I can’t believe I’ve been living in New Zealand for 3 weeks! Here are some of the interesting, fun, amazing, and life changing things about being a Kiwi.
1) Coins. Sure you have paper bills, but not anything less than a five. And no quarters either. Nope, here in NZ, you get a nice golden “toonie”, the Canadian word for a $2 coin, a silver $1 coin, and a 50 cent coin. I have to make sure to have those “toonies” on hand for my laundry! The paper money isn’t so bad either – very colorful with animals on them. In my opinion, much more fun to look at then dead presidents (Sorry Lincoln!).
2) Games. Here at the YWAM base where I am living I have gotten to learn and play so many fun games! First there is Dutch Blitz, a card game similar to Nertz, but with its own deck that includes a yellow wash bucket, a blue hoe, a green water pump and an orange buggy! I thought I knew how play Uno, but over here, there are additional special rules, and “torture” given to the hand of the person that loses. Then there is “ABC”, a Korean hand clapping game that involves giving slaps to the people that match the same hand pattern as the leader. It is pretty fun to watch my friends and the way they give out their slaps! My favorite game is a Japanese version of “rock, paper, scissors”, which just makes me laugh because of its silliness! I even had a try at touch rugby the other day.
3) Nature. I’ve made myself get up early a few mornings to go for a run or walk and caught the sun rising – it is spectacular! Last weekend I saw a double rainbow at the end of a walk home in the rain that was breathtaking – the colors were so bright! The jaw-dropping concave of Mount Eden can’t be described, and a picture really doesn’t do it justice. The feeling of freedom I felt in the air at the top of One Tree Hill, with spectacular views of the lush hills dotted with sheep and plants. My good friend from New Zealand told me that the ozone is thinner here, so maybe that’s why every time I go outside I just can’t get enough of the open sky, clouds, and whatever glimpse of sun I can get.
4) Family. In just three weeks, the 10 DTS students I live with, the staff that live here, their kids, and even our neighbors with the King’s Kids Ministry next door have all become to feel like family. I never thought I would say this, but, after living by myself for three years, it feels so good to share a room with 6 women! My living environment has made me feel supported, comforted, and strengthened. Sure, there are nuances, and I try to hide the blush on my face when people are laughing at me, but this atmosphere is allowing me to be more and more who I am. Every day I can step out further, open up more, be real, and shine!
5) Hearing God. Back home I was too concerned about what was going around me to take the time to stop, listen, and really wait to hear from God. Sure I would read my Bible, and pray, but often in a rush, or with my own agenda. Now I’m slowing down, going for quality rather than quantity, and being still with a smile on my face as I wait to hear God speak. And He does! It is so amazing, because more than anything, you know what he says? He tells me “You are mine” (Isaiah 43:1) ❤