Thursday, February 24, 2011

We are safe and not in Christchurch

well its been an interesting few days!

First of all WE ARE NOT IN CHRISTCHURCH - we are in Wellington and safe from the Earthquake.

 - the earthquake in christchruch struck on Tuesday our time (Monday your time) and we have been watching coverage of that a lot of the time.  Its interesting to see how the media over here is different than at home, yet still the same. 

Right now the death toll is a 113 but im sure it will go higher.  The flags at the capital are half mass as well as everywhere else and even just walking places or ridding the bus people are talking about someone they know who's down there. 

I (being super into emergency management) have given my application to the Ministry of Civil Defense and the Red Cross in hopes to go down and do some work.  we shall see!! (what a great experience to go help people in need and get field experience to apply back in the States!)

Our lovely flat has continued to have problems… First the toilet didn't work and it still doesn't really work correctly, then we had a gas leak and coulda blown off our heads each time we used the stove, now our dishwasher is broken and we have to hold it shut for it to run, and our modem for the internet is faulty.  But in our luck… Nelson and Colin went to exchange it and they won't have any until next week, so we have one computer hooked up. And to top it all off there is massive construction outside our place that goes until May and they have been randomly turning our water off each day.. SO MUCH FUN!   - its really not too bad though i guess we have just gotten used to living with numerous things broken.

I started my first day of work with the New Zealand Rugby Association.  I am working on a project that was suppose to last two weeks but its really only gonna take me a few days.  I am imputing data about all the professional rugby players in New Zealand, and according to them die hard fans would love to have access to the information I'm dealing with.  The company is really cool and laid back, everyone is super nice.  It would be a lot of fun to actually work there full time.

BUT Westfield emailed me and though the GM is down in Christchurch there is a project that i should hopefully be able to do there and so I am meeting with the Assistant GM this next week to discuss it!

as far as everything else, we are starting to plan and get ideas for trips ( this means I am doing the research and planning and Colin gets the easy part and just shows up places he needs to!)

We went to Island Bay and played in the water a cool 80 degrees ish and got some much needed sun.  And we have finally got fully adjusted and all settled.  I feel pretty confident walking around town and know what busses to catch so life is good!

 the pictures below = our flatmates and us in the park BBQING - the capital, also known as the Beehive, and the flags at half mass for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake, and then Island Bay scenic pictures! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The old ladies LOVE Colin!

finally some pictures!! 

so the first one is of us and Greg on the walk down to town from our house (in Wadestown suburb).

next is colin and I on a rope swing on our hike to the mt. victoria lookout where there are 360 views of the city showing water on each side of the north island.

and then the last one is of some of the fruits and veggies in the weekly farmers market.  Its a huge market with tons of good food, and I even found this Indianish place and they had Chapaiti!! (it was my favorite food in Kenya, kind of like a tortilla but better...)  I have been wanting actualy chapaiti forever and I guess I just had to go to New Zealand to get it!

I spoke with my family today in Spokane and that was really fun, it was fun to see my grandparents on skype and my grandma wondering how it works.. but my aunt asked if there was anything we missed or they don't have and I couldn't think of anything but.....  There is no cilantro here! our roommate didn't even know what it was! Also according to Colin the salsa here isn't really salsa, and I am sure we will find more things.

On our way back from the Market on the bus, Colin got hit on by a old lady.. she told me she was watching the worlds most handsome man contest on tv the night before and he coulda won! but after she left the bus driver said she tells everyone that... pretty funny though!

HOpefully this week I finally get a job! Should hear back from WEstfield and i am now with a temp agency that calls with work so that should be good too. 

we are slowly figuring out our news plan, and here is a VAGUE outline.

 - now until August = working and doing short trips around the north island (but south of Auckland) 
- places like Taupo, Kapiti coast, Tongario and Whanganui national park (more to be announced later)

august - (were booking this today!!!)
 - Thailand for 2 weeks  - bangkok - chiang mai for a trecking experience and to see temples and meet different tribes, and then the beaches down south to soak up the sun!

 Then the rest of August and through October working to get some money and continuing our small travels through the North Island

In the end of October/ early November
 - travel to the south island for a month(ish) tour and we may even be able to use our roommates family's travel van which would be awesome!!

and finally after that coming back to Wellington, working and spending Christmas here or somewhere close and warm and finishing January with going to the tip of the North Island with the nice white beaches and then spending a few more days in Auckland.

We will fly out of Auckland in the last week of January to Fiji for around 5 daysish to soak up whatever they have to offer us and then finally come back to the United States!

Hope everyone is well back home, i can't believe its already almost been a month! more pictures soon!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

we have internet!

 we finally have internet!!! and can be connected to the world!!
but the only set back is now we found out we have two gas leaks and can't use our stove. (oh and that each time we used it, it coulda blown up in our faces, cool...)  but luckily the people are coming tomorrow to fix it.  but other than that things are good.  No more walking into town to use our 1 hour of free internet.

I have an interview tomorrow for an employment agency and hopefully will get a job, at least till I hear back from Westfield.  we looked into getting 18plus cards to show our age and not have to carry around our passports but they're kinda a long process.

Also a bit more exciting news... we went to STA to ask about Thailand and they're having a special right now, so we are going to go for 2 weeks in August!! I am so excited, we decided it would be more fun to go explore there than australia since new zealand is basically the same thing.

