(I’ll apologize now for only having two pictures in this post, so um sorry.)
Well everyone, I finally have an actual home here in New Zealand! No more tent (at least for a while) and no more being homeless. Wahoo!! Here are the happenings from the last two days...
We (the 8 of us) left Whangarei early Saturday morning (we were very sad to see it go) and met up with our teacher at her flat. Our host families picked us up shortly thereafter and off we went in four different directions. Our host family was rather busy, so they sent their sweet friend Natalie to pick us up.
Our introduction to our family (oh P.S. I live with just two of the other girls...Andrea and Janessa) was pretty quick and this is what we’ve learned about them thus far:
- Our family consists of Erin and Rose (who are sweet, fun-loving, and easy-going), and their kids...Denszel aka Sizzle, who is 5, who gets mad easily, and who has already told us she hates us because we wouldn’t carry her up the stairs haha; Snowden aka Fufu, who is 7, who is as hyper as can be, and who is a huge fan of jumping all over us; Pascal, who is 16, who so badly wants to grow up right this very minute, and who thinks everything is “mean” (but don’t worry that actually means “pretty cool”); Jivarne, who is 21, who just got home from his mission on Friday, and who is still very much in mission mode (he referred to us as sisters); and Cheyenne, who is 20, who is currently an EFY counselor (so we haven’t actually met her yet), and who will be leaving for the Salt Lake City West mission on March 26th!!
- They’re on holiday up north, so we will learn more about them (and take more pictures of them) when they get back.
Here are some of the other things we learned at our house yesterday:
- Sharing a room with two other girls is surprisingly cozy, even though it means we pretty much live on top of each other.
For some dumb reason the picture wouldn't upload the right way.
So tilt your head to the right and you will see our lovely room!!
- Due to the huge windows that stay open for much of the day, our house is also a house to bugs. We vacuumed up about a gajillion spiders yesterday and I was fortunate enough to find an earwig on my shirt. What a pleasant surprise! I just love those disgusting little creatures and their stinkin pinchers...NOT!
- I miss living in a tent with 7 other girls! I love the girls who are here and don’t like being separated from them...just saying.
After we unpacked all of our stuff, Natalie drove us to the mall so we could pick up some essentials (a map so we won’t get lost, hats and sunscreen so we won’t fry in the sun, and New Zealand money). Here’s what we learned at the mall:
- New Zealand malls have most of the same stores as U.S. malls, just with different names.
- New Zealand malls (at least the one we went to) also have grocery stores, so if you ever see one don’t be surprised if you see grocery carts. (Speaking of grocery stores, to buy make up at the grocery stores here would cost you an arm and a leg!)
- New Zealand malls don’t have escalators. Instead they have travellators. Imagine the moving sidewalks at airports slanting up and down and you’ve got travellators.
- New Zealand malls close at 9 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, but close at 5 or 6 pm every other day. Ran-dom!
- And last but not least, the restaurants at New Zealand malls offer “mean” deals right before they close. They want to get rid of their food so they start throwing out $5 and buy one get one free deals all over the place. It will be a very good thing to know about for future reference.
We finished our evening by making dinner and as is typical for us, going to bed super early!
We had church at 10 am today and it was wonderful! Lessons learned at church included:
- The people and setting may be different, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same everywhere you go. It was so comforting to walk into the church and instantly feel at home.
- The people here are SO nice! The women greeted us with kisses on the cheek and I already feel like I know them. Ah! Our ward is great! The people are just so dang friendly!
- Sometimes after listening to the accents of the people here, I start to think/read in an accent. Maybe I’ll come home with an accent ;)
We’ll spend the rest of our Sunday relaxing, going to stake choir practice, and oh yeah, using the free WI-Fi at McDonald’s. Our house doesn’t have Internet access right now, so McDonald’s is just going to have to do. Good thing it’s close!!
Go team McDonald's!!