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Showing posts from March, 2009

Weekend in Northland, New Zealand.

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This past weekend I went up to Northland with a friend from Holland. We rented a car and drove from Auckland to Cape Reigna. Spent most of the time driving, but I didn’t mind it because the scenery was so cool. First stop was at Goat Island Marine Reserve where there was some pretty awesome snorkeling. Just walked in the water with fins and snorkel on and there were some rocks where some fish were hiding but they were curious at times. After a couple hours of exploring Goat Island we headed up north to Paihia, near Bay of Islands. We wanted to go on one of those trips where you swim with dolphins but it was a little expensive and we woke up a little too late. So we spent most of Saturday on a beach getting some sun, swimming and snorkeling. The water was nice and warm up there and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I came back with a nice tan.


The next morning we continued our journey north and pulled off when we saw a sign for a waterfall. It was a pretty short hike down to the falls a…

Morten and the Crab.

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Friday wasn't too bad of a day (which means no rain), so I walked down to the warf with my friend Luke from Anthropology class. We walked over to the edge and sat down and looked for fish and sea life. Right when we sat down his phone fell out of his pocket and into the water. He was pretty calm considering it was a $150 phone with $28 of prepaid minutes on it. He just figured: "Well, at least it wasn't my wallet." Then we saw a fairly large jellyfish swim by, so we named him Jeffrey and joked that Jeffrey had his phone and was texting other jellies. We walked all over downtown, from the waterfront up to the domain where I play soccer and where the museum is.

After class I met up with some mates up in Shadows (the on campus pub) for a bit. My friend Lilian, from Spanish class, called me and said that she was getting a group to go to Mexcian Cafe to maybe work on our Spanish skills a bit. We first went to Morten's place, where we had some pizza and then went out. …

St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, better known as St. Patrick's Day, was probably one of my favorite days here so far. I went out with my soccer mates (Sven, Frank, Morten, etc.) on a pub crawl. When we got to our first pub one of our Norwegian mates had been "celebrating" since the morning and the usual quiet Kasper jumped up and yelled "JUSTINE!" Then he proceeded to take green paint and paint my face. This pub didn't have Guinness, but Murphy's, which is similar to Guinness. After a couple hours, I told my mates that St.Paddy's wouldn't be right without a proper pint of Guinness, so we moved on to the QF Tavern. There was a guy playing guitar and all the Americans started singing when he played "Hotel California." My American friends who joined me were Hunter (from North Carolina) and Lilian (from Oregon who is in my Spanish class).

I wish that I took pictures but I forgot to charge my camera the night before. But it was still a very fun night: "Michi&…

Football at the Domain.

Played some more soccer today at the Auckland Domain which is right by the museum. I didn't play with the Brazilians this time even though that was the plan. Instead, I played with some Auckland Uni grad students. We were quite a mix of international students: Norway, Germany, New Zealand, and the States. Again, they commented that I play well for a girl after making some decent tackles: "Ay, man! She's good!" They knew my name but one of them gave me the nickname "Michi" (pronouced more like "Mitchi"). When they say Michigan it sounds like Mitchigan -- with a 't' stuck in there. They treated me like their little sister and they're all cool: Sven, Alex, Max, James, Morten, Kasper, and Frank. Heidi was another girl (from Norway) who played with us but not for long.

Tomorrow I'm going to the Maritime Museum before class at 1 and then some studying as usual. Tuesday we're all going out on a pub crawl for St.Patrick's Day and t…

A List.

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I don't have time today to write a long entry today since I have a bit of studying to do and I'm playing soccer at 3:30 today with my Brazilian friends. So here's the list:

- I've been asked if I'm Brazilian 3 times and Portuguese once...no one knows where Honduras is.
- Making friends fairly quickly simply because people hear me talk and get curious about where I'm from. I have a few friends in Anthropoplogy: Hugh (who's dad did study abroad at UMich) and John (who was born in New Jersey and lived in MD but grew up mostly in Australia/NZ). My friend in Marine Science, Ayu, grew up in Michigan but went to college in Asia and now doesn't have an American accent.
-Met Lisa's hosts...very nice and talkative Kiwis who go lawn bowling -- similar to bocce but different.
- Lisa managed to fall down a single stair and sprain her ankle on Friday the 13th. We couldn't get ahold of our hosts so they called an ambulance because she said she heard a crack. One o…

Getting back into the swing of Uni.

