Today is my last day in Auckland. It's been a nice introduction to New Zealand, although it is completely different than the rest of the country, so I guess it's not really an introduction to it. But it's been a good introduction for my year(s) abroad. I have done quite a bit of exploring, but I've also had tons of time on my own, that I haven't had in months.... or years? Of course all this time alone has its pros and cons, but the pros are that I just uploaded all of Mo's pictures of Europe. If you so desire, you can check them out here: http://www.offexploring.com/adrienneineurope. [This link isn't working properly for some reason. Just substitute 'adrienneineurope' in the current web address and you'll find it.] Or find them on Facebook if you're there.
I had my orientation a couple of days ago for the program I'm here with. It was three hours and covered all things from word pronunciation and Kiwi sayings, to places to visit, to opening a bank account, getting a job and buying a car. It got me totally psyched. I cannot wait to get out and explore this beautiful (very rural) country. It promptly got me to hop on two ferries to get out of (big city) Auckland. Yesterday I jumped over to Devonport, a cute little seaside suburb of Auckland that's a 10 minute boat ride away. I just wandered around a little and had sushi for dinner (for the third time! I have never seen so many sushi places in my life). Today I went to Waiheke Island which was GORGEOUS. Seriously, if that is a taste of what's to come... I fear I might never leave. Check out the pictures.
After my orientation I got a tax number so I can get a job (something like a SIN, I think) and opened a bank account. That made it all very official. Tomorrow I might buy a cell phone. Gasp.
I actually got social last night and hung out with some people at the bar that is on my floor in the hostel. Then we went to a bar around the corner and played pool for a few hours. There were four of us: a guy from Chicago area that is staying in my room, a girl from Brazil who is living in Australia and a girl from Quebec City. It was fun AND it meant that I slept all the way til 9 this morning!
Tomorrow I am off to Wellington and I'm super excited. I think I fell in love with Wellington three years ago when I found the cross cultural program online. I cannot wait to just be there, walk around and take it all in. I'll write more in a few days, once I've come down from the cloud.