The Completely Bearable Lightness of Being Kiwi

16 11 2010

So while it’s been awhile between posts, we’ve had loads going on, yet in some ways feeling like we’ve still been spinning our wheels. We landed in Auckland two months ago, just as a storm system the size of Australia was beginning to blast. It rained sideways for our first ten days, and we began to wonder what we’d done to ourselves. October has brought spring though, and the weather has been sunny and in the 60’s and 70’s since. We’ve been able to get out and enjoy it a bit, visiting some beaches, meeting people, and getting out of Auckland.

We have had the good fortune of finding a great church, Auckland Bible Church, whose teaching and community is not unlike that of the church we’ve just (sadly) said goodbye to–Passage Church in West Chester, Ohio. We’ve connected well with several families and singles, and have begun to form a network of friends. We’ve been invited to dinners, teas, coffees, and to friends’ bachs (cabins/cottages). We are thankful for the openness and friendliness of the culture and for what God is doing in New Zealand.

So far we’ve met: an airline pilot, a TV news reporter, the CEO’s of four companies, a TV talk show host, the drummer for a popular rock band, the world champion kite surfer, an Olympic wrestler, and several leaders in the emergent church community. Surprisingly, none of these led to job opportunities. Instead, Shannon was recently offered a job with a company whose headquarters are…in Troy, Michigan. HA! Who would’ve figured that? A friend of ours had a roommate who was headed back to uni, and could not find a replacement, that is, until Shannon showed up. She’s set to begin this week in the role of National Training Director. She’s in charge of a whole country! And I’m still slogging away it, just trying to get the opportunity to be in charge of one room at a high school/college…it’s not that bad actually. I have some decent prospects, and the market should heat up for me soon, as the end of the school year is here! (Aside–schools here begin in February and have 9 weeks on, 2 weeks off for the year, then break for 6 weeks over Dec./Jan. Makes almost too much sense for the USA to do anything so sensible…)

Our cat, Palin, has made amazing strides. She’s gone from being timid, and nearly anorexic in her time in cat jail (quarantine), she has since become an indoor/outdoor Kiwi-cat, and has proclaimed herself queen of all she surveys–fortunately, it seems all she surveys is our yard. She rules it with an iron fist though, and chases away all other kitties that manage to stumble into her domain.

I can’t post all the great pics we have just yet–trying to get them loaded into my facebook account, so for now I will list a few places we have had the chance to visit, and it’s worth a google image to have a look. Piha, Piha Beach, Taupo, Lake Taupo, Mt. Ruapehu, Huka Falls, Rotorua, Metameta, Manukau Harbor, Rangitoto, St Heliers, Mission Bay, Whangaparoa, and Lion Rock. AsĀ  you look at the pics, please remember that we are absolutely keen to have guests!

We received all of our house stuff from the ship last week. Most of it made it okay–a few items broke, but nothing sentimental or irreplaceable, so we are thankful for that. We did lose a box, though, and we think it’s Shannon’s clothes…not good. In it’s place we received a box intended for a cardiac clinic in Tiffin, OH, that contained some sort of heart care kits. We are hoping our box shows up soon, somewhere in the world!

Shannon and I also had our first chance to play Netball. YouTube it if you don’t know what it is, because I played and am still unsure. It’s like basketball, but no backboard, you play with a soccer ball, and no dribbling. And you can’t block shots. Or touch people. And baskets are one point, unless you are outside the 3 meter mark, in which case they are two. And the court is surrounded by nets, and you play the ball off of them, so no out of bounds. Needless to say, playing two people who had never heard of the sport hurt our chances, and our team lost 35-5.

On the brighter side, I had the chance to go out with some mates while the girls were having a ladies night, so we hit the casino. I hit on a 34-1 bet of $2.50 on roulette, and again on 11-1 on a $5 bet. My friend won a bit on blackjack, so we split the winnings among the guys who came out and had a nice time eating mexican food and watching Jackass 3D (highly not recommended, unless you are having a guy’s night, and intend never to speak of it.)

So, more to come as Shannon begins her first job here, I continue my hunt, we find someway to celebrate Thanksgiving, we head to U2 here in Auckland next week, and Christmas and visitors loom (my parents and sister will be visiting from the 28th of Dec. to the 10th of Jan!)