I’m about to leave Dunedin. I’m about to go to Uniflats and repack my bags full of souvenirs. My flight leaves in 3.5 hrs. I’m hoping to wander the gardens one last time before getting the shuttle bus. I’ve been staying with a friend’s family my last night here and it has been great. Lovely homemade meals and a bed with an electric blanket, in a beautiful 100+ year old Dunedin home. This morning I had one last swim in the Moana Pool, one last stroll down George St (main st) and one last visit to New World (the grocery store).
I’m sad to be leaving.
I’m excited to be going home.
I feel a bit in between two worlds right now.
I can’t believe I’m about to sit on a plane for a very very very long time.
I’m looking forward to summer.
It is sunny in Dunedin and there is a winter crisp in the air.
I’m about to leave my NZ “bubble”/ “world” and go to my home.
said goodbye to Narinda (our kiwihost) this morning, 1 final to go, a lot of packing that I’ve been avoiding in denial of leaving, studying, a double cone at Rob Roys to consume, farewell dinners, Quarantine Island work weekend, goodbyes and souvenir shopping all within this time.
There is a lot of sushi in NZ as well as the wonderful RICE BALL. It is just a ball of rice best with chicken and avocado inside and is only $3.50. Savoury Japan on George St. is also the place in Dunedin to go because they make the biggest and best ones!
Realized today, at my last class, that the jolly man I laugh with each week at Laughter Yoga is the famous “Evandale’s Cheese Man” (or that is at least what I refer to him as) from the farmers market! How have I not put two and two together until today… its only been 11 months… You cannot pass the Evansdale cheese stall and NOT buy cheese if he is giving out samples!
Good gosh, where is the time going? This last month will fly as well. I’m off tramping the Copland Track this weekend, have 3 days of class then off to the North Island. I will be taking the GMAT and the traveling up to Rotorua, when I return I have a week and a half of finals, packing, and then 4 lasts days on “winter break,” and then home. HOME. There is still so much I want to do and places to visit, but I’ve come to except that I cannot do it all and need lots of good reasons to come back to NZ!
It is such a strange feeling knowing I’ve been gone for 11 month, and almost seems unreal. I’m excited to be heading home in a month, but also very glad I still have one more month here to enjoy.
a few things I’m looking forward to in the States are:
- Ocean Spray cranberry juice (it just doesn’t taste the same here!)
- frozen yogurt
- darkroom photography
-fast internet that has unlimited usage
-driving, I really miss it actually
-whole foods (their scones) and trader joes (their dark chocolate and kettle corn)
- the Common Ground - the house iced tea and bread
- summer on Cape Cod
- contra dancing
-ethnic foods, especially Venezuelan, Chinese, Mexican, and Thai (all I’ve eaten here is Indian)
-SEAFOOD - chowder and salmon
the more I think the more I miss, so my list will stop there. However, I think my list of things I will miss in NZ will be longer….
Before leaving the States I remember stumbling upon underwater hockey at the Moana Pool website when I was searching for places to swim in Dunedin. Ever since then I have been intrigued by the sport and pondered the question, “how can one possibly play hockey under water?” Well, after 11 months I’m glad to say, I DID IT! boy what a sport.
The club team in Dunedin practices twice a week and on Sundays they have a beginners session. I finally went after writing it in my planner for the past semester I can at last check it off! It was great, I just showed up at the pool, introduced myself, sat in the spa with another player while they were setting up, convinced a random other spa- goer to give it a try, got decked out in a head cap, snorkel, glove, stick, and fins, and was good to go. I felt very legit with a my cap and snorkel. The president of the club, an older man named Brian who taught me everything, asked if I had snorkeled before… my response, “only to look at fish!”
