Wednesday, November 24, 2010
(Cough, cough) Um, hello. Hello? Is this blog on? Yeah? I can just go for it? Alright. Uh, yeah. Hello there! Hey! Hi! Sorry about that whole period of silence... It was fairly ridiculous. Quite long. But, we can just forget about it and move forward, right? Right. Cool. I'd like to let you all know that it is almost the end of week ten here at the crossing. Lots has happened since week four, which was my last update to all of my dear internet friends and family. Blogging really isn't my strong suit. A few things that have happened: a three day hiking trip, which was fantastically awesome because I got to see, walk through, touch, and taste snow. My number one goal for my time in NZ has been fulfilled. Also, I completed two 5-6 page bible studies. My ministry team is organizing a youth event. And a myriad of other things. I got stubbies, for one thing. Which are like manly NZ short shorts. Americans would say they are short. I have a number of fantastic tan lines. I wrote a song the other day. A largeish project is due next week. I think the most difficult thing about blogging is it doesn't talk back. It doesn't respond, so it's difficult to respond back. It's like having a girlfriend that never talks to you. You just keep pouring thoughts and experiences and memories into her, and she looks blankly at you. I'd rather have a playful dog. But, I will try to throw something up on here every once in a while. For posterity's sake, at least.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'm still in New Zealand. And it's still fantastically amazing. And you should still be jealous. I'm writing to you at the end of week four of school here at The Crossing. So far, it's been great. This week we went though the Progress of Redemption, which is a general overview of the bible. It was a really cool reminder of how interconnected the bible is and what an amazing story it tells. This week, I've bought tim tams, played tennis, broke two bikes, stuck half an oreo on my head, slept in and almost missed breakfast(yesterday), have thoroughly enjoyed spreading marmite on one piece of toast each morning, and of course drank lots of tea. I've come to realize that tim tams are dangerously addictive. I'll open a package, and they be gone the next day. It's ridiculous. Because of this, I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I can no longer purchase tim tams, unless it is an incredibly special occasion. A few days ago, a couple of us decided to bike to some tennis courts a distance away from the school. We started out on our journey quite well. Then, a few metres out of the driveway, my bike suddenly stopped working. The gears wouldn't turn the wheel. So, we stopped for a while, tried to figure out the problem, and after a few tries Chris(who's definitely lighter than I am) hopped on the bike and took off. So, we continued on our journey. A few minutes later, I was biking along, happy as could be, and the chain on the bike I was on literally fell off. Fortunately, we had a bungee cord and was able to tow it there and back with another bike. It was quite the experience. The oreo game is quite excruciating. I'll teach you sometime. Marmite is simply scrumptious. It's really difficult to describe, but if you ever get the chance to try it out, spread butter on your toast, then thinly spread marmite across the top. Nothing like it. Well, that's my short update for the week, if you want to know more, you'll simply have to ask.
Friday, October 8, 2010
This week I went to a kids camp in Gore, NZ to be a counselor for our ministry week. We have one ministry week a semester, when we split up into teams and (obviously) do various ministries. Half of the students went to a camp in Christchurch, and the other half, my group, went to Camp Columba in Gore. After a 5 hour drive from Geraldine, we made it there. We spent a few days going over policies and procedures and playing games with the other leaders, which was pretty cool. I was quite enthralled with the accent at the beginning of the week, especially when the kids showed up on monday. I slipped into it occasionally if I surrounded by kiwis. By the end of the week I barely noticed the accent. I had to think about it. Anyway, kids showed up monday. They were from 10-14 years old. I had the oldest cabin, which had about 11-12 kids from 12-14 years old. I counseled with a guy a year older than me and about a head taller, Mark Taylor. He'd been there the year before and most everybody knew him. He was a funny guy, I'm glad I counseled with him. (Just a side note, picture everyone I write about as a kiwi. Everyone.) Also in my cabin, I had two massive twins who were 13. They were taller than me, fairly stocky, and they had more facial hair than I did. Luckily, they were well behaved. At first I was mildly