Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rise Up This Mornin' Smiled With the Risin' Sun

Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right. 
Singin': Don't worry about a thing, 
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right
~Bob Marley

Summer in New Zealand is so amazing! Sunshine, beaches, festivals, smiley-happy people on holiday, heaps of things to do and great music. Nothing says summer like reggae music and since I have arrived I can’t seem to escape Bob Marley…so this entry will tend to have a lot of Marley references because he has influenced my life this week. (Which is ironic since it was his birthday last Sunday.)

On Tuesday, Team Kigel got together for the weekly Eastside 5k Run. (Kigel is the unofficial name of our group of friends. A Kigel is what you get when you cross a Kiwi bird and an American eagle.) I was pretty happy with my time, but nothing beats getting a free Tui beer when you are done running. It’s fun because I have met a nice group of people in Hamilton and our circle continues to grow.

Later in the week, Lindsay and I went to Mount Maunganui to complete our paperwork for fruit packing at Seeka. We are contemplating working in the fruit industry for a couple weeks to make some extra cash in order to fund our adventures. It will be crazy long hours, but it’s money! We stayed at Richard’s (a friend of Maura) house at the Mount. He and his roommate, Ramon, took us to the beach for dinner during sunset. We enjoyed a kiwi-favorite, Fish (tarakihi) & Chips. I also tried a deep fried pineapple ring with brown sugar…so yummy! After dinner we walked downtown and decided to grab a drink, but picked the bar solely based on the fact that someone was singing karaoke to Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain.” That evening we returned back to the house and enjoyed a nice glass of New Zealand wine and listened to tunes on the record player. We also decided that new names were in order – Ricardo (Richard), Lucia (Lindsay), Amelia (Amy) and Ramon (Ramon). The next day Lucia and I got up and headed to Te Puke for our “interview” at Seeka. Fruit packing would not be ideal (that’s for you Quentin), but it’s steady work until I can hopefully get something in Wellington. Plus, Richard has graciously offered up his couch for Lucia and I to sleep on. This whole experience is teaching me a lot about myself…what my limits are, how I can survive on my own, how I can make something out of nothing and how truly blessed I am. We drove back to town that day and stopped in Cambridge for a nice little lunch and latte on mainstreet. That night we headed to Arran and Leesa’s for a BBQ and I tried my first mussel. It was giant! Later in the evening, we went out in downtown Hamilton. We enjoyed meeting some local folk and we are still laughing about some of the things that happened that night!

It’s been a nice little weekend in Hamilton. We checked out the Frankton Street Market, worked on our tans at the pool, went for a walk downtown and enjoyed acoustic music and $5.00 pizzas on the patio at The Helm. It was good to stay in town this weekend, because we just booked our tickets for our 12 day trip to the South Island for the end of February. It is crazy how the trip is coming together so quickly. We booked $100 tickets to Christchurch and then a random person who Laura’s parents met while traveling is picking us up, letting us crash at her house and then take her car for a couple days. We are going to spend a few days visiting Mt. Cook, Milford Sound and wine country. After exploring the island, we are going to pick up a caravan in Queenstown and drive it back to Auckland. It’s part of the Transfer Car program, so it’s free. We just have to pay for the fuel to drive it back to the office in the North Island. I think this will be a great way to spend my 31st birthday!

It’s hard to believe I have been here for a month. I love New Zealand and I am so glad I made the decision to quit my job and move to the other side of the world. Every new experience, adventure and challenge helps me move one step closer to the person I want to be. This experience also makes me realize what and who is important to me. Like Bob Marley says, “my heart says follow through.” So that is exactly what I am going to do. From this point forward, I am going to follow my heart and live the life that my heart tells me to live. I am just going to be me.

The Mount

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