So last weekend I went to Rotorua. The locals call it Rotovegas because there is so much stuff to do. Steffi, Rachel and I left Auckland on Friday afternoon and took the "naked bus" down and met up with Traci and Dave who are living in Hastings. Naked bus is a cheap charter bus company that can take you all over the country for a cheap price. Once we arrived in Rotorua we wandered around with our bags looking for our hostile. Once we found the hostile we checked in and went exploring. We had dinner and decided that we would go to the "hot pools" to relax. Rotorua is known for its geothermal parks and hot pools. We went to Polynesian Springs and chose the lakeside view hot pools. There were 5 differnt pools, each one being a differnt temperature, and you were supposed to move from pool to pool. The water is good for your skin and the heat is good for your muscles. It was such a beautiful night and we stayed out there as the sun set. After our relaxing hour or so in the hot pool we went back to the hostile, finished a bottle of wine and went to sleep.
Saturday was packed with things to do. We woke up and met up with Dave and Traci, who came in from Hastings that morning. First stop was the Agrodome, which had a sheep shearing show as well as the swoop,schweeb, airojet rides, and an air free fall. We all decided to skip the sheep show and I did the free fall extreme and Steffi and Rach chose the swoop! For the freefall extreme you put on a suit and lay on a huge fan. The fan comes on and the holes in the suit fill with air, and you fly! It was so fun... got me ready for sky diving :)
The swoop was a huge bungy like swing , where you dropped and headed towards the ground at 130km an hour and just before the ground you swooped up! Looked like a lot of fun...I could tell by their screams it was. Once we finished there we headed toward the ZORB! The zorb is a must do in NZ. There are only 2 places in the world with a Zorb. One being Rotorua, the other in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee haha crazy! The Zorb is like a huge hamster ball and you can either do a dry run or wet ride. I highly recommend the hydro zorb. It is like a waterslide, rollercoster combo! You roll down a huge hill either straight or an a bumpy track and fly all over the inside.
After we Zorbed we went back and got ready for our Mai Ti Maori experience. We went to a place for a traditional Maori meal and a show.Dinner was cooked underground and was delicious.During the show they did traditional songs and my favorite the HAKA! After dinner we went to a nature reserve called Rainbow Springs and saw the Kiwi bird, which is nocturnal, as well as rainbow trout and glow worms. Then we headed back to town and went out to a local bar near by.
Sunday we headed to the Luge! Also a MUST DO in NZ. We took a gondola up the hill and took 2 different luge rides down. The first ride was the scenic and we all skipped to the advanced track next! The weather was perfect which made for an even better view from the top! After we finished we headed back to town to catch the bus for our 4 hour trip home! It a fun filled weekended and I can't wait to take my family back when they come!


1st weekend!

So my first weekend in New Zealand was a blast! Its hard to believe that I have only been here for a week... it feels like I have been here for so much longer! School got out on Friday and I came home to watch a Netball game, which is huge here, obviously not as huge as Rugby! ( Netball is like women's basketball but you can't run with the ball,you can only pass). Its an interesting game but everyone here is really into it! I went out on Friday night with Marshia ( a teacher at the school) and her boyfriend and his friend. It was nice just to get out of the house and see the city at night. It was a really fun night and it prepared me for my adrenaline filled Saturday!
So before I came to New Zealand I decided that I had to make myself do adventurous things! I knew I had to bungee jump and sky dive and pretty much whatever else I could think of to do. Bungee jumping was invented here and so I figured there was no better place to try it out! I met up with Stephanie Warren, another girl teaching here from IU and we took a bus into the city. Our first stop was the Sky Tower. The weather was absolutely perfect! It was the prettiest day here so far!
There were a almost no clouds in the sky and it was warm, perfect for the Sky Tower. The tower reminds we a lot of the Seattle Space Needle but higher, and people do crazy thing off of it. We went up to the first observation deck and watched a guy "sky jump" . Its like bungee jumping but you are more secure an lowered down rather than free falling. Then we went up to the highest viewing level, which is the highest viewing point in the Southern Hemisphere, and watched people do the "sky walk" and walk around the outside of the building! That was INSANE.. I could never do that.. we were up 238 meters.. too high for me. We left the Sky Tower and took a tikki tikki( scenic tour) bike ride down to the Maritime Museum. James our biker( from England ) was definitely worth our 5 dollars :).
Then off we went to our Bungee Jump! We took a van to the bottom of the bridge, got our jear and we were off. We walked up the the underside of the bridge to a little pod in the middle of the bridge. Before we got there we were weighed and we had to jump heaviest to lightest..
I thought that there were more guys jumping but no... I was the first girl to jump.. shocker! I was so scared! I am the girl who could not jump off a tree bungee during team building at Bradford Woods and it was maybe 20 feet high and this was 40 meters. It took me 3 countdowns but I knew I had to do it... 5,4,3,2,1 and I just fell.. I was supposed to lay out like a dive but form when out the window when I stepped up to the edge. Also we had to wait till no boats were coming and of course 2 boats came under while I was waiting. I had my eyes closed for most of the free fall but when I did open them it was so cool! The whole experience was so short and I wish I remembered more of it! I will for sure be doing it again, with my eyes open and better form :).

