The school holidays have just ended and school is back in session. (Although it stills feels like summer vacation as the heat is stifling). My last few weeks of summer were fantastic. I spent a week in the Coromandel (the getaway spot for many Aucklanders) with my host family and another exchange student, Solene from France. We spent pretty much all of our time boogy boarding at the beach and attempting to get a tan... Although Solene and I both had to wear SPF 70 to avoid burning!
Cathedral Cove, Cormandel. (Used in the opening scenes of Narnia 2!)
New Chumms, Coromandel.
I'm pretty much a pro...
I also celebrated my 18th birthday this past week, which felt very strange; I don't feel old enough to be 18! It was a really nice day, although it was raining. I had lunch with the other exchange students in the city and then dinner with my host family. My Rotary Club also gave me a huge chocolate cake!
Thanks Rotary Club of Pakuranga!
Family friends from Canada, Norm and Dianne, were on holidays over the break and I had the opportunity to meet up with them for dinner. It was so crazy seeing people from my Canadian life here in NZ! I talked their ears off about New Zealand and about the differences/similarities between Canada and NZ. Look out everyone I will be talking about my exchange heaps when I get back!
Dinner with Norm & Dianne from Canada!I also went to Big Day Out a couple weeks back with the other exchange students. BDO is an all day concert featuring heaps of different artists on 7 stages. I went to see Wolfmother, Lupe Fiasco, Naked and Famous, Phoenix Foundation, M.IA, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and even Rammstien! It was such a fun day and amazing to see so many different bands in one day!
Through a Rotarian at my club, I was also able to spend 24 hours at a fire station, riding along in the truck to calls, day and night! Although I did miss a few calls during the night, even though lights and bells go on when there is a call! Guess I'm a deep sleeper... The firemen were all super nice (and some of them super cute as well!).
Decked out in fire gear. Looking totally legit.
School has started back up; I'm in Year 13 (Grade 12) which means that I'm now in mufti (regular people clothes-- not uniform). I also get the privilege to leave the campus during lunch and just generally be a lot cooler than younger years! That being said I'm involved in the 'Peer Support' program at school. Year 13's hang out with Year 9's and help them adjust to high school. We also go to camp for a couple days to bond and build self confidence. Camp is next week and I'm very excited!
The week after camp I will be heading off to Samoa for a week with my counsellor! I'm really keen to see Samoa and see their completely different way of life. I will also be the speaker at one of the local Rotary clubs there! Should be amazing, although it'll be very very humid! (It's been crazy humid in NZ lately as well!)
I'm with my 3rd host family now and I have just over 4 months left. I actually can not believe how quickly time has gone by! I'll be coming back home before I know it... Next week is Selection Weekend back home, where Rotary will choose a new exchange student to come to NZ and I will officially be replaced! Sad!