Kia Ora Everyone,
I’ve now been in Dunedin for over a week and my semester abroad has already been full of adventure! I arrived in Dunedin on June 29 after almost 20 hours of traveling time. I flew from Spokane to San Francisco to Aukland and finally to Dunedin. When I arrived in Aukland my checked bags were not at the airport and my carry-on was too heavy for the Air New Zealand carry-on weight limit of 7 kg. The airline is very strict about this weight limit so I was forced to check my carry-on. Luckily when I arrived in Dunedin my recently checked bag was there but my other checked luggage was still missing. So I grabbed my carry on, hopped onto the shuttle I had booked through my school, and finally made my way to the University. Luckily it only took two days for me to receive an email from the airline saying my bags were ready to be picked up.
I was the second to arrive at my flat but the other girl was very jet lagged and sleeping. It was a little lonely moving into my flat without others there and very little of my belongings but another flatmate showed up a couple of hours later. We tried going to the store but everything within walking distance was closed so we ordered food to be delivered. I had only gotten a couple of hours of sleep on the plane so I went to bed as late as I could manage and woke up very early the next day. I spent most of the day with Juliet (who also goes to Linfield) exploring Dunedin and the University even though many things are closed on Sunday. When another one of my flatmates arrived we made our way to the grocery store where I barely recognized anything! There was a much larger variety of fruits and vegetables, a small selection of American brands, eggs were not stored in the refrigerated section, and everything was more expensive. I made very little purchases that trip but got the necessary supplies for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
I spent the rest of the week exploring nearby beaches and meeting lots of new people. We went to Tunnel Beach, Sandfly Bay, Allans Beach, and Long Beach. Tunnel Beach had a really steep walk down but the views were so worth the difficult walk back up. At the bottom of the track, you could walk through a tunnel right to the shore to watch the waves hit the rock cliffs. Sandfly Bay also had a steep walk in sandy dunes to the beach but we got to see Sea Lions! At Long Beach, we went during sunset and I collected lots of small pretty shells. Long Beach also had caves that we explored and plan on camping at in the future! But out of all the beaches I’ve been to so far Allan’s beach was my favorite. We walked for a couple of hours along the shore and watched the biggest waves I’ve ever seen come in and hit the rock cliffs.
I finally adjusted to the 19 hour time change after about 4 days but am still trying to get adjusted to sunset being at 4:30. I’m also still adjusting to it being mid-winter and 50 degrees when its nice and sunny at home. My flat is now full of food and all my flatmates are here getting along really well so far! Our living complex has had multiple functions to meet all our neighbors and hopefully, I continue to meet more people and explore the beautiful country!