Friday, October 29, 2010

Yum Cha, 42nd Street and an Improvised Jane Austen Comedy Musical

Well it's definitely been a while since I last posted! I appologize in advance for this ridiculously long post and I will try to make an honest effort to post more frequently.

I moved into the Rea's, my second host family, a week and a half ago. My host dad Graham is the Chair of Youth Exchange for my district, so I'll have to be on my best behaviour! I am their seventh consecutive exchange student, so obviously they've had a bit of practice! Their son Greg is finishing up his exams at Uni and will be moving home in a week or so. It'll be so strange to have a sibling again... I was just getting used to this whole only child thing!

Last weekend I went with Rotarian Robyn to see one of her sons Barnie in a very out there musical about a cowboy who's wife is bucked from a horse and bounces between the Earth and the Moon. The cowboy has to shoot his wife to put her out of her misery. There were only two actors and an amazing 3 piece band. The "stage" was set up like a campfire in the dessert; our seats were hay bails covered with checkered blankets. It was really different, but really well done and very entertaining.

A fellow Canadian, Sue, and some idiot with their eyes closed!

The following day I went with Rotarian Ian and his Canadian wife Sue for some Yum Cha (delicous Chinese food). Afterwards we went to a Chinese Buddhist temple for a Cherry Blossom ceremony. The temple was massive! I didn't expect to see something like that in NZ!

This past weekend was Labour Day weekend in NZ (so stange to have it in October). I went to go see 42nd street with Rotarian Bill and his (again) Canadian wife Lynn. These Kiwi guys obviously have very good taste!

My new host parents Graham and Sue at Raglan

The following day I went to a little beach town, Raglan, with my host parents. It was the most amazing day and it was a very cool little town. Up until then I hadn't been to a 'proper' beach; after seeing the surf beach at Raglan, I just can't look at the beaches around here the same way!

Austen Found: The undiscovered musicals of Jane Austen

Yesterday I went to go see an improvised comedy musical loosely based on the works of Jane Austen. It was hilarious. One of the best shows I've ever seen! Lucy, a rebound from Sweden, invited me to go last minute and I'm so glad she did! Although I laughed so hard I got a stitch, I can't see non-Austen fans enjoying... or understanding the show!

Only 10 days left until study leave, which means freaking out about exams for my friends and summer vacation for me!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

School Holidays

I've had the last 2 weeks off school AND we've had good weather!! For the first time in 3 months (yes, I've been here for 3 whole months now!) we've had a week without rain! It's been amazing, especially with the beaches so close by.

Getting creative

Thanks to Rotarian Bill and his wife, I've finally seen an official rugby game in NZ.  The match was Auckland vs. Hawks Bay; it ended in a draw. The game was at Eden Park where the Rugby World Cup finals will be played next year (2 months after I leave!). I also participated in the Breast Cancer Walk with another Rotarian Kelvin, his wife and some of their friends. The walk was at night under the stars and had a very festive atmosphere!

I'm in the jumpsuit, the Rotarian's in the tutu. Go figure.

I had quite a few "firsts" these holidays; I made it over to Waiheke island finally, Rainbows End amusement park and the Auckland War Museum.  I went to Waiheke with another Rotarian Robyn. We had lunch at her son's newly acquired cafe and I got to chat with her very colourful family. Robyn herself is a fascinating woman. One of her stories began, "When I lived with the gypsies in India.."

Being a rebel at Rainbows End

Rainbows End was definitely on a smaller scale then say Wonderland back home, but I still had heaps off fun with my friend Laura. The same can be said about the Auckland War Museum. Again, not the largest exhibits but I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my friend Amber as well as some colouring activities that may or may not have been meant for small children...

All glamed up for the NZ Music Awards

The following day Laura and I went to the NZ music awards. It was a really good time, although often I did not understand the cultural references or jokes. I did however know most of the musicians who performed and some of them really deserve to be famous in more than just NZ.

A very successful Thanksgiving dinner!!

As much as I wanted to cook a traditional turkey dinner for my friends, I was extremely nervous something would go wrong! Luckily Laura and her family were super helpful and supportive, even when I was freaking out about taking the giblets out of the bird. Most of my friends had never had turkey or pumpkin pie before, but I think they rather enjoyed it! (Or at least they said they did...)

Back to school next week, I'm dreading it after enjoying these past 2 weeks so much. But only 4 more weeks until summer holidays!!