I…registered for classes, got a metro card, bought a sweet pair of boots, saw a girl I went to middle school with at international orientation, bought Harry Potter tickets, saw where they filmed Chronicles of Narnia, drank at a tiny country pub, and watched professional rugby.
And apparently…. yielding is called “giving way”, z is pronounced zed, everything here is super sweet tasting, all the kids where uniforms, the toilets are funny, garbage bins are rubbish bins, people drive tiny cars really fast, people stop and talk allll theee timeeee for a long time.
For one of our last days of orientation we went to Lyttelton, which is this really tiny port town nestled in these really awesome mountatins. We worked with Project Lyttelton (http://www.lyttelton.net.nz/) and moved around some rubble and filled in some cracked walls.
The work we did was simply organized by the community, there are a few people who have stood up and pulled together a little work force, and made up something called a time bank. With this, instead of logging how much money is being used to rebuild the town, when people do nice things for one another, they log the time. So it’s like “you walked my dog, I’ll help clean up your garden wall that fell down.” As Americans, we were skeptical. But this is a really small town where a lot of people know each other, so I feel like it might be working, but the lady said people are kind of over it, especially since the June earthquake. Meanwhile, I can’t believe I haven’t felt and earthquake yet, seeing as everyday people ask me if I felt the little shake the night before. So after that we got some real yummy fish and chips, and drove to our the place we were staying in Springfield. We had more yummy food, went to the pub, woke up early, went to Castle Hill and a sheep farm.
It was raining the whole day, but it was awesome. We also got to go jet boating, which is a boat that skims along the top of the water really fast through this really beautiful gorge. Before jet boating, we had EVEN MORE delicious food, including the best freaking lamb patties I’ve ever had. Well, I guess I’ve never really had lamb patties, but these were better than any hamburger patty I’ve ever had. Oh yeah, he also showed us how to shear a sheep!
I’m still not used to the accent, when people talk I’m still totally aware of it, although I don’t have nearly as much trouble understanding what people are saying. School tomorrow! I’m excited to get into the swing of things.