In the Center of God’s Will

Happy Spring!!

My life of funemployment has continued to be a cycle of trip research, planning, and itinerary spreadsheet writing; packing; jumping on an airplane; adventuring; flying back home; crashing into bed late at night; unpacking; running a load of laundry; meeting up with a few friends; and planning once more before I’m off on another travel escapade. I have to admit…within that physical merry-go-round, I also endure psychological swings of gratitude, utter exhaustion, a “here we go again/just do it” mentality, and excitement.

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Grateful Journal

 

Through the month of January, I had about fifteen distinct blog topics floating around in my head. Some were life updates, like that Subaru Outback WITH a sunroof that I bought — woot woot! — or weekend trips up to Richmond and Roanoke to visit Abby and Kayla.

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Other blog intentions included evaluations on Trump’s first week in office and podcasts I’ve listened to; some entertaining babysitting anecdotes; the decision to move to and teach in Greenville this fall, and the peace and excitement I’ve felt about it.

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Biculturalism in Aotearoa

“We got lots of internationals here, eh?”

We, over 100 college students devoting the weekend to volunteering in the Akaroa community, stood at the gate of the Ōnuku Marae – women in the front, men behind, awaiting the Pōwhiri welcoming ceremony.

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“Hehe, you’s is in fer a real suhprise,” he cackled. The Kaiāwhina leaned slightly forward on his intricately carved staff. He seemed to emanate old wisdom in a modern generation.

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When Things Aren’t The Way They “Should” Be

Settling in right after I got back from Hawaii initially felt so good. I’m not moving on! I’m still here! No new starts, I know this place, I get to stay another half a year. But that quickly dissipated to the realization that most of the consistency I knew had indeed shifted. New house, new flatmates and all the old study abroad ones I had grown so close to gone. No more Georgia (gosh I miss her), new placement, new classes, new pedagogy.

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Home

Before I left, people asked me if I knew what my next steps after this year of study were going to be. How could I? I had not even gotten here yet. I anticipated that this country would suit me well, but there was no way to know for sure.

Well, I’ve been here five weeks now, and — big surprise — I love it. When I was talking to my mom last week, I told her how much I enjoy my classes, that I feel so confident about going into teaching. She retorted that I could like physics class so long as I was studying in New Zealand. I rolled my eyes. (She is wrong, by the way; I will never willingly venture into the field of math and science again.)

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Gratitude

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. There’s not any religious controversy, little commercialization…just the gathering of family and friends, good eats, and remembering all of the blessings we have to be grateful for. And though the early settlers celebrating the first harvest did not partake in food-induced afternoon coma or NFL football games, the purpose of Thanksgiving is the same. We approach this holiday with an extra dose of gratitude. It’s a good reminder of a posture we can choose not just the fourth Thursday of November, but everyday. 

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Sovereign

I have always been a planner. My agenda and never-ending checklists are my closest inanimate companions. I like prioritizing my tasks and making the most of my time. It’s hard for me to sit down, relax for a half hour, and enjoy a TV show. If I do, you bet “Netflix” will be scrawled on my list, right after, “shower” and “eat dinner.” Ha. I think it’s that feeling of accomplishment, that I have been productive, even with menial, daily life tasks, that I find so satisfying.  On a larger scale, I like to know where I am headed, and I like to figure out how I am going to get there. But recently, plans haven’t been working out at all the way I thought.

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