Mihi Mihi

Two weeks ago I returned to New Zealand and hit the ground running. I landed about midnight on Sunday and got bombarded with new assignments in class the very next morning. I’ve moved flats and am now house sitting in a real house with two fantastic flatmates from Christian Union, the campus ministry we’re all a part of (more on that awesome situation and the lack of NZ housing insulation in a future blog post). I’ve hosted an amazing couchsurfer (also deserving of its own post), gone tramping, and returned to UCanDance.

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Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 11.09.05 PMIn the last month, there have been 331 earthquakes in the Canterbury region. No worries — most of them aren’t noticeable. Much like California, the threat of earthquakes are a reality one must accept throughout New Zealand. But since I arrived in January, I easily recall four pretty strong ones. The latest – a 4.3 with only a 5 km depth (the shallower it is the more you feel it) – woke up the whole city at 3:30 in the morning this past Sunday…not the best start to the work week. This past Valentine’s Day I was sitting at my desk writing a paper when a 5.7 quaker rumbled through for several seconds. So much for drop, cover, and hold. I just kind of froze, glued to the spot as my mind processed what was happening.

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Kiwi Lingo

slangHalfway through our three-hour class one day this past week, my classmates and I sat in a circle on the grass outside during our break. The sun shone brightly and the mood was light. As I looked around, I noticed a pattern in the snacking.

“What’s the deal with the bananas today? Like five of you are eating one.”
Julie laughed at me. “Ban-ayh-nah. You say it so funny, Jess. It’s cute.”

Unlike me, kiwis say “bah-nah-nah.”

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Visiting the Marae

My social media feeds may portray weekend tramping adventures, but, just so you’re not fooled, I’m still a full-time grad student. My Master of Teaching and Learning coursework at the University of Canterbury started three weeks ago, and I love that facet of life here too.

I’ve got just as much of an academic-prone mind as I do a mountain soul, and it feels really good to be back in a learning environment. My 22 other classmates and I come from a variety of professional, geographic, and generational backgrounds, but we’re all bright and have landed in this course because we are passionate about helping young people.

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