After we got back to the city we went and had a much needed drink at Minus 5... a bar made of all ice! It was the perfect way to calm my nerves and cool off from the jump! After a long day we headed back home to rest! Sunday my "mum and dad" drove Stephanie and I around to see the different bays and beaches. We then met up with Rachel , another IU teacher and the three of us went for a walk to get dinner and take it to the beach. Restaurants here have BYO so you can buy wine or beer and bring it in with your meal.. GREAT idea! So we went and got Fish n Chips and a bottle of wine and took it down to the beach .. apparently a real Kiwi thing to do! We ate and walked around for a while and then headed back! It was a great way to end the weekend!

I have made a shutterfly account so feel free to look at my pictures and videos!!


first 48

Here are a few pictures from the Botanic Gardens

So I just finished my second day in the classroom and the kids are great! I think their accents make them even cuter. Yesterday we went to the Auckland Botanic Gardens which were so pretty. Luckily we did not get any rain because the weather changes so fast here! It will rain for 10 minutes and be sunny again.. Springtime in Auckland! The kids had such a good time on the trip, I think they liked riding the buses the best though. We rode a big public transportation bus that the kids called "bendies" because they had the soft connector in between two buses. By the end of that trip I was so tired but I have done a pretty good job of keeping on the same schedule and my jet lag has not been too bad. I have passed out at like 8 30 each night, which has given me the most sleep I have had all year!

The year 1 kids ( kindergarten) are so smart. They seem much farther ahead than my kids from back home. They have also been in school for 150 days compared to our 40. These kids are writing complete sentences and their handwriting is far beyond any of the kids I worked with at home. It is so cool to be able to see the similarities and differences with kids in the same class all the way around the world.

This weekend we have a holiday on Monday so we have a long weekend. Hopefully it will be nice and we can bungee off the harbor bridge and the sky tower. Ill let you know how that goes :) My family is so nice and are planning on taking me around on Sunday to see some differnt places. We are also going out for drinks with a few other people on Friday... oh and I may have met my husband, an English soccer player ( not sure what his name is ) but hell be at the school every Wednesday to teach soccer. sooo who knows haha


Other Side of the World

So... I have arrived in New Zealand. I landed this morning at 8:30( Sunday) which is 4pm on Saturday in the states. The flight was pretty uneventful. I luckly took off at midnight from LA so I was able to sleep most of the 12 hour flight( thanks to the ambien). Right as we were landing in NZ there was a beautiful rainbow out the window, good luck I guess.
I was greeted by my host family and one of the their daughters Sara at the airport. Their other daughter Katie works for Red Bull so she was out promoting! The family is so sweet! We have been all over today... to the mall to get an international sims card for the cell phone they have given me, to the grocery, up to my school( 2 min walk up the street) and now we are making dinner. It is 6 10 pm and im startin to crash but im staying awake so I can try to get over this jetlag pretty quick. I met my teacher Lynn as well and she walked me up to the school for a little bit.Some kids where there practicing for the talent show on the 31st. I am going on a field trip to the botanical gardens tomorrow in Auckland... what a great first day to teach.
I gave my family some gifts... milk duds and take 5's were a hit. I knew I should have brought more candy hah.. and my host dad LOVES country music... willie nelson and johnny cash have been playing all day... could it be more perfect? I'll have to get my parent to bring some more when they come. Sarah.. their daughter.. is going to Australia this weekend for the long weekend so I am going to explore Auckland with two other girls teaching in this area.. should be fun. Who knows maybe ill do a bridge jump or two :)


My New School

Hey everyone! Here is where ill be teaching for the next two months! http://www.mairangibay.school.nz/

I am teaching in the YEAR 1 classroom (5 and 6yrs). I am living with a family and their house is 4 houses down from the school. I am a 5 minute walk from the little city of Mairangi Bay where there are shops and a beach, and a 20 min bus ride from Auckland. My host mom is named Sue and her husband is named Gray. They have two daughters who are 20 and 22 which should be really fun.

I can't believe that I'm leaving in 4 days. I fly out Friday at 6:45pm and land in Auckland on Sunday at 8:30. It was just yesterday that Abby and I were talking

in our dorm room about doing this program. Now in 4 days she'll be in England and I'll be in New Zealand!

So... My room is a disaster ...trying to pack for 2 months is harder than I thought! Its spring and moving into summer in NZ so i'm leaving B-town just in time to miss some cold weather and arriving in NZ just in time for another summer. These next few days will fly by and soon we will both be off on our adventures! wish us luck!

Goodbye Rogers...

This semester has been amazing and I can't believe that this is my last week with my class.
I have been teaching in the kindergarten class at Rogers Elementary with Melissa Lund. I showed up on August 10th and was welcomed with open arms into the Rogers community. I could not have asked for a better mentor teacher. Mrs Lund is an amazing teacher who loves what she does! I have never had to much fun! We get along so well and I know she will be a part of my life forever.
I have never had to much fun! We have done some really cool things this semester. We started with abc's, then moved into shapes, colors, apples and now we are doing fall and pumpkins. I also put together a farm unit where the students explored different animals and learned what lived on a farm. Sometimes it is easy to forget what kids do not know.
Kindergarten is special because there is no set curriculum so you can be as creative as you want, which has been perfect for me. I even brought Christina as my show and tell one day!

I cannot wait to take what I have learned from my time at Rogers to New Zealand with me. I am so lucky to have the same grade in both countries because I will be able to compare the two different teaching and learning styles. It has been amazing 10 weeks and I can't wait for the next 10!