terrified. How do you disciple a 13 year old with facial hair? I actually didn't spend too much time with my cabin because of the way the camp was set up. We had our cabins and then we had our teams. I was on the orange team with another kiwi girl who was 16. We were in charge of 5 guys and 3 girls, 10-11 years old. That was when camp got interesting. Monday wasn't too bad, I had energy, was stoked for camp, and then tuesday hit. Tuesday was probably the longest day of my life. The girls on my team weren't too bad. The guys were exactly the same as the girls. There was a really strange phenomenon I discovered. When speaking to the guys on my team, I had to say the exact same thing at least three times before I was even recognized. It then took another three times(at least) before my request was carried out. It was quite sad, really. It's a horrible disability. If my kid ever inherits it I'm going to hit him. In love, of course. But he's still going to get hit. My team did get better over the week and I did develop relationships with most of them. It just took a lot of patience that I realized I didn't have on my own. One thing I can say about the first few days was I had to rely on God to get through each hour. I looked forward to bedtime, yearned for it, as soon as we finished breakfast and all throughout the day. I think that was tuesday, mostly. As the week progressed, the kids became more manageable and I actually started to enjoy myself. I could tell you tons more stuff, like the fight I had to break up between two of my kids, and the sweet games, but I really just wanted to let everyone know that it was a great week, I learned a lot, don't regret a minute of it, and I'm incredibly glad to be back at the Crossing, my home. (For a while, anyway. (Don't freak out, mom, home is still my home, the Crossing is just an amazing home now, I miss you and love you guys.))
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Hello there! It's been a while. I've missed you. You may have missed me. Well, it's no matter, we're together now, and that's all that counts. Just take a few moments and stare deeply into my eyes... Bask in the glory of information. How powerful this is. Knowledge. It's been quite a while since I updated the blog, and for good reason. I've been having a blast. Hanging out with the individuals that I will spend the next 8 or 9 months with, playing ultimate, being Alaskan amongst many North Americans, eating delicious food, running in the mornings(really, I have been, monday wednesday friday, usually), doing homework(which is not as considerable a task as I originally thought), listening to amazing lecturers and watching great sermons, skyping people halfway across the world that talk about how awesome God is, contemplating the future, and so on and so forth. It's been fantastic. Since I have failed to update the blog for so long, I won't be able to relate to you the entirety of the two first weeks at Capernwray, which really is a shame because they were so great. But from here on out I will attempt to keep up on this a lot better. This is the first step. That's mostly what I wanted to tell all of you lovely people. Mostly that and this: I will be departing for a bible camp located in Gore, NZ which is about a 5 hour drive from here, and I will be there all week. Therefore, I will not be able to access facebook or update this incredible blog. (Heartbreaking, I know.) That is all. Continue to rock the party, my dear friends. I feel like I know you so well already.
To live is Christ.
To live is Christ.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Well, hello. I have been having a fantastic time here at The Crossing. There is a total of thirteen students, ages ranging from 17 to 22. This past week has been amazing, we're practically already family, and it feels like its been weeks rather than days. I got on the bus from the hostel on monday at 9:30 in the morning, tentatively scoping out the other passengers, wondering who were my fellow students. We had a few hour ride in which mostly other Kiwi passengers talked. We all piled out at Geraldine and waited in the windy weather for our ride to the crossing. Jordan, who had been here the year before was letting us know how most everything worked. We mostly just stood around and had a few bits of conversation concerning names, where we were from, why we came, etc. We got a ride from Gen to the Crossing, where we had our first meal. It was lunchtime, and we had stuffed potatoes. Cheese and potato and goodness. I'll never forget that meal. Delish. The other students showed up a little later in the afternoon and we played a few games, which was super fun. I taught them the three objects game, which they were irritated by. Props to Andy for teaching us all on the jr high float trip when I was in 6th or 7th grade.
