Saturday, July 2, 2011

Post Trip Revelations

I find myself sitting around my house (as I have been confined to do so, thanks wisdom teeth), just simply thinking about my trip to New Zealand and reminiscing upon what made it so special. New Zealand was so much different that Africa, but in a way that I find hard to classify. In some ways it was simply just more diverse,  in other ways it was more controlling, none the less I still find myself sitting her wishing that I could jump back onto one of those lovely 14 hour flights to Auckland (hopefully this time without a crying baby).  The friendships I gained on this trip will never leave me, that much I'm sure of. When you're far away from home, it's the people who keep you going. Without them the trip would not have nearly been as unforgettable and utterly indescribable. I will undoubtably treasure everything that these wonderful people have brought into my life and never forget the memories we shared, those images will forever be a perpetual fixture in my mind.

It has been on these two trips over these last two summers that I have truly learned the most about myself and what it means to know who you are as a person, and as an individual. I found comfort in the fact that I grew up a little bit each day I was away, I learned something new,  I tried something different, or discovered something amazing. Each time it taught me more and more about myself. I tend to struggle finding myself in both ideology and thought when I'm trapped inside the proverbial, yet very legitimate, "Memorial Bubble". It is only when I can get away from everything, like on one of these trips or something like it that I can fully embrace my moral character and see who I am outside of usual circumstances, which is something I am beginning to treasure more and more each time the opportunity presents itself.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


So we're finally waiting to board the plane to Fiji! But not without some trouble along the way.. When we arrived to check in they didn't have our tickets.. Jan the evil devil woman who messed it up last time failed to reticket us which wasn't all that easy.. But eventually we got our tickets and we're waiting to board now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Uh oh!

So we awoke this morning at 5:11 promptly to go to Fiji! Once we were all packed up and ready to head out they broke the news to us that our flight had been cancelled due to the ash cloud circling New Zealand thanks to Chile! (wahoo!) Not haha. Well we went to the airport anyway to get things sorted out and after nearly 5 hours of waiting and shopping at overpriced airport stores we finally got booked onto a flight.. On Sunday.. But it is a direct flight to Fiji which is nice, but not as nice considering I could have been there right now! We'll still have a day or so in Fiji. After this we headed out to the International Antarctic Center to check out some Penguins and other such things. It was actually pretty sweet and helped me to get my mind off the fact that I will not be going to Fiji today, or tomorrow for that matter! We also got to go on this all terrain thing that they use in the arctic. It was so awesome! It was like a roller coaster except cooler.. We also got to see a 4D movie that shot water at you and shook your chair! Overall it was pretty sweet.. Right now we're about to go out to dinner before watching a big Rugby game on TV! I'm actually really excited for this! It'll be fun!

Here's some of my shots from Christchurch yesterday, they're pretty intense..

This is a bridge in a suburb that's pretty much utterly been destroyed. It's extremely humbling. 

Christchurch's Catholic Cathedral that's been absolutely destroyed. Currently their plan is to rebuild it bit by bit, like literally they have the other pieces just laid out in the yard. 

View of an abandoned Christchurch Street

Another Church with it's Steeple or Spire on the ground after falling

Cranes working to piece together a church

This is an excellent description of basically all of Christchurch

Utter destruction

Another classic image of Christchurch

Pictures! Finally!

Today, meaning June 23rd, was pretty humbling.. We drove around Christchurch all day to witness the utter devastation that this small city had endured since this past September. We learned that Christchurch has had around 25 earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher since September. There's also several suburbs that haven't had plumbing or running water since September. I have a couple pictures that I may upload in a bit. It was also kind of surreal to see stuff like this in person. I walked up to several coffee stores and other similar stores and they had been literally frozen in time. I peered into one of them and looked at a newspaper that was dated February 22nd, the day of the 2nd horrendous earthquake to strike Christchurch. There was dust everywhere and spoons spilled on the ground, chairs toppled over and tables overturned. It truly was a spooky sight to see. It really got me deep.  You kinda stood there and imagined what happened when the earthquakes hit, like you could really get in touch with it, but you could never fully understand it. 

On a more positive note we also went to a Maori cultural center, which was pretty sweet! I was somewhat reluctantly forced into being the chief of the group.. To which I so "graciously" thanked my group members. This entailed that I had to walk at the front of the group and had to get the peace offering from the Maori warrior (which was a fern leaf) after he had taunted me with a threatening dance kind of thing with a spear-type object thing. So after receiving the peaceful leaf thing I lead the group into the song hut amphitheater thing (as you may be able to tell my Maori terminology is second to none). When we got into the amphitheater I got my own "throne" as well as a seat for my Queen, which in this case, as always was and forever will be Martha! I then had to meet the Maori tribe Chief and shake hands with him and also meet them in the traditional Maori way, meaning touching foreheads as well as noses. Which was kinda strange, but strangely personal and in an extremely special way. Then I sat back in my throne and watched the Maori's traditional dances, which was pretty sweet! The girls then had to learn a dance and do it in front of all the guys there, which was pretty interesting! The guys had to do it as well, ours was a traditional Haka dance, which the All Blacks do before every game, and let me tell you what, that thing is intimidating as hell, like I just watched it on Youtube and it intimidated me... 

So these are a couple pictures from the last few days that I haven't been able to upload, but hey now it's working! 

This is a random beach that I shot while heading to the Pancake rocks

Rainbow wave at Pancake rocks

Rainbow explosion at the Pancake Rocks

Bri being a rebel.. such a freshman..

Brohommad getting soaked on the beach at Truman Trail

Reflection in water at the end of the Truman Trail

Wave Explosion from the Truman Trail Beach

The underside of a cliff from the Truman Trail beach

Long exposure on the Hokitika beach with a little bit of light painting at the back. 

Tomorrow we're waking up EXTREMELY early.. but hey we're going to FIJI! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Okay so no pictures

I can't get these pictures to upload... so just imagine amazing pictures

More Pictures!

Alright so I've gotten to the point where I don't blog anymore, I literally don't have time, so I'll show you all what's going on via my pictures! To give you some background, it's been a really warm fall here in New  Zealand, henceforth there is no snow, so we are not skiing! Today we went on a horseback ride at a small farm just outside of Hanmer. It was really pretty awesome! My horse was named Storm and he was more a less a total beast. I love animals like that.. Unfortunately I didn't think bringing Martha on horseback was the best idea, so I just left her in the bus. She's still mad at me for that haha. After that we went to a natural hot springs that had a water park attached to it, yeah life is rough here in New Zealand... I didn't take any pictures though. Oh well!

I'm trying to post some new pictures right now, but yet again the internet isn't blazing...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Pictures for you Mom hahah (and Sara)

hokitika beach 

Hokitika Beach

Hokitika beach again

Bird in Hokitika Gorge 

Morning view of Franz Josef