Today I went to school for an orientation/meet and greet type of thing. There were about 15 other International students there, most from Germany. William Colenso College has a large international department, which is cool. I’m told that there are eight students coming from Brazil. Brazil’s government has recently started paying for thousands of students to travel and study abroad in preparation for the Olympics in 2016. By that time, Brazil will have several translators and volunteers readily available. Isn’t that a brilliant plan? Where ya at, Obama?
The school has eight or so different buildings on a fairly large campus. The campus is filled with weird and interesting plants and flowers and strange cacti. The buildings are all painted purple, yellow, red, and blue. I like to think that it’s an ode to Portugal. The Man (that one is for you, Dana).
After school I went to the beach. The beach I live next to is very rocky, but I mean, I’m not about to complain. Hawke’s Bay is huge. In North Dakota, it looks like the land never ends. In Napier, it looks like the sea never ends. Standing in the prairie and standing on the beach have the weird power of making you realize how small you really are. It’s very humbling.
Quick: think of all of the places where you don’t want birds or bare feet. I bet the first thing you thought was, “Well Jack, I suppose I don’t want birds or bare feet in places where food is sold, like a grocery store.” Hey, me too! But too bad. Because shoes are not required in grocery stores. Birds, apparently, are required. There are birds everywhere. There are birds in the produce aisle. Gross, right? That’s what I thought. Until I realized that produce grows in trees. And birds live in trees. I guess I never put that together. (But I mean, it still weirds me out when birds are around food.)
Here are a few other pictures from my time here so far. The photo featured at the top of this blog is me sitting on top of a cliff (Te Mata Peak). I am literally less than 12 inches from the edge and a 500+ foot drop. It was thrilling/terrifying and I hated/loved it.
Fresh sushi less than a 10 minute walk from my house? Yes please.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to try these. It’s deep fried macaroni and cheese, so I don’t understand how that could be bad.
Te moana (the ocean)
Walking to school. I feel like I’m on vacation.
Water lilies on a koi pond. This entire country is like one giant Instagram photo.
Bonding with Vicki’s 19 year old cat, Salem. She’s fun. We’re tight.