Hey everyone! We are Sarah and Nathan, and we are so excited to lead this Hongi group in the South Pacific this fall! This trip is bursting with all sorts of adventures and growth opportunities. In anticipation and preparation for the semester, we have spent the last week training with other Carpe Diem Overseas Educators.

Before we get to what we have done this week, we want to tell you a few things about us!

SARAH:
Hey everyone! I’m stoked to be heading back to the South Pacific with Carpe Diem for the second time on semester, and for the…fifth? Sixth? Seventh time overall? New Zealand is like a second home for me, and I get so much joy being able to share my enthusiasm for the land and our contacts with students. I’ve been working in experiential education/trip leading for about four years now, and outside of the South Pacific, I’ve had a chance to work in countries like Costa Rica, Spain, and Iceland. I love running, yoga, outdoor sports, cycle touring, and generally seeking out new adventures. You’ll see that I’m wearing a super stylish boot in these blog photos…don’t worry – while I may be hobbling early on in the semester, it only slows me down a little (and for just a little bit longer).

I’m most excited to head back to the Hart Farm to learn more about sustainability, spend time with our Maori contact in Raglan, sing songs with community members in Fiji, and to see what kind of personal lessons we all learn along the way.

NATHAN:
Hi y’all my name is Nathan and I am so excited to be here! I am a 28 year old wanderer who loves to juggle and climb trees! I grew up in Western Washington and lived in Oregon for the last 5 years. I have spent time in Australia, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. I have been facilitating adventures for 10 years in all sorts of roles, from being a cabin leader at a summer camp to teaching college classes at university. I finished my schooling with a Master Degree in Outdoor Adventure and Expedition Leadership from Southern Oregon University. If you are wondering what that degree means, no worries – so do I. Essentially, I got a degree in travelling and being outside all the time.

Some of my hopes and dreams this term are to explore the New Zealand islands in depth, to SCUBA the Great Barrier Reef, and to see students become comfortable in their growth zones.

In preparation for our semester, we just spent the last two weeks in the Portland area for Carpe Diem’s staff orientation! To say it was a lot of fun would be an understatement. During training, we covered all of the important stuff that you would imagine goes into a semester program – budgets, risk management, policies, co-OE working styles, itinerary details, program expectations – the list goes on and on. We also had time to really get to know each other. While camping in Milo McIver State Park, we joined forces on the annual OE team vs. OE team scavenger hunt, eventually ending with a powerful 3rd place finish. Sitting on a sunny dock for hours talking, laughing and watching Larry the Llama dance could be considered one of our favorite parts of training (we can’t wait for you to meet Larry). All the OEs at Carpe Diem are super passionate about international travel, and it was a blast getting a chance to connect, learn from one another, and have a lot of fun preparing for the adventure ahead.

Takeoff is in just a few days, so don’t hesitate to email or reach out with any last minute questions! We’ll see you all at 5:30PM at the Air New Zealand check-in counter on September 11.

Adventure awaits!

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