Here!

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One 6 hours flight, one 13 hour flights, and one two hour flights + about a dozen hours of lay-overs later – we’re here!  The 13 hour flight was actually probably the easiest one.  Our plane was only about three weeks old.  Dinner was surprisingly good, and even came with haagen daz caramel ice cream (dad’s favorite!).  They also had literally every season of every TV show you could think of, plus a lot of the latest movies.  First class has couches to sleep on which was super fancy, but probably costs an arm and a leg.

The sunrise in Auckland was absolutely breathtaking, and the last flight over to Dunedin. I just couldn’t stop looking outside of the window.  It’s unreal how BLUE the water is here, and so clear!

I was going to originally wait a couple of days to post again, but I just lost some of my flatmates on campus so I had some free time to wander back here and write.  I have so far only met 3 my 5 flatmates, and they’re all really great.  Two of them are from LA, one is from Australia, and another from Boston.  Apparently about 80% of all kids who study abroad here are American.  I wonder why that is.

I got into my flight around 5:30PM and after probably the second best I’ve ever had (second to a shower in the house my family was renting in San Diego after the bike trip – my first one with warm water and high pressure in months!) we headed out to town.  My kiwi host, Sophie, was celebrating a friend’s citizenship being granted and we were invited along.  We stopped by the liquor store beforehand, since it’s much cheaper to bring your own wine to restaurants, and went ahead and did that.  Alcohol is generally really expensive here, about $40 for a handle.  Wine is much cheaper since it’s one of their most popular exports, and costs around $8 and up.  We met a lot of other Kiwi’s, and it immediately became clear that although there wasn’t exactly a language barrier, there were certainly some words that were confusing.  One guy asked me to join a “tramping” club which I found confusing (if not a bit offensive) but one of my flatmates saw my confusion and explained that a “tramp” means a hike in New Zealand.  Also “cheers” seems to basically be a synonym of your welcome, and “sweet as” another word for awesome.  that last one I found a bit confusing…sweet as what?

We wandered onto campus today to get started on course approval, and it’s literally the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen! Of course, it was a sunny 70 today with a slight breeze so that helped.  There’s a river running all through campus, and lots of narrow little tree paths.  The architecture of the buildings was impressive, although I noticed that they don’t try to keep a sort of general look and feel as most of the schools in the northeast do.

Click on the “pictures” tab below, I’m uploading some now!

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