Tuesday, July 8, 2008

At the Chateau

I didn't get to see much more than the mall in Auckland due to sorting out a bank account, tax ID number, and forgotten personal items (towels, boots, etc.). Then Ami and I jumped on the road for a four hour drive to the village of Whakapapa. Oh, and in New Zealand "Wh" is pronounced like an "F" so it's quite a funny town to say aloud...


Thankfully, she and I got along right from the start and were 
comfortable enough to turn the music up and sing Beatles tunes at the top of our lungs for most of the ride. Having grown up in the Northwest, I was instantly comforted by views of green trees in the dead of winter and being surrounded by water. I also saw enough livestock along the roads to erase any doubt in one of my most favorite quoted facts- that there are 5 sheep to every person in this country.



At times the drive felt almost like a Disney movie- rainbows popped up over the hillsides to welcome us to town and our first glimpse of the majestic mountains came just as the sunset painted the sky a picturesque pink. I took all of this as a good sign. 



Once we arrived I was reunited with my friend Helen, a  former co-worker in New York who recommended me for the position and a calming dose of familiarity in a new environment. 
I settled into my dorm-style accommodations, which are far from glamorous, but are easily offset by spectacular views and the old-world charm of the Chateau itself.



Thanks to jet lag, I've been up to see the sunrise once and awake before 8:00am every day so far- anyone who knows me that anything before noon can be considered miraculous! It's proven quite productive so I'm going to hold onto the routine for as long as possible, but I make no guarantees.



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