I apologize for the time it has taken me to write this post. As you will read, this past week has been both hectic and relaxing (but mostly hectic). Last Wednesday, I went to my two classes, signed the lease for our new house, got my textbooks, ran to pay for our housing, signed up for a lab and then ran back to City College to collect my things. In itself, those tasks had been the busiest/most important I had done since my arrival to New Zealand. We grabbed our luggage and were headed down to our new accommodation. The address is 61 Duke Street, Dunedin, NZ and it is a converted hostel. There are 27 bedrooms, 2 sets of bathrooms (boys and girls), 2 common rooms, and one very large kitchen. While unpacking and skyping my parents, Liz and Marybeth came over and I gave them the grand tour of the house. Liz now calls it "the castle" and Marybeth likes "the mansion." Almost everyone I live with is a transfer from Chch which is pretty cool. We have 1 RA and 2 Kiwi Hosts. Wednesday night, Thursday, and Thursday night weren't anything too special. We were all just working on getting to know each other and getting acquainted with our classes and the area. I live with people from NZ, England, and, of course, the US. It seems that we will all get along since most of us had known at least someone else in the house before moving in. Friday was a beautiful day and Liz and I decided to explore the city more and go shopping to help decorate our rooms. We got tapestries, picture frames, and mugs/candles to be decorative. Up by the octagon is really a beautiful area and after this trip, I knew it would be a different experience from Chch but that I would still enjoy it. Friday night, I went with a group to see Hall Pass. I got to use my 2 for 1 movie ticket! It was a very funny but strange movie but it was good for a laugh so it was worth it. After we went to hang out at Loucas and Tim's for a while. This is when we heard about the impending tsunami warning on NZ. Unfortunately, I had been planning to go to the beach the next day and that was no longer an option. Instead, I joined Peter, Liz and Erin in tramping up Swampy Summit. We left at ten am Saturday morning and didn't return until about 6. It was an interesting hike, approximately 739 meters high, and, since it was a cloudy day, we couldn't really see too much from the top but it was fun getting caught in the clouds. When I got back to my flat, I showered and joined the group for our first flat dinner. We had a great time getting to know one another and then we all broke off into our separate groups for the night.
Sunday morning, about ten of us were attending a River Crossing Training with the Tramping Club. This was necessary if you wanted to go on the Fiordland trip and we all thought it would be fun anyway - and we were right. We learned how to "properly" cross a river with a group of four people. It was quite funny to watch my group cross the river though because Liz and I are both so short. We had Peter who is probably around 6'2" on one side of us and another Peter who is around 6'1" on the other side while we were around 5'2" in the middle. Anyone who looked over couldn't help but laugh. We were supposed to be supporting each other across the river but, instead, Peter 1 and Peter 2 were basically just lifting us over the rocks so the water wouldn't come over our waist area (which was already higher than the water reached on most people). We had a good laugh and it was an absolutely beautiful day. After this, the Caitlin, Katie and I just did work/talked outside before going to sleep and preparing for Monday classes. Monday, I went to class like usual and then had to start catching up on the first week of work I had missed. It isn't difficult just time consuming. Monday night, Katie, Blake and I watched Gamer - typically not a movie I would enjoy but it was intriguing. Tuesday, I had off from classes! I spent most of the day catching up with friends from Geneseo and then I studied for the test I had today in Behavioral Analysis (it wasn't too hard btw). Last night, the group went to the tramping club meeting to try and get a spot on the Fiordland trip this weekend. Unfortunately, only about two of us were able to get spots so now we are trying to plan another trip for this weekend. The club should reorganize the way they distribute the slips though; basically, they tell you all about each hike, then they say "go" and you run to the hike you liked the best and grab a pink slip. We ran to one of the easier hikes thinking that they would have the most slips to give out but he only had FOUR and, by that time, we were all out of luck. The club President said that they will be planning small grouped weekend trips to the Fiordlands again though so we will just either wait to get on one of those or by ourselves. This weekend we are debating between heading to one of the glaciers and doing some tramps there or going to the parks to tramp. We are also starting to plan our trip for next weekend which will be QUEENSTOWN! I am so excited! There we all plan on going bungee jumping, white water rafting and various other events. After that, I think we may plan to go to Wanaka for sky diving. The adventure is definitely starting here!