Other than that, not a lot new here. now that we have internet hopefully I'll get a job and get into the swing of things and start planning our trips around new zealand and little weekend trips.  (I'll keep ya updated!)

 here are some more different sayings....

heaps is a common word

salmon shoes on sale for 250 new zealand dollars regularly 350, and they're only 140 US.  the sale price is still way more than the normal US price.

rubbish = trash

cv = resume

eftpos = debit card

 have to get an 18 plus card for id so don't take passport around

charges you 10 cents for each plastic bag at the store

no tipping, tax included in prices for restaurants and other places.

dairy - convenience store

Ice Block - pop cicle

togs - swimsuit

the boot - trunk of a car

the bench - counter in kitchen

sweet as - common saying for like its cool, sounds good.  so people will say sweet as, or expensive as, or cold as. (Colin and I say cold as what?  our roommates never thought of that…)

flat = house or apartment not sure what the difference is

flat mates = room mates

Thursday, February 10, 2011

different names....

oh yes, and....

Trash = Rubbish
Freeway = Motorway
car repair = panel beaters (they repair dents)
college = high school
University = college
shopping cart = trolly
aquery = a question
toliets = bathrooms (Funny on the plane they kept saying flotation devices and breathing masks are located in the toliet) :)
fizzy drink = pop or cola
ketchup = tomato sauce (doesn't taste the same, super sweet)
French Fries = chips
To go meals = takeway

taco shells and salsa are crazy expensive! (considered international food) but lots of things are expensive

Burts bees for one thing of chap stick was $9.50!!

All coffee here standard is a double shot

in wellington!


 so we have been here just about a week now.  We are in our new place and its super cute! we have been doing some massive cleaning of it because the people before us weren't clean (and were clean freaks) but its great!  were right next to the bus and can even walk into town if we want.

got stuff for the place and our flatmate grandma is moving so she has a bed n stuff for us too!  got Snaper cards so we get the bus for cheaper and have been just setting everything up.

had an interview with westfield today and a possible marketing job may come my way! hopefully! then gave some more resumes out and are now sitting in starbucks using the internet (don't get ours till next week)

lots of cool stuff here, the te papa museum is FREE and has all sorts of cool things on earthquakes the moari people and other cool stuff.  doing a lot of walking around

took at 12 hour bus ride to wellington and then had wrong directions so walked a lot further than we had to with my piece of crap suite case that rolls over when you get to a certain speed. (its going in the garbage and im charging my parents for another one)

meet up with greg and have been listening to his crazy stories and hanging out.  more to come soon!

once we get jobs and situated well start working out our travels more, hopefully take weekend trips and then were thinking THailand over Australia or both…. depending on money!

 Pictures soon I promise....

Friday, February 4, 2011


we absolutely love it here!!  we have spent the last few days getting our bank accounts set up, and phones (small lil nokia ones) and tax numbers figured out.  Tomorrow we are going on a 12 hour bus ride (shoot me) and then will finally be in wellington, and on the 9th in our house!!

Auckland is so fun, there are tons of amazing restaurants and shops, everyone here dresses so cute as well.  we have been doing lots of walking around and exploring but are more just excited to get down to wellington, and will do more exploring when were back.

we have got lots of info on other traveling to fiji and australia and i can't wait!

- things i have noticed  - people say sweet as, and cool a lot and I like the accent. people dress so cute! i can't wait to go shopping, the beer is expensive and not always good, only coke here not pepsi, door handles go the other way, there is a hole in the ozone layer right over new zealand so you can get burned easily, girls wear super short outfits, fashion mullet is in, people go barefoot, everyone seems nice, everyone is super pretty and not fat.  at cross walks people do diagonal cross and all the cars are stopped, i think this is so cool/fun!

Pictures coming soon! our internet sucks!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

we have arrived!

we made it!  we said bye to our families (sad) and then headed out, not before colin realized he almost forgot his computer! and we didn't have any phones.  Luckily a nice lady let us use it and his parents dropped it off.  from our flight to lax started the crazy long layovers.  (I still feel like im swaying back and fourth on the plane)  we had 5 hours at lax, and didn't realize after we went to the international terminals there wasn't much food options.  So I had a gross mini pizza while waiting, and they didn't even have internet! I couldn't believe it!  so we made it onto the plane and its by far the biggest plane i have ridden on.  it was a HUGE 747 with two levels, but even bigger than the one i had previously been on with 2 levels.  The food wasn't good either which surprised me.  we flew pacific air and i have to say im a little let down.  the movie screens in your seat just automatically played movies on different channels so you didn't get to start at your own time, and we had rice for breakfast and dinner… (along with other stuff) but no snacks!  Then we got to fiji where there was this huge line of cutting people and only one person checking people in, and one security screening.  so it took forever.  Then we sat in the airport for three hours and finally got a little bit of sleep.  The final fight from fiji to auckland didn't seem to long, and we got a nice breakfast with lots of fruit. 

We FINALLY landed in Auckland and made it through customs super easy and all our baggage made it!  we took a bus from the airport to our hostel and checked in.  The total traveling time was 29 hours! shoot me! but we made it! we changed out clothes, looked super disgusting and went to explore and eat.  our hostel the Base Auckland is located right downtown and has tons of shops around us.  there are a lot of chain restaurants here like mcdonalds, subway, burger king, borders books, the body shop, starbucks and those are just the few we've seen in our few blocks of walking.  (I think that will help reduce culture shock) 

We started looking into getting our phones, I will be purchasing the cheapest nokia old school phone and plans are about 25 a month which is super cheap!   The city looks like we could be in san fransisco, mixed with Hawaii and Seattle,  but it generally looks the same just a little more tropical.  Its pretty warm here as well.  and all the houses are super cute, it makes me excited to get to wellington and see ours!

The hostel is cool, its like a dorm thats giant and for people that can all legal drink, so we got free drink vouchers and theres a huge bar attached with stuff that happens each night for the people here. 

Tomorrow we have orientation and get all sorts of important info. 

other than that we are just glad to be here finally and about to pass out for a long time!