Life out in the Wapwaps

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The walk to town – about 45 minutes, but pretty nonetheless

Another week come and gone already!  Summer’s starting to fade here in New Zealand, although it’s still shorts season for now.  This past week has been fun and scenic, although Jake, Brittany and I are all still getting used to the kiwi way of life (and prices).  The last bit of our orientation took us to a local sheep farm and a local cow (dairy) farm, both owned by Massey University.

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A sheep dog showing off his herding skills

Our group of friends also took advantage of the waning summer days and rented a van to see the local beach, Himatangi.  I got quite sunburned despite putting on sunscreen…I guess that hole in the ozone thing is true.  We’ve also hit the town a couple of times, and explored what Palmy has to offer here.  There was a pizza place we found called “Hell’s Pizza.”  They offered a free “pizza roulette” option, where tiny pieces of ghost pepper (the hottest pepper known on earth) would be hidden on a slice of the pizza for some unlucky fellow to discover.  Their slogan was, “it’s free, but somebody pays.”  Two out of the five pizzas we ordered were pizza roulettes – it’s was pretty funny but a couple people were in tears by the end of dinner!

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Hell’s Pizza’s to-go boxes had to be punched out of the center of the real pizza box and assembled into a mini-coffin

But life up here in the Atawhai wapwaps, or “the sticks,” is pretty nice.  Our little neighborhood has learned that sharing dinners is cheaper and more fun.  So far we’ve shared authentic Chinese noodles, ziti, potatoes and salad, veggie butter noodles, stuffed potatoes, and spaghetti and meat sauce (catching onto the new-to-cooking-college-students-who-like-easy-pasta-dishes theme?) and we’re anticipating Jambalaya from a New Orleans native.

We haven’t kept completely to ourselves though, and I’m confident in saying the rumor is true, people here in New Zealand really are genuinely nice.  They think we’re a bit funny, and occasionally make fun of our accents and phrases, and we’ve been called “so American,” whatever that means, but overall people around here are chill, and friendly, and down to earth.  Fewer people here are into adventure and outdoor activities than I expected, but it’s no matter.  Another thing I found interesting was that lot of people who live in New Zealand weren’t born here.  We’ve met “kiwis” from Nepal, India, Canada, England, Holland, America, Scotland, Fiji, and pretty much where ever.  Odd.  But cool.

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The beautiful square in the middle of Palmy

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Almost-life-sized chess in the park? Why not!

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Some of our friends walking across the bridge. And Jake playing his pink guitar :)

Speaking of life here being chill, I’ve been to at least one lecture in all of my papers (classes) so far.  This semester I’m taking Physics for Life Sciences, Fauna of New Zealand, Methods of Mathematics, and Political Anthropology.  So far I like them all.  The first Physics lecture was interesting.  It was a huge lecture hall that was filled with about a thousand pre-vet or vet students (slight exaggeration).  The two teachers walked in and started playing Pink Floyd while they pulled up the powerpoints.  One of them could have passed for a 25 year old surfer, and the other was a slightly older pony-tailed guy wearing an undershirt with an unbuttoned button-up shirt, cargo pants, and no shoes.  They wanted us to call them Steve and Bill.  Bill then proceeded to give a very interesting, very picture-filled, very enthusiastic lecture about why we should be interested in physics and what this class would be like.  I think it’s gonna be a good semester.

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A game of soccer on the beach!

 

 

I can’t say I’m sure what the next week has in store, but I’m sure it will be new and interesting and fun!  So until next time, thanks for reading and enjoy the week!

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