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I'm feeling pretty much fully recovered after my episode and just on one more day of antibiotics. My left arm hurts a bit and is bruised from the multiple lines put in - definitely painful after 4 hours of constant writing in my lectures. I can tell I'm not in as good of shape as I was in since it's a pain in the ass to climb the hills downtown. Lisa says it's obvious I lost weight in the hospital though - probably because of the food there that tasted like cardboard most days. Before class today Lisa and I went into a McDonalds off Queen Street and I ordered the "Big Kiwi Breakfast," since they don't serve the Mcmuffin on a biscuit. It wasn't very good, not going to lie. So after that we went to our new favorite little cafe called Muffin Break and had some tea. Everyone there is so pleasant and the girl behind the counter calls you "Darling" or "Sweet heart." So here's a picture of the full moon that was on March 11 and the ot…

Back from the hospital.

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After 5 long days and sleepless nights I am now back from the North Shore Hospital. Thursday morning Jill called her doctor to get me an appointment since I was still feeling pretty crappy after the episode at the bank Wednesday. I was supposed to be at the clinic by 9:15 but had trouble getting out of bed after passing out on my way to the bathroom and then again on my way back to my room. I just went straight to my bed and laid there for a bit then tried to get dressed but passed out a third time. Jill then called an ambulance since I was pretty much unable to move because I felt so weak and kept passing out.

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics were very efficient and inserted an I.V. drip (and one wasn't too bad looking either haha). They took me to North Shore Hospital emergency and I spent 12 hours there in the care of Dr. Rob and some nurses who had a soccer discussion with me most of the time I felt able to carry conversation. They were able to get one bit of a blood sa…

In the hospital...

Well today sucked. It was good in the morning before class, but I went to the bank to open an account and managed to pass out in the bank. I was at the counter talking to the lady about my account and all of a sudden I couldn't hear what she was saying and shortly after everything went blurry and then black. The next thing I remember is waking up in a chair waiting for the ambulence. When I was in the ER I was alone. I had tried to contact Jill and Lisa but was unsuccessful for a while. The only person who contacted me at the time was my friend, Antony, who called to see what I was doing this afternoon before I told him I was in the hospital. I was probably the youngest person in my treatment area by 50 years. The entertaining part was when Bruce, the old guy behind the curtain next to me, was getting up to go to the bathroom and I was nearly flashed! The nurse had to nearly yell for Bruce to hear her. I thought I had another kidney infection; I wasn't dehydrated...after sitti…

Day 1 of class and I'm already looking at mid-semester break plans.

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Today was my first day of class at the University of Auckland. I had marine science. It was alright...fairly boring for a first lecture; but that seems typical with every class I've ever taken. I didn't have class til 1PM, so when I got off the bus at 10AM I walked down to the docks and looked out at the harbor and enjoyed some "hokey pokey" ice cream. I loved it...it was so relaxing just watching the boats go in and out, hearing the gulls hovering above, and the sea breeze cooling my skin that was finally seeing some summer sun after at least 3 months of winter. Even the fishy smell was Heaven! I sat there for two hours and didn't even realize it. After class I showed my new favorite spot of the city to Lisa and we caught the bus back to our homestays.

I started planning for spring break around 8PM local time. We get two weeks off for Easter/Mid-Semester break. There's a number of hostels that will cost about $10USD/night and cheap campervans for rent, but I…

Oh, and I forgot to mention...

I heard an ice cream truck today and the song they play is "Greensleeves"...kinda creepy sounding.

And the picture with the statues...that is a Pou Rahui. A rahui is a restriction on an area. If an accident or incident happens a physical symbol may be displayed to show that a rahui has been imposed. Here in Birkdale the streams are being impacted by wastewater overflows which may create a health hazard. The pou will be removed in 2010, provided that the Birkdale wastewater upgrade is complete and overflows are eliminated.

Soccer in the Park

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Yesterday afternoon (Saturday) I went to "the domain" to play some soccer. The domain is a park located by the museum and there's a mixture of students and locals playing fairly often. We played from about 3:30 - 6:30. I was the only girl playing and so the guys were taking it easy on me because they were affraid they'd hurt me but they made the game almost too easy. I managed to score 3 goals before they said "You're really good for a girl!" [They must not have seen many girls play soccer because I'm not very good.] After a solid 3 hours of running on the muddy field I came back a bit dirty. I had to catch a bus back to Birkdale so one of the Brazilians who I was playing with offered to give me a ride to the bus stop. His name is Juliano and he gave me some good spots to learn how to surf and such.


Today I went on a hike just 10 minutes walk from my house in the Birkenhead Reserve. The birds were loud and I was determined to get a good picture of th…