Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a Difference a Week Makes

A week ago, I landed in Dunedin, New Zealand, a small town on the south island. The only thing I knew about the town was that it is student central, and it is colder in its summer than Phoenix is in its winter. In other words, it is warmer today in Phoenix than in Dunedin.

On top of all of that, for months I have been “in transition.” My full-time job at the Court of Appeals ended in August, and I have been doing contract work, teaching yoga, traveling, etc. I have been unsettled for months. That made leaving the US and coming to a foreign country, albeit one where they speak English, more difficult than I had imagined it would be.

But then I arrived.

From the moment a kind woman picked me up at the airport, I have felt great. She took me to the home of the woman who had graciously offered to host me for four days, and then she drove me all over the city, so I could have a full perspective of everything (and she took me to the bank to set up an account). The next two days, I went to a Farmer’s Market (and if you know me at all, you know how much that means to me), and this kind woman with whom I was staying walked all over town, showing me the university, the town, and orienting me to everything.

Then I met my professor, and immediately I felt a sense of purpose once again in my life. I have direction, and I know that my work is going to make me happy. The excitement I felt just having some idea what I would be doing is beyond words, and I’m so excited to get going. I also met a new friend in Dunedin, who is interested in yoga and meditation. What luck!

And now I’m back in travel mode. I’m currently in Wellington, and yesterday I took a Lord of the Rings Tour. It was a blast. I was the only person on the tour, and I would have switched it to today, but I have a meeting with a judge’s law clerk and I am getting together with another Fulbrighter, so we can plan the rest of our trip until orientation.

A week ago, I was scared to death of living with a host family. Now I know that not only did she let me stay an extra night, but she has offered to let me stay for three weeks when I return to Dunedin before I come back to Wellington for two months (I met the professor here as well). There is so much to say; I have learned to look right before crossing the street, seen the sun rise over the Pacific ocean, walked through two botanical gardens, a forest, and even a rainforest, and I have met with some  incredibly wonderful people. 

I’m still unsettled, and I may be for quite awhile, but I feel content. I am glad to be here and glad to be able to see how I have changed since the last time I have traveled abroad. I could go on forever about that but not right now. After all, there will be many more posts. 

Finally, the photos are on facebook, and I am going to try to upload them elsewhere. I promise to do that as soon as I have internet that is not at McDonald’s (no, I am not eating here).

Thanks for reading. I cannot tell you how much the comments, emails, “likes,” etc. mean to me. Much love to all of you.

Namaste and Blessings! 

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