Today the northern half of the North Island celebrates a public holiday, Auckland Anniversary Day. The day in which a British fellow arrived from London to establish a British colony in New Zealand.
It just so happens that this same day marks the first day Team Hamblin arrived on the island!
We have officially been on the island for 365 days.
We didn’t come to establish a colony, but rather to learn about the New Zealanders and truly explore this beautiful place.
This past weekend us and family friends reserved a bach (a vacation home) on Lake Rotoiti. There was mountain biking on the trails in the Redwoods, boating, waterskiing, and their two boys and the T-Squad had a blast biscuiting behind the boat. They biscuited until they were bruised, rashed, sore and very tired! We jumped in the clearest lake water I have every seen. You can see the bottom of the lake. I could see my legs and arms under the water! In a lake. A lake that I might add was not freezing cold, like the ones I learned to waterski in! It is a very gorgeous lake. Really, I would rather you not take my word for it, but for you to book a flight over to NZ and come check it out for yourself! We made great memories and had a fabulous weekend. It was a beautiful reminder how amazing New Zealand truly is!
We often get asked ‘how long are you here for?’
There is not a definitive answer for this.
We are here to experience this opportunity and we are all in.
I asked my teammates for some of their thoughts on NZ from this past year.
Tanner who turned 12 and had his first summer birthday of his life, said that his favorite Kiwi treat is Pineapple Lumps. He also has enjoyed that school here in NZ is way more relaxed.
One of our funniest memories is when Tyler came home from school early on and said “mom and dad the kids here cuss way more often.”
We asked him what he meant by that.
He didn’t want to repeat it at first. As he informed us he doesn’t use that kind of language.
We reminded him that if he is sharing something with us it is different.
He reluctantly repeated, “They are always saying ‘Sweet A$$’.”
The Engineer and I looked at each other and shared a slight laugh.
We informed him that what he was actually hearing these fellow classmates and kids in the neighborhood say was…
This term for Kiwis serves as an agreement, a praise, a liking of something.
I asked Tyler our 13 year old (who is almost taller than his momma) what his favorite NZ memory so far is, “when we went boogie boarding in the ocean for 5 hours on Christmas Day that was, Sweet As!”
NZ has converted The Engineer into a breakfast eater. He has become a fan of mushrooms on toast with an expertly brewed mocha.
I asked The Engineer what he has learned from this last year,
“I have a deeper appreciation for people who live as foreigners. I now know what it feels like to be judged because of my accent.”
I am in agreement with The Engineer on this one. I think this is truly a gift to have had this opportunity to be a foreigner and away from the comfort of home. We don’t hear the American accent often. We don’t have all the foods we are accustomed to. The American holidays are not celebrated. The government does not function the same. And yet gaining this perspective has truly helped us to appreciate that all our created equally. Our skin color, our country of birth, our accent might make us ‘different’ but our hearts all need the same thing!
We look forward to this next year here in New Zealand. We have many more places to explore, people to meet and foods to try!
Our homestead is open for you to come and experience life on the island. We would love to have you!