Updates From New Zealand

    Written By Ryan

    We arrived in Christchurch after a long flight full of naps and movies. Our time in Christchurch was brief but very helpful, as we mapped and planned out our itinerary week by week. All the while continuing to get to one another through fun group bonding activities.

    After a few adventurous days in Christchurch exploring the city, the group set off to Nelson and met up with the Whenua Iti Outdoor School guides Rob and Joe (both of whom have fantastic personalities and outlooks on life). To welcome us into Nelson, they drove us to a beach and taught us their ways, and a Maori greeting, the hongi (our group’s name).

    On our way to The Outpost, we stopped at Rob and Joe’s most secret of swimming holes. After a competitive splash competition, we gathered our belongings and were off once again to the Golden Bay, where our hosts Greg and Rose made us feel like we were at home (much love for those special, loving people). Over the next three days we each challenged ourselves to step out of our comfort zones to experience some amazing stuff (as all of us expanded our comfort zones).

    Noah led the crew through some brush alongside a lake we wanted to swim in. Once we reached a clearing we found a beach covered in geese poo, but decided it would do. We cooled ourselves off and Anna came up with a brilliant idea of rubbing the mud on our faces. Apparently it would be beneficial to our skin.

    The following morning we had an early rise and took to the beach. At the beach we caught the sunrise over some majestic mountains and witnessed the power of the vast ocean. Before we walked the beach, Rob led us through some yuan xi gong (a mind/body movement). We quickly realized you should never go anywhere in New Zealand without your raincoat. Finishing up the day we set off on a 4 hour hike up a mountain close by (man when we reached the top it was beautiful). Leaving the Outpost was sad yet moving as we performed a Maori warrior dance (“Mauraku”) for Greg and Rose to show our gratitude.

    All is well, each day I feel like the group is bonding well and becoming our own family. We’re all having a blast and everyday seems to be more adventurous and challenging than the previous. By the way, April is the queen of chess, that’s the way the cookie crumble, and stayed tuned for next week’s exciting blog.