanted to go on a road trip. We didnt know where we were going to go, but we would be back to campus that night, theoretically. I didnt have anything better to do. It was a blast! Our friend Lance is a kiwi and has a car, so he offered to drive if we would split petrol. It was us three and my friend Krystal and we were off, singing at the top of our lungs and driving around New Zealand without a care in the world. We ended up going to Coromandel and the Coromandel Peninsula. Lances grandparents live in Coromandel and none of us three Americans had been there before. We were going to stop in and see Lances grandparents, but he said we would be there all day, and he didnt really seem too keen on stopping anyway, so we kept going. We ended up at Hot Water Beach. Here there is a hot springs underneath the beach, and at certain points on the beach you are supposed to be able to dig a hole and feel the warm water. What we didnt know is that you have to do it during low tide. We got to the beach around late to mid afternoon, and the tide had already begun to come in. I am sure we just looked absolutely ridiculous trying to find the warm spots in the sand. There werent any, it turns out, because the tide had already covered them. But it was fun to make fools out of ourselves anyway. When we got sick of the not-so-warm-water beach, we decided we would try to hike to Coromandel beach. Unfortunately we discovered that it was a forty-minute hike one way, and the sun was beginning to set. It would have been beautiful if we had prepared for it, but we were definitely not prepared and decided against walking around in the dark for forty minutes. By the time we got back to Hamilton, we were all starving, and the only place that was open on our way back to campus was Burger King. We ended up sitting in the Burger King for about an hour talking and laughing about the days events. It is definitely one of my best memories in New Zealand. Kia Ora, Megan

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