Thursday, February 11, 2010

"I'm Comin' Home...

To the place where I belong"

I've had that song stuck in my head for the past few days.  Just writing quickly as I'm in the airport in Auckland!  In just a bit I get on a plane headed for the US.  I'm so excited that my fingers are shaking.

The past few days have been absolutely incredible.  I am in disbelief at how God has provided such amazing people to bless the ending of this trip.  I will blog more when I have time to process and type.  I just couldn't have had a more perfect ending.

Thanks for journeying with me.  It's not over yet.... :)  More to come if you're interested...

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Beginning of the End...

I write to you from the waters between the North and South Islands of NZ. No, I'm not simultaneously typing and swimming. I am on the Interislander Ferry, watching the green rolling hilly islands slowly pass by.  To be honest, the day started off a bit sad. Saying goodbye to the McCormacks - Michael, Karen, Holly (13) and Theo (13) - wasn't easy. I have so enjoyed my time with them. My last week on the SI was spent well. Holly and I ventured out to the World Buskers Festival held annually in Christchurch. We saw one man get out of a straight-jacket in about two minutes, another lady sing and dance with a few men from the crowd (no doubt embarrassing their children!) bringing on more than a few laughs, and to top it all off, we saw a man juggle bowling pins on a tight rope...on a unicycle!!! The next day the whole family went on a day trip to one of their favorite exploring spots, taking a dip in the swimming hole and laying in the lovely sun. Theo also introduced me to the Lord of teh Rings movies this week. My very first viewing...fitting for my time in New Zealand as lots of it was filmed here! Ah, and how could I forget the outing to Willowbank Reserve.  We meandered through countless sections of wildlife, feeding and petting as we went. Among my favorites were hand feeding the wallabys, the ostrich (he was crazy!), horses, pigs, sheep, and lammas. We saw several birds, including the native (and very funny) kiwi bird - a rarity to spot since they don't come out in light, as well as dancing lemurs, chattering monkeys, and very hungry deer. To end the week, KAren cooked tow of my favorite dinners - a chorizo/twice-baked potato/egg combo, and baked chicken with roasted veggies - including pumpkin and kumara with a basil vinaigrette sauce. Yum! I baked cookies (balled biscuits here) for the family one last time, then said my goodbyes this morning as the kids went off to school. A lovely family and a blessing to me in my stay on the South Island.

Last week I went on a fun road trip to Queenstown - a town nestled on the edge of Lake Wakatipu in the middle of a stunnign mountain range. ON the way to QT I went for a day hike in Wanaka which rewarded me with some great views and a cool breeze at the top. I also stopped in Arrowtown for a walk through teh old Chinese Miner's village. After turning in my completely free rental car ( included!...yay for free relocation websites!) to Queenstown, I sat on the dock and gazed at the ridgeline of the Remarkables, browsed through the shops, rode the Gondola waaay up high and took a couple rides down the Luge (one of three in the world!), then enjoyed a gelato cone by the water. Of course, I moseyed through the Botanic Gardens and once again fell in love with the roses. Watched the sunset from here, then also returned in the morning so I could see the sun start peaking over the mountains before catching my bus back to Christchurch.

I feel like I have exhausted the South Island to my pleasing. I am ready to see what the North Island has to offer - volcanic mountains, for one. Once arriving on dry land again, I'll embark on a 4 day road trip weaving my way up to Auckland and most importantly to a plane that will be taking me home! It's the beginning of the end, and I welcome it with open arms and a brain chocked full of incredible memories.