Hello all from New Zealand. It has been sunny and cool here, which is fine with me. I can handle cold dry weather like a champ, it’s the rain that gets me. I am thankful for the sunny weather though because my emotions have been up and down. This is not unexpected, there is a fairly predictable emotional response to moving and change but it has still been a bit of a roller coaster up and down. Moving here we gave up a lot of material comforts and luxuries which hasn’t  bothered me at all, in fact I have enjoyed not having a new car that I feel the need to clean all the time and worry about denting and scratching.  I have what I need with out any excess.. Mostly because there isn’t room for excess! That being said, I have found it very hard adjusting to food prices and my expectations around the quality of food I can afford. For a long time now, my life has revolved around food, changing food habits and learning to cook real, unprocessed, whole food. I spent a very long time having pain, stomach aches and stomach upset because of the foods I ate and finally found relief with a paleo style diet but the foods and supplies I had become accustom to in Canada are very expensive and limited in their availability here. I have spent a lot of time and effort educating myself about the affects of foods on our body and it is very hard for me not to have the best quality or same quality of foods that I used in Canada. I can be a bit all or nothing sometimes so finding a middle ground can be challenging for me.  I salute the cafes and people here who eat all organic, free range ect ect but I just can’t do it and still do other things. In my ignorance, I believed that with Nate working full time and having fewer bill we would have more money but we don’t so I will adjust.  It is kind of ironic that for so long all I wanted was the time to be free to cook and bake and now that i do I don’t have the equipment( no stove, food processor, ect) or supples.  Oh well, these are not problems with solutions they are just tensions to be managed because I can’t change the cost of food here and we still have to eat. So I am working to adjust my expectations and keep moving forwards. 

This is not the first time I have moved away and I know that there would be times where I felt sad and others when I felt happy and excited about our new life. At this point I don’t miss home, I know that stage will come later though. We are so lucky that from the moment we got here we had a church and Crossfit gym to go to. It is like an instant community. I have even had two deep conversations that went beyond the surface level “hi how are you” type thing. I LOVE meaningful and deep conversation. It energizes me and gives me a senses of fulfillment in life. I am excited to hear more people’s stories and struggles because ever since I did freedom session I am ruined for small talk. But with being new there is a lot of small talk, which can’t be helped. 

I am feeling more settled this week so I have spent a lot of time praying and asking God, “why did you bring us here? ” ” what is our purpose?” ” what am I supposed to be doing?”. I have not had any lighting bolts of inspiration or burning bushes of direction yet though. This verse helps me feel more patient and settled

” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight” Proverbs 3:5-6.

While in Canada I considered pursuing coaching Crossfit more but that’s easier said then done while on the other side of the world. So I wait and enjoy my time away from work and do mom stuff like pack lunches, pick and drop off Kalani, do homework, gulp copious amounts of coffee and hang out at Crossfit. Some days when I feel like it I go and explore new areas and eat yummy food or go walk by the ocean. So well I feel frustrated with things here I try to go do something I couldn’t have done back home and it helps remind me of what I have here. I am trying to help Kalani with these concepts as well because at times he is struggling with the differences in how things used to be and how they are now as well. Although some things are just life lessons, like when he tells me he has yet to make a friend at school and he feels lonely. This of course breaks my heart but we all have been the new kid at some point and we all have to learn to push through and how to deal with our feelings in healthy ways. For us, we have spent time praying with him for friends and for God to help him be himself and continue to be friendly and cheerful even when other children aren’t. 

To end this post I have picked a few things that are different to share with my Canadian friends

1. They use 24 hr clocks for everything. Love this. There is no mixing up am and pm on your alarm clock.

2. They call the trunk of your car the boot and shopping carts are called trolleys.

3. They have many unique and one of a kind stores here. There is not a lot of chains or franchise type stores here so it means your supporting a local business or family when you purchase from them. 

4. Morning tea is like snack time. It’s a good thing my mom informed me of this because I can be very literal sometimes and probably would have sent Kalani with a thermos of tea. Duh I guess I am still blonde no matter where we are  

           

Adventures in shopping

Well it’s been five days since we arrived in New Zealand. This post is mostly about shopping and the price of certain things because that’s the bulk of what I have been doing and yes some of it will come across as complaining but I like to think of it as more of lamenting with a touch of humour and most of what I say is meant to be entertaining. 

 I am slowly acclimatizing to the chilly damp air and I am only freezing about 60% of the time. I have purchased a wool duvet which is heavenly and warm. While searching for the perfect warm blanket, I discovered that cotton anything, especially sheets seems to be like gold except rarer and more expensive. I luckily found some for like 90% of the original 130$ price tag. Our place is mostly setup now. I had forgotten how expensive it is to set up a home and have mourned the loss of nice cook utensils. We bought one of those all in one boxes of kitchen utensils which came with some knives. Well Nate broke the blade off the handle while pulling one of the knives out of the block so we upgraded to some better quality. After that, I was feeling so impressed with my new, very sharp knives that I promptly sliced my finger really good while trying to cut carrots. This also taught me the importance of a good cutting board In the prevention of injury. It was about this time I realized I have no idea what number to call for emergency help and FYI it’s 111 just in case your in NZ and have an emergency.

