Today was a great day. We went to church in Wellington at the Wellington church of Christ in the morning and met all the people we had been talking to via e-mail or Facebook the months leading up to moving here. Met Carl and Adeline, as well as Keith and Elsa, two couples our age…they were really cool. The singing was amazing…there weren’t that many people but they were singing loud and with their heart and it was neat to hear the New Zealand accent. The lesson was really good and Josh and I just both felt really comfortable. Jeanette and Antony took Josh and I out for lunch and we ate at a café. I had a yummy bacon and egg toasted sandwich. The day was beautiful again, which we were told we must have brought the sunny weather with us, because Wellington is known for its cloudy, wet, windy days. They say Wellington can experience all four seasons in one day.
The Raines drove us to the coast. The water was the bluest I had seen it yet in our time here, and I smelled the salty air and felt the ocean breeze. I love that feeling. I could almost see Antarctica from where we stood on the beach. Not really, but it was neat to know we were looking in the direction of where it was. We drove all along the coast and saw a couple lighthouses in the distance. I could only imagine what it would be like to live in one of the houses on the cliff sides. You can stare out at the ocean and dream and await the ships returning home. There’s something about seeing the open horizon that, at least for me, brings my imagination to life. I feel better inside, like I am able to dream more and the limits to what I can do are as endless as the ocean stretched out before me. Maybe it’s a comfort to me, a feeling of home, from growing up in Midland…West Texas. There are no trees to block your view there (I mean really, no trees! Ha) and you can see the horizon for miles. You can see the great big thunderhead cloud as the summer storms slowly crawled across the flat lands to rain on us, or pass us by usually. There was a park on the edge of town I loved going to, that had bleachers I would sit on and with my friends sometimes, and watch the fire red, golden, pink and purple hued sunsets that always captivated me and that I felt were God’s gift to me. The wind would blow in my face and that’s how I felt there…like I could dream and there was nothing holding me back.
But anyways, haha, I digress…so we drove along the coast then went back to the Raine’s house for a little break before evening service. The Raines were so gracious to us and helped us out by giving us a big tent of theirs that we could use for when we go camping. Antony gave Josh a backpack he can take when we go hiking, and gave us walking sticks, and a gas cooking stove and pots and pans. How nice! We were so thankful to them for that. We stuffed those things in our already full car, haha…our little red Nissan Sentra was loaded like a baked potato from Texas Roadhouse (Mmmm, that sounds good to me right now, actually the loaded sweet potato!)
Then we went to the evening service which was held at the new church plant in the suburb where Kevin lived, in Porirua. That was a great lesson and class from Kevin, and I was amazed again by the beautiful, heartfelt singing. Afterwards, we rode with Carl and Adeline and her sister Abigail to go to the Malaysian restaurant that Adeline and Abigail’s family owned in Wellington. One of my best friends Beverly is from Malaysia, and she has cooked traditional food for me before. I was excited to eat there, and hoping also it wouldn’t be too spicy for my weak stomach. Josh lives to eat spicy food (he misses Wingstop, a LOT!) and I can take small doses of it, though much more than I used to since meeting him. We went to the restaurant, Istana Malaysia, and it was really nice…loved the atmosphere and there were paintings and photographs taken mainly by the church members. We had a large table for the group of us that included me, Josh, Abigail, Staci who was studying abroad from Oklahoma, Keith, Elsa, Chris, Kevin, Carl and Adeline. That was so much fun…I felt really comfortable with all of them and we were all around the same age. We had made friends with New Zealanders! Awesome! Keith and Elsa were actually from the States and had moved to NZ and we had been e-mailing with them for quite a while before we got here. In fact, I think they were our very first contact so that was neat to finally meet them. Every one was giving us advice and telling us about the South Island. They said the South Island is less populated than the North and the people were different down there…sounding like once we left Wellington we were basically leaving civilization. That made me feel a little nervous, but that’s what we were hoping to go to…see the more rugged terrain like you imagine New Zealand to be like. Still, we both were wondering about leaving Wellington and our new friends who we really liked and had been helping us out. But it also made us even more excited because this was truly an adventure we were about to go on.
The food was delicious! I loved it…especially the curry. I love rice too, I could eat that all day. We had a wonderful time just talking and laughing and learning more about NZ life and what to look out for. The cost of living is quite expensive here, so that’s something we have to get used to. Anyways, Josh and I were still having a rough time with the jet lag, and it was about 7 something there on Sunday night, when we would usually be in bed back home. We were so tired. We finally left, though we would have liked to chat some more if we felt better. Rode back with Kevin to his house and then Josh and I got our bags ready for when we would be leaving civilization the next morning. We were very excited to be on our own again!
Dated: November 13, 2011