Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Taupo Trip

more photos of my students

Taupo Trip

Waikato River
Wairakei Terraces

Recently (ok it was the beginning of August) my school organised a weekend trip away for our students and I was asked to promote it. Eventually we had about 27 people going in total and everyone had an awesome time. I've posted some photos on Facebook and here are some more. We stayed at Taupo, which is in the centre of the North Island on the Central Volcanic Plateau. It's a geothermal area similar to Rotorua but without the sulphur smell and it has a bigger lake and it's closer to the mountains so we could go skiing.

Highlights of the trip were:
A fearsome Maori welcome and cultural performance,
Bungy jumping over the Waikato River (I will never do this again, but you should try it!)
Natural hot pools
Sightseeing at Huka Falls and Wairakei Terraces
Great food catered by the staff at Wairakei Terraces.

Unfortunately the skiing wasn't great as the weather turned bad while we were up the mountain.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

I kept my promise, and here are some photos. However, as you can see, I need a new camera.

My new flat

Grafton Bridge

St Paul's Church (I go here)

Saturday, 30 June 2007

A few things to add

I'm typing this from the living room of my new flat. It's an old house in Grafton, in Central Auckland that I'm sharing with 5 other friendly people. My bedroom is tiny but the rent is reasonably cheap for Auckland. It's so narrow that i can touch the opposite walls at the same time. I don't know how long I can last in this space. The rest of the house is great though and I spend most of my time in the kitchen or living room.
In an effort to get fit and because parking is too expensive I bought a bike and now cycle to work. It takes me about 10 minutes to get to work (I basically just roll down the hill) and maybe about 20 minutes to get home.

It's great teaching adults. My students are so polite. They actually thank me at the end of each lessons. One even said "enjoy your meal" to me. One of my co-workers is from London so I'm always learning Cockney rhyming slang from him. Like "use your loaf" (loaf of bread= head) and "have a radox" which means have a laugh. Do you get the connection?

Sorry I've got no photos to put up. Tomorrow I'm going to make an effort to take my camera everywhere I go and take at least 10 photos so that I might have something to show you.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Are you on Facebook?

I haven't been writing my blog as frequently as I was. One reason for this is that I haven't had any big news recently except to say that my job is going well and I still haven't found a flat. I've never had such a difficult time trying to find a flat. In the past I've been really blessed to be placed in really good flats (see previous posts) without having to go through this process of searching and waiting. So far I've found 3 flats or apartments that I really liked and each time I was rejected! The people living there chose other people to move in.
In the meantime I'm enjoying living at home with my parents where I get all my meals provided and my laundry washed for me.

The other reason I haven't been writing in this blog is that I've become addicted to facebook. I finally decided to join a week ago after about 5 people had invited me and it is really cool. Already I have 50 friends (and growing), 15 wall posts and 111 friends' photo albums to look through. It's been a great way to catch up with people I know. So if you haven't joined yet, you really should.

Friday, 1 June 2007


I haven't posted anything for a while but I've been busy. I am now working, so I don't have lots of spare time anymore. However, I will continue this blog even though not many people seem to be checking it regularly.
Shout outs to Beth, Paula and Jason from Taiwan for leaving comments! Yeah
Here's a picture of the building in which my school is located (on the 2nd floor). Fios stands for Federal Institute of Studies. It's a small language school with about 40 to 50 full-time students and 6 teachers. I've counted about 9 other people who work there doing marketing and admin-related jobs. We teach general English in the morning and different options in the afternoon. I'm teaching a writing class. Everyone seems really nice and friendly at the school so I'm happy to be there. At the moment it takes me almost an hour by train to get to work so I'm looking to move into a flat closer to the city.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Did you live on Ching Nian 1st road?

For another 3 years I lived here on Ching Nian 1st Rd and they were great years too. I lived at number 1-13 on the 5th floor, upstairs from the Mos Burger. 7-11 was right across the road. I had some great flatmates and some great neighbours.Lots of great friends came round to visit too. So, if you lived on Ching-Nian 1st Rd or have some connection with it, leave a comment!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Did you live at 73 London Street too?

For 3 years 73 London St was my flat in Dunedin and I have fond memories of that place. It was also the place where we had our homegroup meetings. Every Friday night 40 or 50 people would cram into the living room for worship and then we would break up into smaller groups for bible study in different rooms of the house. After that it would be time for supper and everyone would always hang around talking until after midnight.
If you lived at London St or you went to the homegroup there and you're reading this, leave a comment and say where you are now.


My time in Dunedin was mostly spent catching up with old friends as well as applying for jobs at Language schools. However, since all they could offer me was relieving work, I'm not preparing to move back down there. I think that I'll probably just stay in Auckland.
Dunedin is still the same city it was when I went to university there but the people are different. It made me sad to think that so many friends I'd met here have moved away but that is inevitable I guess. Those still living in Dunedin have mostly all got married and/or had kids since I was last here. Sorry I didn't take many photos of Dunedin.

Tunnel Beach

Lance, Liz and Bethany (who is 1 year old and shares the same birthday as me: April 10th). I know you guys are squinting in the light from the sun here, but I really like this picture. If it had been a clear day you could see Dunedin City in the background.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Mt Aspiring National Park

In Dunedin I met up with my old friend Yukio Flinte and we took off for 3 days of tramping. We weren't really sure where we would go but ended up in the Mount Aspiring National Park near Wanaka. On the first night we stayed at Mount Aspiring Hut then on the second day we climbed up to French Ridge. It was a very steep climb. We went from 400m to around 1400m in about 4 hours. The first 2 hours were relatively flat just going along the Matukituki river and the next 2 hours were straight up. I was completely exhausted when we arrived at French Ridge Hut but after a lunch stop, I soon found the energy to keep climbing to get closer to the glacier. I reached the snow line but could only look at the Glacier as it was too far to reach. Here's a picture of it.

Then we headed back to the hut. On the last day we walked out, taking a side-trip to the Rob Roy glacier on the way. There we met a kea. Kea are alpine parrots native to New Zealand. They're like the monkeys of Monkey Mountain in Taiwan in that they like to steal food. Some poor tourists had their lunch stolen.

The long-drop at French Ridge Hut

Can you spot the two trout in the river?

Lake Wanaka