Back in Black (or we will be)

9 06 2010

As of July 6, I will begin the process of becoming a Kiwi, a Silver Fern, and more specifically, a JAFA to those already living in New Zealand. It was no easy decision, and there are pros and cons of making a semi-spherical move. I suppose on the con side it is far away, but on the plus side, whether I head east or west, it’s about the same distance back.

Both my wife and I have had international experience before, she having spent a semester in Ireland, and I having spent a summer in Northern Ireland and two years in the Czech Republic. Having made those transitions before makes the practical knowledge easier, but doesn’t seem to keep the sometime anxiety at bay.

Questions sometimes hit me just as they did before I left for the Czech Republic. Am I crazy? (Debate rages about this whether I go or not, so moot point.) Is this really the right thing? (Hmmm, this presupposes there is a right or wrong decision to be made, instead of just a decision.) Will anybody like me? (Possibly no, but unlikely. Armed (legged?) with a sixth toe on my right foot and the ability to talk with anyone about anything and seem interested at the same time has landed me lots of friends wherever I have been.) Will the pizza be good? (Now we’ve come to the crux of the matter. My experience in Czech Republic was wonderful, but could only have been improved by the replacement of ketchup as pizza sauce with true tomato sauce. Seriously, Papa John could clean up over there–just needs his better ingredients and muscle car…).

The plan for now is as follows. I leave July 6, intent on finding a teaching or principal job in the Auckland area. My current visa gives me one year to do this. Once I have a job, Shannon and our cat, Palin, will make the trip over, along with all of our stuff, which has been consolidated to about 30 boxes, 1/3 of which are books. Of course, as always, we hold our plans loosely in our hands, because as soon as we make a plan, some factor causes it to change.

Stay tuned.