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Journals from New Zealand, University of Waikato

2011-11-04 Reflection and Departure

 Kia ora from New Zealand…

 It is sad that this will be the last one this semester.  It has been such an awesome opportunity to be here, doing what we’ve done, learning what we’ve learned, experiencing what we’ve experienced.  We all agree that this has definitely been an adventure of a lifetime.

 We started off as acquaintances from a common Linfield community background, and now we are great friends that have become close through such a great time here in New Zealand.  We shared some of the same classes, often studied for exams together, called each other up when we were keen to eat out instead of trying to satisfy our hunger with dormitory dinners; we cheered on the All Blacks together, and we experienced much of the country's beautiful views together.  It has truly been a wonderful ride and it’s sad that things are now at a close.

 We’ve made lots of friends here and learned a lot of new things.  The hype of the Rugby World Cup was something so fun and dramatic and the All Blacks' win in the final match was the icing on the cake.  It was a wonderful way to experience that aspect of Kiwi culture.  Our courses opened our eyes to the history and the culture of New Zealand, and they also gave us the opportunity to reflect on the world we call home.  Viewing  American culture as an outsider was one thing that I never thought to experience here, but having done so, I’d say it was one of the coolest learning moments I’ve had yet.

 With our finals done, the halls empty, and most of our luggage packed, it’s saddening that this dream of four months is now done.  I’m going to miss the bush, the accents, the laid-back lifestyles, and the Cadbury chocolate.  I’m going to miss hopping on buses for a weekend of travel, watching kappa haka, and the lovely personalities of Kiwis.  We’re all satisfied with what we have accomplished here and we are thankful for the experience.  Now, just when the days were getting brighter and longer, we are heading home to our second winter this year…

 Aroha mai, aroha atu.

 Churr Aotearoa!  Its been a blast!

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