Kalani will be starting school on Monday at an English school near our house. We had originally planned for him to do French but decided against it for a couple reasons. First, he would only be doing preschool until next February and according to the school system here he is already behind. The children do kindergarten when they are 4 and start school when they are 5. Secondly, I felt if he did French he would spend the first several months just focused on trying to learn French and not the other parts of school like learning to read. His class would have been totally French and most other kids already spoke fluent French. The French school here is not French immersion like in Canada but just a French speaking classroom. If in the future we really want him to do French we could look into late immersion in Canada which I have heard is actually a better way for children to learn a second language. So with that decision made we enrolled him in school and paid for his very expensive uniform. I am hoping there is some mom group I can join with second hand uniforms because just Kalani’s polar fleece was 60$. He will need special shoes as well and from what I can tell they all look like those hideous geriatric Velcro/leather style shoes. Barf in my mouth. 

In other recents events I caved and ate a delicious caramel square. It was amazing but then my stomach hurt for an hour after. Kiwi’s love their baked goods and very tiny coffees. There is no such thing as a vente, I may have to track down a Starbucks and have a likely 8$ coffee because I like to gulp my coffee and not sip it. 

Kalani did his first Crossfit kids class which he thoroughly enjoyed. He ran around for about an hour and then promptly continued on with our wod of hill sprints, KB swings and dips but he only did hill sprints for the entire 22 mins. He has charmed some of the ladies at the gym with his gymnastics abilities and crazy antics. 

My final comments is on the used goods site called Trade Me. NOT A FAN. I am sure someone will be upset with me for saying that but Everything is sold auction style and in my opinion sells for way too much. Just have a set price people! Also I am not sure what happens if you buy something and then see it and decide it is not worth the price or not what the picture showed. 

That’s all for now but I am sure in a few weeks the things I am writing about now will be normal and I will have learned to sip coffe instead of gulp it and be a super savy uniform shopper and discovered that I am paying too much for many things at the wrong places because I just don’t know any better 🙂

Oops we lost a day

We have arrived! The flight was good and surprisingly quick. Kalani slept for 7 hours and I slept for no hours. Okay that’s not true, I dozed on and off through out the flight. When we arrived at 5 am we were hungry but absolutely nothing is open at that time. It is not like Canada where there is a Starbucks or some type of food place open at all hours and many places are closed on Sunday’s. We spent the morning unpacking, organizing, and shopping for house hold supplies. Nate had gotten the basics but it needed a women’s touch and it was very bachelor padish. He had his stuff kind of spune everywhere so I promptly re-organized and tidied it up. Our place is small but bright and has a lot of potential to set it up to be a cozy little home. I compiled a list of a few of my first impressions regarding differences between Canada and New Zealand

1. The streets and roads here make no sense! There does not appear to be any grid or discernible organizational scheme to them or urban planning. It’s more like “hey we need another road over here” so that’s where they put it.

2. In Canada,  we do not appreciate the convienient availability of goods of all kinds. There is no Walmart’s Costco’s or Winner’s here.  So trying to set up our place is not as easy as heading over to the local Walmart or Superstore and stocking up. You must navigate the tangle of roads and round abouts and go to about three different types of stores depending on what you are looking for. 

3. Things are pricey here. Luckily, everything is always on sale  or if it’s not it probably will be next week. My Dad would have a field day here because everything is always at “blow out” prices. 

4. Dollar stores suck here, like they did in Canada about 10 years ago. Oh well no more dollar store shopping. 

5. Everyone buys stuff on this auction site called Trade me. I am currently bidding on about 10 different items ranging from a bike to an alarm clock. Oh Ya those are hard to find as well for some reason. I am not sure what Kiwi’s do for an alarm clock but it doesn’t seem to be the bedside kind as far as I can tell.

6. It is chilly here, not cold but chilly. Nate bought what must be the cheapest comforter money can buy and it was not adequate. (It’s fine and kept me quite comfortable for three weeks-Nate) I have sheets that are warmer, needless to say, purchasing a new duvet is high on my priority list today. 

7. They air dry everything. Way to go NZ with the eco friendly laundry 

8. It is very green and lush here. So much so that maybe even I will be able to keep some plants alive. I am cursed with a black thumb. My generous Mother would always give me these beautiful plants which I would always managed to kill or just about kill and she would rehab them back to life. 

9. We live near the ocean- pretty self explanatory there. 

10. This seems obvious but they drive on the other side of the road. I did manage to make my maiden voyage in our 1996 Toyota station wagon without hitting anyone or thing. 

11. They have the most delicious looking pastries everywhere. It I still ate gluten I would be 300 lbs. 

Well that is the conclusion of my impressions from my first day. I am sure I will write often over the next week as I wake up at the crack of the middle of the night (2am) and have nothing else to do. I may do some driving around at that time as well because traffic is light and I can get used to right hand drive and explore places I want to go in the daylight.