Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
School was great this week! I had some major break-throughs with my kids discipline-wise cause I’ve refused to yell at them and in my 5th week I finally started seeing positive results! Here is most of our wonderful Room 21, aren’t they a handsome bunch? FYI I was crouching down, I am in actuality significantly taller than 5 and 6 year olds, I just wanted to fit in, ok?
It was a particularly fun week because we had some fun with the kids outside of the classroom. On Tuesday we had a teacher vs students (seniors only) softball game during morning tea, which was legit! It was so fun with all of the younger kids watching and cheering us on, and my cool level sky-rocketed with the boys in my class once they saw me with a big hit (even though it was caught so I got out). Plus, who doesn’t love a reason for a casual Tuesday.
On Wednesday we got to go with the swim team (11 kids yrs 6-8) to an away meet to be timers, and that’s basically what we did all day was time but it was a lot of fun getting to hang out with the older kids cause they think we’re the coolest (don’t tell them our secret about how we’re actually not). It was also nice to have a whole day off but still get to spend it with kiddies.
Friday was a cruzy day of swimming, walks, homework, grape vine trimming, Christchurch earthquake memorial service on TV, and a sleepover with all the girls that night. These grapes are SO good, despite the seeds.
We went to the skytower for lunch on Saturday! It was so much more exciting than I had expected- first of all the view is, naturally, amazing, but then we had lunch in a revolving resturant with 4 courses at $55 a person and we were all dressed up so we felt quite fancy! We loved the revolving feature: there was a little ledge on the outside of the ring that stayed still so we would put notes or different things on it (or just stand) and wait for it to reach the table behind us, so it was an eventful 3 hour meal. Here I am with Diana, Katie, and Rebecca J After all that food we went and took a nap on a beach in town.
We went to a rugby game and guess who was there! Alyssa Isidoridy! Alyssa lived directly across the street from me all through elementary and middle school, and I hadn’t seen her since high school, but she is here on a study abroad too! We noticed each other’s New Zealand pictures on facebook so we switched numbers and decided to meet up at the game. It was so fun catching up and talking about making grilled cheese on snow days!
Friday, March 11, 2011
That mountain that is right behind my head (excellent placement) is the volcanoon Rangitoto Island that Heidi and I hiked on Friday. Before going Raewyn told me it was a "new" volcanoe, "it just erupted 900 years ago" so I was a little bummed we weren't going to see any bubbling lava, but maybe a little more relaxed knowing I was going to make it home that night. We took a ferry from the city to get there and we realized that we had officially taken every mode of transportation we could so far on this trip: airplanes, cars, buses, feet, a train, and now a boat. Did I miss any? We thought that wasexciting.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
On Friday, Heidi and I went on a Coast-to-Coast city walk where we basically followed a map that took us walking all over Auckland to hit a lot of the big sites and see many hidden treasures along the way. We started on the northern coast and walked down to the southern coast as we walked around the University of Auckland (found mini- Brigham Square, felt so at home), through the "Auckland Domain" aka huge park in Auckland that hosts many a cricket game and romantic picnic, up Mt. Eden so we got to see it in daylight (also where we met a fellow traveler, Leon from London who disagreed with us many times about which way would get us to the top and later to the bottom of the hill, fun to talk to though), through many city streets which we took note of for a future evening out on the town, around and up One Tree Hill (which is currently No Tree Hill, cause they can't agree on what kind of tree to plant...so you go with a monument instead? Ok, do it your way), and finally to the other coast (although you never quite make it to the coast coast, cause there is a motorway in the way)! We walked 16 km (give or take, may or may not have needed help with the map TWICE) in 5 hours.
Here I am with the monument on One Tree Hill. Look familiar? I sure hope you got permission from Washington for this one. I thought it was appropriate that I was wearing my VA shirt and visiting the mini Washington Monument :) (yes, I do know the monument is in DC, don't worry, I got it).
We went to Piha beach with the entire group on Saturday. It is one of the more popular beaches around Auckland. James showed us around, taking us climbing around the rocks to get to this HUGE cove, called Honeymoon Cove that was absolutely beautiful and like nothing I've seen before. I don't really know how to describe it other than big sandy area with cliffs on 3 sides and big rocks on the 4th side that water crashes against for a very theatrical feel. This is Rebecca and me on the rocks right at the mouth of the cove (not getting too close to the edge, duh).
As we were leaving the cove, going back to the main part of the beach, we walked up along a mountain/cliff this where there were good views of Piha. That big rock is called Lion rock and it is just right in the middle of the beach area. Here I am with Hannah, Janet, and Whitney!
Next, James took us to another beach down the road at Karekare where we had to walk along a river (or wade, but that was risky business with cameras in tow) to get to the beach. I should tell you that at both of these beaches are west coast beaches which means they have black sand (don't forget your jandals aka flip flops) and they have really rough waves. There are huge rescue crews on watch at all times with a huge canopy set up on the beach and they set up flags everyday marking where it is safe to swim. The rescue at Piha even has a show on TV on Monday nights called Piha Rescue, and people die there all the time. Needless to say, we didn't exactly swim all that much during our visit.
From the beach at Karekare we took a ten minute walk and arrived at these waterfalls! How cool? Beach one minute, and the next you're "tramping" (nothing to do with trampolines or promiscuous women, it means hiking) or "bush walking" through a tropical forest! I hadn't gotten in the water all day up to this point, but I just couldn't resist.