Kia ora once again!!!
The winter temperatures and wetness have given up to summer’s humidity and long days. People have transitioned from heavy coats to tanks and shorts. There is an everyday party of cricket, pick-up rugby matches, and gaggles of girls gossiping on their blankets out on the big fields and around the lakes. Hokey pokey ice cream is almost an accessory and the halls are quieter than ever, with everyone out and about.
It has been wonderful to see the seasons unfold here in New Zealand. We also got to experience the pre-Rugby World Cup environment, be festive in the Cup fever, and take part in the post-Cup atmosphere as well. We got to catch live matches, as well as watch them on the big screens at the pubs. We purchased some All Blacks gear and we cheered on the many nations involved in the tournament. We got to live the dramatic win of the All Blacks and also found ourselves feet away from the Web Ellis Rugby Cup when a few All Blacks players escorted it to Hamilton. It has been a wonderful adventure filled with smiles, cheers, and face paint.
We have also toured a great part of the country--between studies, of course. We got to see the South Island. It was gorgeous. All the mountains capped with snow, all the rivers filled with crystal-clear waters, and all the beaches filled with soothing sands sparkled with marine-life and seashells. The North Island was beautiful and full of spirit. There was Raglan’s horizon of wave after wave, Waitomo’s underground caves of glowworms and black eels, Waitangi and the treaty grounds, the paradise of the Bay of Islands, the sulfuric smell of Rotorua, the spirituality of Cape Reinga, and the hospitality of Hamilton. So many opportunities, and so many memories.