Monday, September 7, 2015

On New Zealand, 4 years

As you have likely discovered, we are relocating to San Jose, Costa Rica in November.

I feel extremely sad to be leaving Christchurch and what I consider, quite a great network of life changing people.

I have also learned quite a lot about myself, our relationship, other people and how the USA is viewed in this sector of the world. My goal here in New Zealand, and whenever I travel, was to be the best American people meet. I do not do this out of falsehood for my personal beliefs or personality, but because I might be the only American some people ever meet. This does not mean I am the loudest American, most boastful, most drunk or most aggressive (how the world generally sees us).  I also love people, and find them endlessly fascinating. you can learn something from everyone you meet. you just have to be quiet and listen.

 Living in New Zealand has taught me many things. All of which I find extremely valuable and will carry with me for the rest of my life.

1. You do not have to be in a hurry 
2 . it's OK to take time off of work, even if that means 'no pay'
3. you should know what is in your food
4. most Kiwi's are very humble, a lesson more people can take
5. Fuel is expensive; walk more, bike more
6. Everything is expensive; buy less
7. Kiwi fruit comes in two colours, green and golden, both delicious
8. Every fruit and vegetable should not be available in all seasons
9. You are completely isolated, your network of friends and particularly your husband, is extremely precious
10. The world is small
11. No one knows where New Zealand is located and no one knows what time it is in New Zealand (and no one really cares)
12. you will miss major events and your family and friends back home, all the time
13. people will say they will visit, but they won't and it will break your heart, so enjoy your time and take advantage of all opportunities that come your way

my most favourite things I've done/seen in New Zealand, in non-specific order
1. THE BIRDS ARE AMAZING! Bell birds, fantails, pukeko, tui (two voice boxes), kea, morepork...
1. hiked the Banks Peninsula Track
2. spent the night in Muller Hut
3. spent the night in Mt. Brown Hut
4. dined at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Wellington
5. flew to Stewart Island and landed on the sand of Mason's Bay
6. saw a giant kiwi in the wild (bird not person)
7. saw a takahe in captivity
8 paddled on Doubtful Sound, saw amazingly athletic circus dolphins
9. Lake Ohau
10. met Dan Carter
11. the seals in spring at Kaikoura , so wild hopping through the forest
12. Apollo Power Yoga in Christchurch CBD
13. Mauria hot springs 
14. breathtaking Lindis Pass
15. Godley Head walkway
Lindis Pass

Godley Head Walkway
my most favourite things I've consumed in New Zealand
1. green mussels
2. bluff oysters
3. pork and watercress pie at Hillmorton bakery
4. steak pie and custard square at Sheffield bakery
5. mushrooms on toast and flat white at CafĂ© Lumes on Fitzgerald
6. any pies at the Te Anu pie shop
7. flat white from Laneways Espresso on Durham Street
8. any food from the Monday Room
9. The wine and plentiful wine regions! special mention to Pyramid Valley Winery
10. The soup at Cafe Primo e Secundo in Methvan 
11. Pic's peanut butter 
11b. Marmite (just kidding)

The work in Christchurch has been interesting and I feel proud to have contributed positively to the Christchurch Earthquake recovery efforts though my time at SCIRT and CERA. I have been fortunate to meet literaly hundreds of people from all over the world and now have the pleasure of adding them to my network. I cannot speak highly enough of the the friends we have made here in Christchurch and the numerous adventures we have taken.

I will miss you all dearly and cannot wait to welcome you in Costa Rica with my broken Spanish. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives, city and country, e noho ra. xx

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