Alright. I wrote this a few days ago, haven't gotten around to posting it till now. Here you go
Alright. I wrote this a few days ago, haven't gotten around to posting it till now. Here you go
Sunday, September 19, 2010
For those of you who are curious, I slept quite well last night, due to the fact that I was able to sleep in an actual bed. That's right, no more airport floors and corners for me, I reposed quite comfortably with sheets, a blanket, and an actual pillow! It was quite fantastic. When I first got to the hostel, I was the only one in my dorm, but that afternoon two guys from the UK showed up. Later last night a guy from Spain or somewhere showed up, and this morning a guy from France arrived. They're all pretty cool, fairly chill. The guys from the UK dubbed me "Jay-Jay". Cool beans. I talk to them most, just as we go in and out of the dorm. Nobody's sketch, so I'm confident my bags won't be rifled. If anyone's considering traveling, hostels are the way to go. As I've already written, I'm staying at the Coachman, which is a hostel here in Christchurch. It's located in a very cool section of town, which I believe is the "City Centre". Yep. Tonight is my last night here in Christchurch, because tomorrow morning I depart for Geraldine on a naked bus. Don't worry. It's just a company. It's a normal bus. Yesterday and today I've been walking around Christchurch, on streets with names such as Glouchester, Hereford, Liverpool, and Cashel. I haven't gotten too lost. Only once or twice. You may have seen the pictures on facebook of my various adventures. There's some really cool stuff here. Statues, old buildings, lots of touristy shops, a huge flipping cathedral. Because of the earthquake, there's quite a bit of construction going on, which is too bad. Some sections of the area have been shut down for renovations and repairs and such. But I've mostly just wandered the streets, gone into various shops. It's been fun. Next time I travel, I definitely would like to be with friends though. The excitement of being away fromfamily, alone and confident in the world, wears off after you realize there's no one to be excited with. I'm still having a blast, though, wouldn't trade this time for anything. Also: I used a phonebooth today, called home, talked to my mom. That was really good. Glad we could talk, even if it was like a $40 conversation. Twas worth it. (Don't worry, mom, that's NZD, so its really like a quarter. Basically.) I've been skyping and chatting with my friends and family all during my time here and my travels here. Glad to have the contact. Don't be afraid to message me or chat or whatever. I'd love to talk. Well, tomorrow I'm off to school. A few of my classmates will be on the bus to Geraldine tomorrow, so that should be good. Can't wait to rock the party at The Crossing. Kinder egg.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Well, after a nine hour layover in LAX (which always makes me want to sing the miley cyrus song), about a 12-13 hour flight over the Pacific and a quick flight (relatively speaking) to Christchurch, I have arrived in New Zealand. On the flight to Christchurch I just stared out the window, looked at the beautiful country, the greenness, the sheep, and thought to myself, I bloody love this country. It's beautiful. After a brief hiccup involving my visa-evidently it wasn't in the system- I walked out into the street and into spring. Random fact- right before immigration, just as you enter, there's a huge "duty free" shop filled with nothing but perfume, cartons of cigarettes, and copious amounts of alcohol. Every size, shape and type you could imagine. It was ridiculous. Also, I exchanged quite a bit of my money at the LAX at an exchange rate of .83, which I thought was a little strange. Upon getting to New Zealand, I saw that they exchanged their currency at a rate of .77. Though not a huge difference, when exhanging hundreds of dollars, its quite irritating. And for those of you who have only experienced alaska airlines, you're missing out. I took air new zealand across the pacific, and it was crazy awesome. Two free meals, movies, games, tv, music. For. Free. I played tetris! Quite fantastic. I took an airport shuttle to a hostel, the coachman. Admittedly a little sketch, but whatevs. I got a dorm all to myself, for the time being anyway. Zack, you would absolutely hate it. Stowed my stuff there, grabbed all my mostly important things and am now at an internet cafe. Crazy. I'm just very stoked on NZ in general. Hopefully it wears off when I have to come home. I've been taking pictures, but I haven't had the opportunity to post any, for lack of adequate wifi and such. Also, I don't really like taking pictures of just the landscape or trees or things of that nature, so generally take pictures on the rare occasion that I can fit myself in there. So, I try to post them sometime, perhaps when I get to school. I'd appreciate your prayers for everything in general! Things have been quite smooth the whole way through, so praise God. Also... I'm in the future. Yeah. You heard me right. Its September 18th here. The future. Be jealous.