Wednesday, August 28, 2013

holy moly I'm in New Zealand

Hola peeps. What's up? Guess what? I'm in New Zealand. Woah, right? It really is a big 'woah!' for me. The past week has flown by. Monday I woke up at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep all day. I packed and repacked, prayed over my luggage--that it wouldn't be too overweight--and prayed even more over my car, to sell it before I left. Miracle of miracles, I did, and literally three hours before I left for the airport, I signed over the title with the money in my pocket I needed to be able to open a bank account and start my life here when I landed. My flight was not fun. I was ultra tired and just wanted/expected to be able to sleep the whole time since it was an overnight flight that didn't leave until 11pm anyway, but No! For whatever reason AirNZ seems to think it's a great idea to serve "dinner" at 1am and "breakfast" at 4. Yuck yuck. They kept turning the lights on and making intrusive announcements on the PA. Needless to say I took a long nap after arriving in Auckland.

It is beautiful here. It's like Seattle--very wet and very green, but minus the tall pine trees. I can't believe where I live! I am living with a great friend of mine and her family and it is in such a perfect location; I couldn't have wanted anything more. I can see the Sky Tower from my bedroom window, and Auckland city skyline around it. It is close to shopping and buses, but in such a nice neighborhood and far enough away from "the city," that I do not feel claustrophobic or hustled. Wow. I am so blessed.

School starts Monday. I am excited. It is grey outside but I have such a feeling of light and warmth inside me. I know this is right for me. I know this is where I'm supposed to be and I believe that great, grand things are in store. It's hard to think of my family being so far away, but I am reminded that if we could see with God's eyes, we would realize that it's not so very far after all.

Sorry for the lack of pictures--It didn't occur to me that when I left my phone in the states I wouldn't have anything to take pictures with here. I will try to remedy that soon, because you're going to want to see what I'm looking at. :)

Love you all.

Rejoicing from NZ,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Der Sommer

It is two o'clock in the morning and I can't sleep. Usually when I can't sleep it's because I'm thinking about something, and with T-11 days till NZ, you can imagine what. As I think about all the changes coming in the near future, I think about the funny and witty and entertaining and inspiring things I will write on my blog for you to read. And then I remember that I'm a terrible blogger and haven't opened this template in months. Time for that to change. I feel a need to blog, not because I want to broadcast my life or experiences, but because I feel too blessed not to. Even if it's just in a small way, I hope that something I may say or write someday on here might benefit someone. Sunshine is the goal. 

With that in mind, I'd love to tell you about my summer. 

It's been lovely. I've had taimi 'ifo (delicious, wonderful time) with family and friends, and been rejuvenated and recharged in a myriad of ways. Leaving Maui, as predicted, was HARD. BUT I have a strong feeling that I will be back, that it is my home, and I hope someday I can share it with YOU, when you finally come visit me. :)

The summer has been a whirlwind of travel and adventure. I arrived back to immediately attend a cousins HS graduation, then a family reunion, and got to spend a couple of relaxing weeks with my fam while freezing in the forever-dawdling Idaho spring (see previous post). 

The middle of June brought me a much anticipated gift: an aptly named "Rocking Roommate Reunion Roadtrip" from UT to Seattle with three of my closest and much-beloved friends. 

These girls light up my life and are continuously teaching and inspiring me. Not to mention making me laugh. Love you R, N, and L.

Portland was next, with another week with a favorite aunt, uncle, and cousins. I grew up during my high school summers with them, and love and miss them a lot. My dear aunty decided she wanted to go back to being a farmer, and she has enough chickens, goats, rabbits, horses, cats, etc. to prove herself one. I had a wonderful time going back to my roots and milking goats, bottle feeding the kids, and collecting eggs from the chickens. Aunty K is a master food preserver and professor of self-sufficiency, and I learned how to properly butcher both chickens and rabbits. Living in a Tongan world for so long has desensitized me to such experiences, though I'm not anxious to repeat them. I just don't like taking the life of another creature. :(

Following up that week was a visit to another aunt and uncles house, fun time with more cousins (I am decidedly biased, but I really like my family and think they're the best in the world), and finally home again for the 4th of July and preparations for our epic summer block party. 

The block party was my brainchild, and something I looked forward to and planned for several months. When work was particularly tough or I was struggling, I would just think about what the party was going to be like and how much fun we would have and all the people I could cook for (cooking for people is my joy in life). And the party did not disappoint. Although we weren't able to have everyone come that I would have liked (out backyard isn't exactly big enough to fit the whole world into, and we would most definitely have run out of chicken), the important ones were there. We ate delicious barbeque and salads in my mom's perfect yard, watched a movie projected onto the house after dark, and for those whom we were related or particularly close to, slept outside on the grass that night, under the stars. The next morning delivered a beautiful sunny day in which we ate a large pancake breakfast and spent an ultra-wonderful afternoon kayaking on a subsidiary of the Snake River. So perfect. Such a gift. 


Other family activities included wild berry picking and exploring some new (to us) little Idaho towns. 

August came on with a fury, and I saw a cousin off at his mission farewell, finally got to see and hug my brother after 15 months apart, and added a new country when I spent a week in Mexico with some beloved extended family members doing humanitarian work at some orphanages. 

My older sister went too, and we've only just arrived back home from all those adventures and time with family in Utah once again to dear-old-Idaho. Tomorrow is an overnight camping trip with little brother for his birthday, Friday is all-day packing and repacking, and Saturday it is off to Boise to fly out. I will have six more days in Maui trying to sell my car and settle my nerves, then it's off to Aoteroa for me. 

Am I excited? A little bit. 

Am I nervous? Maybe so. 

What are my thoughts? Mostly I'm just going to miss my family a whole lot. They may not know it, but it's a lot more difficult for me to leave them than it looks. It is my one consolation to know that the Lord is there and watches out for all of us constantly, whether we are or are not together. I know He is there in your life too. I hope you can see Him today. 

Ehrlich gesagt, hab' ich wirklich zur Freude gro╬▓en Grund.