Kia ora everyone,
It’s my third week of classes at Otago and they’re very different from Linfield! I have one lecture with about 100 people and another with over 300 people. Assignments being turned in only have your student ID number and attendance in tutorials are taken by ID number. My other paper is very fun and I am really enjoying it so far! The paper is about Pacific Health and the culture of the Pacific Islands. The lecturers are from Samoa and very laid back and funny. Last week we learned how to say Hello in Samoa, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. We also learned from a guest lecturer how to do part of the traditional welcome dance in the Cook Islands. All of my papers also have tutorials led by tutors to discuss lecture content and prepare for exams or assignments.
During the first week of school, I signed up for the tramping (hiking) club and the winter sports club. The tramping club has lots of members so to attend a trip you have to put your name into a raffle and people are selected randomly. For the first trip, about 100 people were signed up and only 57 could go. Juliet, some of our other friends, and I were all lucky to get into the Lord of The Rings themed Bushball trip! We left Saturday morning at 6 am on a big bus and drove 4 hours to Wanaka where we ate at Red Star Burgers for lunch. The burger was huge and the best one I’ve had in New Zealand! During the bus ride, we did speed dating where the person in the aisle had to move to another seat for 5 minutes and then move onto another seat. I met lots of new people from Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, and the US. We drove another hour to the car park after lunch where everyone was shuttled to the trailhead. The tramp was about 5.5 miles and only took 3 hours to get to the Mt. Aspiring Hut. Along the way, we played sword limbo and other fun games! When we got to the hut the group leaders made us dinner and the rest of the night was a dance party until 1 am. All the bunk beds were taken so Juliet and I had to sleep on the floor in the main room along with 20 other people. At 8 am the next morning we were woken and ate breakfast before we packed up and cleaned everything. The 3-hour tramp out was beautiful since there were clear skies and no rain like the previous day. We stopped in Wanaka again for dinner and made it back to Dunedin around 9 pm.
Another trip I’ve done so far is with one of my flatmates and some of her friends to the Catlins. We left Saturday morning and made many scenic stops along the way to Slope Point. Our first stop was at Nugget Point and the sky was still pink from sunrise making it so beautiful! We then went to tunnel hill, Horseshoe Falls, Matai Falls, and Curio Bay. We spent the night at a backpacking hostel on a farm where my flatmate got to feed the sheep! The next morning we went to Slope Point, the furthest southern tip in New Zealand, and almost got blown away from the wind! Next, we went back to Curio Bay and saw the petrified forest and did the penguin walk. Sadly we didn’t see any penguins but it was still a pretty walk. It was raining pretty hard at this point so we decided to head back to Dunedin. We stopped at a cafe along the way and got some really good hot chocolate and lunch to warm us up.