Friday, November 30, 2012

Dockside days and Goodbyes

Well its been long enough of me being back here that I should update about the goodbyes and my last days in the beautiful NZ. Its been difficult to readjust to the time here and I have found myself getting to bed around 3:30 am and up around noon each day. It doesn't help that the days are much shorter here, the sun setting around 5 pm compared to almost 9 in Wellington. As per usual, temporary life change depression is occupying the majority of my days. Being sad from leaving such a wonderful place and a schedule I'd grown to love and being thrown back into a different life at a different time where nothing is clean and organized and I have to stress about it. At least everything is unpacked and sorted now *deep breathes* But mostly I just want to be left alone to think and reflect, or sleep.

Its been so great to catch up with everyone stateside, being able to text again on a touchscreen and not having to scramble for internet at work or the library. Here are some highlights from my last days in Wellington.

UPDATE: I have fixed the google doc link if it was not working before. Also, I got my luggage ^_^

Last week of work, I got a pinwheel.

I had a good list of things I wanted to do before I left and one of those was going up to Mt Vic again for the sunset. Kelly was nice enough to drive me up there so I would not have to walk, She was amazing that we'd picked one of the only non gale wind nights to come up and watch it. It got chilly pretty fast, and even though Wellington sunsets usually aren't the best, it was nice to look out all over the town that I'd spent my last 3 months of life in. Beautiful clouds, but it started to get too dark to see anything or photo pretty quickly.

Thursday night was my goodbye, we all headed to Havana Bar after the meeting, what a cool place, and a great kept secret of Wellington. It was a bit small though for our large group, so we ended up over at Southern Cross again, outdoors with heaters and big booths, can't beat that.

That awkward trying to get the whole table in the shot thing...

Friday afternoon Pania and I decided to do that thing that everyone talks about doing but usually doesn't do, jumping into Wellington Harbor. It was a back and fourth joke that turned into a "you're going to do it? alright. I'm going to do it too!" It was pretty breezy out and we actually had a considerable crowd of tourists interested in what we were doing. I'm sure we'll end up on a whole slew of Chinese vacation albums...

The Warf..

Kelly was nice enough to count us down... and we decided to hold hands so that we both actually jumped, haha. The water was not as cold as I had thought it would be, but immediately a whole bunch of salt went up my nose and mouth and was quite disgusting. We were shivery, but happy. The french boys are next! 

Saturday, all the goodbye photos started. 

Sandra took me to the airport for my flight and Kelly met us there, we hung out in style. The Wellington airport is such a cool place. It was done half vacation like and half middle earth for the Hobbit premiere. 

My last delicious coffee until I can get back... 

A glimpse at the Hobbit plane at Auckland Airport, on its way to London to load up with fans for the premiere.

Annnnnd back at LAX. That big thing in the middle. Uhg, I hate that airport so much. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last day of work

Last bus ride to work 

A photo of a cool building downtown. 

Starting to get very sad about leaving, temporary life-change depression I call it. I also despise moving all my stuff from place to place, so packing this week, even though its very little things, has made me quite angry. But I am sad to be leaving all my new found friends here, the routine my life has become, and of course the beautiful surroundings. I'd like to hope i'll be able to come back someday if I can ever save up enough money for another flight over.. There is still so much I would like to see and experience here. Leaving friends is always hard too. 

In other news, Mount Tongariro erupted yesterday, I think it was one of the sites used in the LOTR movies or something, but everyone is all in a frenzy here about it. I don't think many were injured though it is a popular tourist destination this time of the year. Here is a photo from the interwebs

Pretty cool 

Today is my last day at Weltech working here, we went out for a nice lunch yesterday at a BBQ place in town (it was super messy and American, which is why I wanted to go there :D ), a good time, food was alright. 

This will be my last post from NZ, I go offline after work today then fly out Saturday afternoon (Friday night for you all) and get back into the states Saturday night and start the get readjusted to the time difference process again :/ 

Thank you, as always, for reading and keeping up with my adventure here :) Its been great and I look forward to where life takes me next.. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

With this being a very sad last week in beautiful Aotearoa, I have decided to post my final paper for my academic program with my reflections about being an international intern, stereotypes of Americans abroad, and the cultural obsession of chasing the American dream. Its not the most brilliantly written piece of literature, but a lot of thought and observation went into it. A bit of a read, but here for your enjoyment should you chose to indulge. 


Rotorua Weekend - 2

More photos from the Rotorua weekend 2 weeks ago: 

Exploring Lake Okareka on Saturday afternoon, it got quite warm and I was wearing long sleeves and wool! 

Cass and I birdwatching

Old people just do the cutest things, we couldn't help but take pictures

Looking out at the Tarawera valley, those mountains in the background erupted just over 100 years ago and destroyed all the towns in the area as well as covered the Pink and White terraces, one of New Zealand's wonders of the world. 

This is what they were supposed to look like years ago. 

being natural hot pools, people used to come to bathe in them. Its crazy to think how the eruption covered so much history. They're currently trying to uncover them. 

We went to this pretty funky cafe for lunch on sunday

Plane ride back, air New Zealand just knows how to do things right. 

Another Wellington coastal picture! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rotorua Weekend - 1

Hello! I feel like i'm getting behind in updating this, partially because I have to re-size all my photos now because blogger is being silly, but mostly because we have actually been significantly busy at work the past 2 weeks and I've had a lot to do.

As my time her in New Zealand quickly winds down, I have to say that I am excited to get back to America, there are a lot of things and people that I miss. Also, all the Kiwi's and Europeans that I work with won't make fun of "my accent" anymore! Joy. And Mexican food. Anyways... 

This past weekend I flew up to Rotorua, the volcanic, Maori center of good ol NZ to meet up with one of Kelly's friends, Cassandra. 

"Sweet as, bro" definitely the theme of the weekend. Saw these T shirts at the airport and had they not been $50, would have totally got one.

Wellington is being transformed into Middle Earth right now for the Hobbit premiere in two weeks, right after I leave. This is a huge installation sculpture in the airport's main terminal. It was on the news here, done by the Weta Cave people and probably to welcome all the international guests flying in to see the movie here. 

Its my city! From the airplane ride, another prop plane but a steady flight. We flew right over the harbor and where I work in Petone. 

Sommes Island in the Bay

This is Porirua, where I was last weekend. 

Volcanoes from the plane, its so lovely to fly on a clear day. 

Lake Rotorua! 

After arriving and meeting Cass, we met up with her sister and went to the gondola up the mountain to do some street luge!

I felt cool like my Dad, he had done the luge when he went through Rotorua too. 

Dinosaurs along the track

Cass on the Chairlift back up

Lake Rotorua

I really liked the cafe area at the top of the gondola. They had a jellybean museum at the top of the gondola too! It was pretty cool 


That had to take hours. 

After that Cass took me out to a little known place, Hangarua Springs, beautiful clear lakes and tropical surrounding next to a redwood forest! 

See the gigantic trees was so humbling.

The spring, pennies have been found in there over 100 years old.

We stopped at a wildlife reserve too. 


Can you tell I'm really tired? haha, the advantages of having your body trained to a 10 week schedule for the past 4 years, really really tired at the end but prepared for a big push of final work before a deadline. Hopefully I can get some rest this.... Sunday and have a great final week in this beautiful country.