Kia Ora

Kia Ora or hi! I made it to New Zealand safe and sound and am getting settled into my flat. I left the US on the forth of July and thanks to the international date line arrived in New Zealand on the 6th. Then it was off to the IFSA-Butler orientation for until Monday. The staff did a great job of helping us get over jet lag. This mainly consisted of feeding us six or seven times a day. No lie the first day we had breakfast on the plane at about 4AM then tea and cookies before getting on the bus, more food once we got off the bus, lunch, kai (food), kai and finally dinner. It was my kind of orientation. We did a lot more than just eat though.
The red building is where we stayed
We stayed at the YMCA lodge in the Shakespear Regional Park. The location was great. The ocean is in one direction, fields in another and forest in another.

the view from the beach
Over the course of the weekend we went sea kayaking, hiking (or wandering as they called it), rock climbing, and on a scavenger hunt. We also got to go to some hot springs with water slides. When they were telling us about this I was expecting some kind of natural pool with a little slide going into it. However, it was actually a legit water park. The black hole actually pretty intense. After the water park we went over to the pub for some drinks. Overall it was a great way to start the semester.
The last night of orientation we went to stay at a marae which is a meeting house of the Maori aka the native people of New Zealand. We went through a complicated welcoming ceremony and got to see a recreation of a village. It was a great way to end the weekend.
On the last day we went to the Auckland Museum then traveled to our schools. Sadly I'm the only person who picked Massey Albany out of the 33 people in our group. I've already met a bunch of new people though and am currently getting ready to head out to the pub for an orientation event. I'll be sure to do a post all about the school orientation when I have some more time.
some Maori carvings


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