Hey Hey! About time to get the updates rolling, huh? I can’t believe how much has already happened here in the first couple of days. This will likely be the biggest entry of the entire blog. I’ll try to keep it to the highlights.
The flights down were uneventful, but long. It is 13 hours from Los Angeles to Auckland. I actually slept for a large portion of it. I would have slept more, but the people in my row kept making me get up so they could go use the restroom. I swear they were taking turns every 30 minutes to peck me on the shoulder to wake me up. I bet they didn’t even have to go to the bathroom. They were probably just jealous of my awesome sleeping skillz and lashed out by waking me up repeatedly…
After arrival in Auckland, I actually got to spend some time with the Whitings, and we explored Auckland together. We even got cell phones set up…so we thought. Turns out, the people at the phone store lied to us about the coverage in the area we were moving to, so we got all set up with the wrong company and had to repeat the entire event the very next day in Invercargill.
After a couple more uneventful flights to the South, we landed in Invercargill where our clinic manager picked us up and delivered us to our home in Otautau. Along the way, she did nothing but deliver music to my ears about all the things I wanted to get information about. I expected to take a month or more to find individual people to talk to about hiking, kayaking, maybe getting a wetsuit, hunting, and going to the tropics from NZ. Turns out, she answered all of those things, with very promising answers within our first hour! It was amazing.
Turns out, I will move to a 2 bedroom apartment that is attached to the house of some real outdoor sports enthusiasts in 2 weeks. They apparently have all the bikes and kayaks we could possibly use. So that sounds good.
As for the wetsuit (and any other camping gear), the clinic manager told me she had one I could use!
And here’s the kicker: her husband is a major hunter. She told him I was interested in hunting stag, and within 24 hours in Otautau, he already took me out RED STAG hunting!!!! This was unreal. I had a blast, but I didn’t actually get one. A couple other local guys came along, making it me, and three guys from Otautau, and one of the guys got a beautiful 9-pointer. We were all together, and it was really exciting. I still can’t believe that things are just falling into place so easily. Amazing.
In other news, we have now explored the surrounding areas, including mountains as well as beaches. Equally beautiful. The countryside is stunning here. Sheep everywhere. Rolling hills with snow-capped mountains in the distance. The coast is 20 minutes away. The mountains and the Fiordlands are just over an hour away.
We have one more day until Aaron and I start work at the clinic. So far, so good in New Zealand. Stay tuned for more adventures from here. I’ll try to keep them shorter after this!