DAY 21: February 3, 2010 Wednesday
Today Group B went to the local pool with our kayaks! We practiced saving people who were rolled over in their kayaks as well as getting rescued. It was harder than I expected. Good thing I'm really great at holding my breath :) It made me excited to get out there in a real river. Afterwards, Alex and I were really tired so we napped. I ate dinner and did NOT shower before class ha. This Wednesday night class (History of the Church in NZ) is going to be taught by Sister Jenni Ngnahooro and she seems like a really interesting person. She complemented my pounamou, my greenstone.
DAY 22: February 4, 2010 Thursday
Sitting in another class. 8:00 a.m. Didn't pay attention at all really, but got lost in thinking about my weaknesses and how I can use my time here to work on making them strengths.
Went and looked around for service hours, bought some amazing earrings, then napped at Queen's Park. Later, we went with James and Isaac to Jame's parents and picked raspberries and tomatoes. Isaac was eating this thing that was like a GIANT pea pod and I asked him what it was. He said, "I don't know what it is but it's ripe and yummy!" Then he popped it into his front-toothless mouth and smiled :)
DAY 23: February 5, 2010 Friday
Oh my goodness. I went to the Velodrome today! It. Was. Awesome! The lady said I had talent! It was pretty hard to do and my legs were shot at the end of it. When we were done we ate our packed lunches then went to SIT. We went to a flax weaving exhibition and talked to this Maori guy for a while. Then we bought a hairdryer and straightener at this store called Farmers, and I went back to campus. I was going to read but I ended up talking to Eric on facebook for a long time instead, but it was much more worth my time than my homework. Then I rode my bike forever to get to the church and played volleyball. Fun day!
DAY 24: February 6, 2010 Saturday
Today was Waitangi Treaty day. It's kind of like the 4th of July but not quite, because the treaty was written by white people and the Maoris signed it not knowing exactly what the treaty entailed. Things are better now but it was kind of controversial. Anyway, there was a sunrise ritual at 6 a.m. that we went to. If you've seen Whale Rider, the part where the have a Mitai, or that thing where the woman sings out to the man/group of visitors. A woman (hostess) was singing out to us (visitors) and we walked slowly into some seats that were facing two rows of other seats, filled with the hosts (men only). Then each man on our side would get up and introduce his group to the chief, to the men we were facing. In the BOM where people always say I'm so-and-so, and my fathers were blah blah and so on, in Maori culture you tell what waka (boat) you came to the island on. Luckily, there was a man who could speak some Maori and knew how the ritual worked that spoke for all the SIT students. Then the corresponding women of the man introducing (the women sat behind the men) would stand and sing a song. It was all really cool. The food afterwards was nasty though. It was this fermented corn stuff that smelled like a mix between really bad morning breath and straight up vomit. Blah.
Alex and I went home and back to bed for a while. We headed to Queen's where the Buskers festival was going on haha. We'll never get away from that festival. We headed to this DELICIOUS icecream place and then to Tressa & Rachel's. Then to the park for frisbee and a movie. Got home at 1 a.m. Good day.
DAY 25: February 7, 2010 Sunday
James and Anna gave us a ride to church again today! Most wonderful thing EVER! It was raining hard today. Fast meeting was good. The hymns stand out to me lately, and the lyrics just speak to me. I love the hymns.
Alex and I went home, packed for tomorrows three day kayaking/camping trip, ate Anna's delicious food and biscuits. Then Alex grabbed her Zentai suit and we headed to Queen's Park again. The festival had ended and there wasn't really anyone there but the few encounters she did have were so funny! While she was doing that, Rachel, Tressa, and I taught some Shakespeare festival actors a cheer to do. It was two old guys and a young really good looking guy with pom poms :) "Prince William, Prince Henry, their parents got divorced. Charles married Kamilla but she looks like a horse!" Came home and raided the kitchen, oops. Cheese and apricot jam. Get this, the flavor of the cheese was "Tasty." It was called "Tasty Cheese."
DAY 26: February 8, 2010 Monday
Got up, headed to SIT, drove to Borland with the group for our Kayaking trip. Took the entire drive to think about starting my own Swim and Tennis club someday. We'll see. Arrived, set up camp, split into Group A and B. A went Kayaking and B went for a walk. It was actually super amazing. We headed into an enchanted forest. It was like Fanghorn, seriously. Thick, green, squishy. The forest floor was dry but it was spongy and bouncy. Trippiest place I've ever been in. After that, we went to the pond to practice kayaking. Came back, ate, sat around, frisbee. Then a de-breifing with Toni, Dave, and John (instructors.) Then a few of us headed into Fanghorn in the dead of night. We walked around and tried playing tricks on each other. It was PITCH black and pretty creepy. But we found a clearing near the river and looked at the stars for a while. They were so bright and clear. It was amazing.
DAY 27: February 9, 2010 Tuesday
Oh. My. Goodness. I woke up this morning with NO LEGS! The bugs ate them. HUGE bites all up my left leg and bites all around the pant leg line of my right. GAHHH! These sand flies are awful. Anyway, headed to the river and found out that kayaking rapids was much harder then I anticipated. You think, "bah, kayaking is easy," but it was a constant struggle. Despite the frustration, the river was beautiful and I can see why people love it. I just need LOTS of practice. I flipped over twice but I never bailed! I held my breath for EVER and John rescued me. Yessss!
Thought a lot today about my personality. I decided I'm not an extremely fun creative person. That's alright. I also decided I wasn't a malicious person. Thought a lot about small choices leading to bigger choices, either good or bad. Lot's of time to think about what ever I want these days. It's great.
DAY 28: February 10, 2010 Wednesday
Woke up to a big *SMACK by Julianne. "There was a bug!" Yeah right ;)
Ate, packed up everything and took off for the river. It was cold and cloudy and no one really wanted to get in. But slowly, many people got in the kayaks and just worked around this little eddie we were at. I didn't get in the kayaks but I DID jump off a cliff. However, I only did it once because it hurt my ear really bad. Shivered, changed, ate, de-briefed, drove home, got ice cream on the way, ate Anna's delicious taco salad type thing, showered, went to class, went to a friends' for toast, went home. Fun filled day number 28.
DAY 29: February 11, 2010 Thursday
SFL 100 is a love/hate relationship. I want to spit when I'm in there but then, I WANT to believe the teachings. I hate the teachings and the way the class is laid out...etc. but I'm TRYING to soften my heart. I don't want to be a hard-A with a closed mind and heart. The Lord is helping me through this class and I'm so thankful. I want to be teachable.
I went to the old folks home to do some service. We just organized a huge nasty closet and I loved it :) We got ice cream on the way home and the same place I got some the other day. HUGE scoops dipped in chocolate for only $2.50. Went home, relaxed, went to Queen's, had a sleepover at our place, downed two bags of chips, two bags of popcorn, a 2 litre coke, and two slabs of chocolate. So fun