Stars at our (frozen) fingertips - My top 27 New Zealand memories

Wow. 7 more days before it's all over. 7 days before I see my parents again. 7 days before my first trimester with THINK Global School comes to a halt. This sounds so cheesy but I already have some amazing memories to cherish. Even so, I still can't wait to reunite with my parents and two younger sisters. Even with so many activities to keep me occupied and a busy schedule I have managed to fit in plenty of time to massively miss my parents and sisters. Now it's only a week before I see them again and I'm not really sure how to think. I've been reflecting a lot recently over my time in New Zealand and then realised that I hadn’t really written much yet. I promised myself I’d write this before the end of New Zealand so I am going to do just that. A compilation of memorable moments from my first trimester at the school of my dreams that I want to share. (In chronological order).

 

*rippling flashback effect on cue*

 

1. Sleeping in a Marae with 46 amazing people whom I'd only known for 2 days.

2. Playing catch with mud balls after a morning of planting trees.

3. Hearing a splash as my sailing partner fell off the side of our boat as we sped around one of Auckland's many bays.

 4. Victor becoming an official song-singing scarf-wielding tyrant within the first 5 minutes of our road trip from Auckland to the Bay of Plenty.

 5. For all the LOTR/Hobbit fans (myself included), the Bilbo Baggins inside of us bursting out with excitement, singing "I'm going on an adventure as we walked through the real Gandalf's Cutting in Hobbiton.

6. Looking supremely badass thanks to gas masks whilst walking through an extremely active offshore volcano.

 7. Looking extremely unbadass whilst clinging to swaying trees at extremely heights on an adrenaline-pumping forest high-wire ropes course.

 8. Freezing in pitch-black cave river water as we bobbed along, gaping at spectacular glow worms.

 9. Oskar and I laughing for hours on end in our bedroom, forgetting what the hell was so funny, stopping for a couple of seconds, staring at each other, smiling, and laughing hysterically again.

 10. Carving my own necklace from bone

(FYI the design means a "returning", which is perfect for me returning to NZ).

 11. Erica and I being late because we were busy finding a geocache atop a hill with a spectacular view of the scenic Hokianga Harbour.

 12. Unintentionally barrel-rolling off of my sandboard as a sped down a giant sand dune on 90-mile-beach.

 13. Swimming through bioluminescent algae at night in the coldest water imaginable in the beautiful Bay of Islands. When we moved about it made the algae glow and twinkle. We had stars at our (frozen) fingertips.

I cannot begin to capture to breath-taking phenomenon of living microorganisms glowing at the movement of your hands. It felt as though they were stars in the icy cold water and in the brilliant sky above. We had the power to summon these magical fairy dust like creatures by simply stroking our hands in the water. The feeling was simply incomprehensible.

14. Having a writing workshop with Witi Ihimaera, the award-winning author of Whale Rider. He was an amazing guy and I learnt so much from this experience. I even chatted with him personally afterwards for a while.

 15. Spending time with food club, learning about Jewish food culture and having a most delicious smorgasbord of New York cuisine at the Federal Delicassen, in Auckland.

 16. Dancing about to Lorde live in concert (EPIC!)

 17. Exploring Sea Shepherd's very own ship, the Bob Barker, as it was docked in Auckland Harbour.

 18. Attending the prestigious Show Me Shorts Film Festival at the Civic Theatre.

 19. Jumping off a 12m rock into a river in Peel Forest, near the centre of the South Island.

(photo by oskarklonowski.eu)

20. Rafting down (tame but still extremely fun) Rapids on that same aforementioned river.

(photo by oskarklonowski.eu) 

21. Hiking to Mt. Somers through the amazing Canterbury Highlands, where I wouldn't even flinch if Smaug were to swoop over one of the many hilltops around us.

 22. Geocaching and exploring sea caves in a valley in the Canterbury Highlands with Alexis and Chau.

 23. Having an in depth discussion with Samtak about time travel and the 5th dimension before and after watching Interstellar (Go watch it, it's pretty spectacular).

 24. Scoring a try in the rugby tournament, part of the Inter-house Olympics.

 25. Visiting an alternative radio station (95bfm) and watching them live.

IMG_2163.jpg

26. Being part of the team behind Reel Deal's Adventure-themed Movie Night.

27. Spending the last Sunday of the trimester snorkelling in the Goat Island Marine Reserve. We were flying above forests of kelp and we saw stingrays, fish and oh so many zooplanktons. I never really realised how big that stuff is, I had always thought that it was microscopic and too small to see but you could see these freaky little guys everywhere and I accidentally ate some, believe me, it was not pleasant.