Brian taught me and the spa-goes how to swim low on the pool floor, how to pass and move the puck, and turn under water. Let me tell you, that puck is heavy, even underwater it takes much effort to move. We spent maybe 45 mins doing drills and learning the basics and then we played a short match and then it was time for a real game… there are are 6 players on each team (white stick vs. black stick)… I was the 7 person on the white team, but then the teams evened out and were 6 and 6. It was hardcore. exhausting. kicking with fins, trying to watch where the puck was through my foggy snorkel, trying not to inhale water, trying to be underwater so that I could be passed to or defend, gosh there was so much happening I didn’t know where to be. But somehow I managed fine and did get the puck a couple of times! and even scored a goal! yes that is right, I scored a goal, however kinda funny because it wasn’t quite in the trough to officially score, so they placed it on the floor again and let me push it in for good, which was nice of them. A normal game lasts 10-15 mins however the club just enjoys playing so they will play three 30 mins games in an evening. The depth of the move is 2-2.5 metres normally, we were playing in about 1.5 metre and that hurt my ears, so I can’t imagine having to play deeper under water let alone hold my breathe for longer.
So, who exactly plays underwater hockey? It was a good mix of high schoolers, university students, and older men in speedos. A majority of the Uni students had white and black striped snorkels, which meant that they played for the NZ underwater hockey division. They were pros and travel the world representing NZ in underwater hockey. Everyone was super nice and helpful and would pass the puck to me, which wasn’t always the best choice, but hey it was awesome!
Would I do it again? Yes. Sadly there aren’t many more weekends left in Dunedin for me, so I’m really glad that I did go this weekend. It is super fun and I hope to convince some others to give it a go while they are here!
Canoe Polo played on Tuesday nights at the pool will be next. This sport involves canoes in the pool and is kinda like netball from what I observed.
HOLY COW- today my sister is graduating from Denison University. Congrats on graduating Vic, wish I could be to cheer and clap, but know that I’m there in spirit! The last time I saw my sister was 12 months ago when we parted ways in Switzerland (where this picture was taken). I’m looking forward to when we shall meet again 8)
So apparently is it the first of May today… I think in Dunedin it is the first day of winter. It was about 40 deg today, cloudy, raining, windy (aka typical Dunedin winter weather). With no warning at all the lovely autumn weather turned into disgusting wet winter weather, sad. With any luck this will pass and King Winter will not win the the battle quite yet… if he could just hold out for 2 more months that would be fantastic! Where are the green buds on the leaves, the daffodils, the birds chirping, the morning frost, the forthysia, and the warm air?
I would like to wish a happy birthday to Tita Manay and Ellen May today as well 8) I hope the first of May is a bit warmer and more sunny in the northern hemisphere for you guys!
also because I will not be here to blog on Sunday HAPPY WORLD LAUGHTER DAY! I hope everyone take a minute or more of their day and laugh for no reasons by themselves or with others. hoho hahaha 8)
Tomorrow I head off for the Milford Track. I CANNOT WAIT!
This weekend from 9-4 on both Saturday and Sunday I had Kapa Haka (Maori Performing Arts) practice. It was a very long two days of revising old songs, learning new songs, and learning the actions to the songs as well. Half of the time we were sitting in the windowless, pitch-black classroom repeating after the teacher foreign maori words, that after 2 hours just sound like a lot of random letters put together and trying to not fall asleep (which was a very big challenge at times!). The rest of the time we were singing in a big open and brightly lit room learning the actions to the songs we learned in the dark. Throughout all maori songs you stomp your right foot to keep the beat and shake your hands in what they call a “wiri” which gets quite tiring after many hours! The weekend was very draining and although it was fun learning the songs and singing out loud, it was a bummer not to be outside enjoying the sunshine. It is unusual, and cross my fingers it lasts, but Dunedin has been getting amazing weather. It has been about 55-70 and sunny for the past month 8) My maori class will be having a performance at the end of May, which should be fun, but also a good challenge.
(my poi ball that I got today to take home to practice with)
The girls got Poi balls today which we will be practicing with for the rest of the semester for our Poi dance. Using a poi involves a lot of wrist turning and newly discovered arm muscles… i’ve also hit myself in the face numerous times with the white ball flying about.
note to self: do not wear eyeglasses while practicing poi … it hurts!