Well it's just been too darn long since I posted! Sorry about that folks. The last few days have been a bit busy! I've had some real quality experiences lately. At school on Friday, for example, we had a New Zealand party! We ate New Zealandish foods like mince (aka ground beef) pies, golden kiwis (I'm telling you, they are delicious and they put green kiwis to shame), pavlova (common in New Zealand), Tim Tam slams, and Vegemite (which is down right disgusting...no offense to any of you who like it). We had quite the spread!
This is our wonderful director Erika.
She tried Vegemite for the first time and was not exactly pleased.
And this my friends shows the ingredients for the most wonderful creation ever...Tim Tam slams. Milo is kind of like hot chocolate (less sweet) and Tim Tams are the most delicious biscuit (aka cookie) ever. Ever ever ever. To experience a Tim Tam slam, 1st- Bite off both ends of the Tim Tam (I highly recommend caramel Tim Tams), 2nd-Suck the heated Milo through the Tim Tam until the Tim Tam starts to feel a bit soft, 3rd- Get the entire Tim Tam in your mouth before it falls apart in your hand, and 4th- Experience the endorphins that are released as you consume pure joy. Warning: You will experience a sugar high and you will want to eat the entire package of Tim Tams yourself. They have Tim Tams in the states, so go out and get yourself some ASAP (I think they sell them from March to November so stock up). Replace Milo with hot chocolate and love your life. (Side note: Milo is better, but seeing as they don't have them in the states...hot chocolate will have to do). I'm telling you people, you won't be sorry.
Friday night we went into the city with Natalie (our wonderful "host babysitter" of sorts). (Our host family was out of town for our first week and Natalie was taking care of the house. She also ended up taking us to lots of different places in Auckland.
We love her and are so sad she can't live at our house forever!)
One of the places she took us is called Devonport. It's a little city that is very British-inspired and it is adorable. Natalie drove us around and our favorite spot ended up being the top of Mt. Victoria. We could see the whole city from there and it really was quite picturesque.
The rest of our evening was spent exploring downtown Auckland. We walked around the wharf (which you can see below) and explored what the city had to offer. I learned two very important things while I was in the city. 1- Downtown Auckland looks like most other cities, but it is incredibly less crowded. I'm definitely a fan of that! 2- I love spending time in the city, but I think I'm actually more of a suburban/rural kind of girl. Go figure!
Andrea and Natalie were tuckered out from lots of walking.
Too bad this was at the beginning of our excursion! haha
Saturday brought more adventures. Adventure #1 was at Piha beach. We'd heard about this beach from several other people and knew it was supposed to be a rather dangerous beach (the TV show called Piha Rescue told us that much). Before we left for the beach our host dad even warned us about the dangers of Piha: it has really strong currents, really tall waves, and a drop off that is difficult to see. His parting words were, "Girls, you will be in trouble if you drown." With these warnings in mind, we headed to the beach.
Even with its dangers, Piha was beautiful!! The currents were super strong and just plain weird. There were waves and currents pulling in every direction! The other really "mean" (which means cool) thing about Piha was its black sand! Because there is so much iron in the sand it is almost black and will burn your feet off! I felt like my feet were going to blister in a matter of minutes!
We liked this beach, but we feel like we've had enough of it for a while.
Adventure #2 came when we went to a missionary homecoming party with our host family. Our stake really emphasizes missionary work and they make a huge deal of missionary farewells and homecomings. We went to a party for a missionary who just got home from Tonga and were able to hear about his experiences and enjoy both musical numbers AND a dance party. As my host sister would say, it was mean!!! We danced the night away with our little host sisters and were absolutely exhausted when we finished. It was great!
This is one of the little host sisters we danced with. Her name is Snowden, but we usually call her Fufu or Bunnyfu (just a little nickname). She's hyper as can be and really likes jumping on us,
but we love her!!
Sunday was full of church (our ward is wonderful!), a BBQ with the rest of the BYU girls, another missionary get together, and another Harry Potter movie. Pretty darn great if you ask me! Monday and Tuesday were full of school (this week is math or "maths" as they call it here), homework, and time with our host family. (P.S. Our time with our host family was definitely the best. We've learned some awesome songs [videos coming soon], laughed till our sides hurt, and even seen a great movie. Rise of the Guardians people! It is SO good!)
More to come! New Zealand is teaching me lots and giving me experiences I never knew I'd have! Love you all!