As we enter the month of May, there have been a lot of changes from the earlier parts of this semester. New Zealand is now in the full swing of Autumn: the weather has been gloomier, colder, and it has been raining a lot. With these changes in weather, I have had to pull out the very few sweaters I brought and my one pair of boots, and put away all of my shorts and t-shirts I have been holding onto for as long as possible. As difficult as this was to switch out my already limited closet, it is exciting to see the new season in Dunedin. With all the color changes in the leaves, every drive has been absolutely gorgeous!
This past week was our mid-semester break, so a few friends and I road-tripped up to Nelson, which is at the top of the South Island. This was one of the prettiest drives we have done thus far--there and back. We stopped in the Marlborough Sound area, which is known for their vineyards and wineries as they produce a majority of New Zealand's wine. All of the vineyards we passed were absolutely gorgeous to drive past and through since they were all changing colors.
When we got back from mid-semester break, we had the weekend to get caught up on work and settle back into our flats before classes started back up and the semester started to wrap up (only five weeks left of class!!). This weekend was extremely gloomy and rainy, and it caused me to feel my first twinge of homesickness since I had arrived in Dunedin since I realized this was the first college break where I hadn't gone home and seen my family. Everyone has different ways of managing homesickness, and for me, I was able to battle it by keeping myself busy and social. I found some new recipes online that I have been trying to cook up for lunch and dinner, and have even hit the gym a little more than I have over this semester (oops!). I do a lot of homework with my friends, and we made dinner together this past weekend which was also a lot of fun. I have also talked to my parents a little more than I typically do, we had a nice long FaceTime where I recounted everything we did over break, and I realized they were going to be here in less than two months, so I started creating a Google Doc with a list of things we should do in every location.
I am realizing my time is slowly winding down here in New Zealand, and I definitely want to make the most of every week I have left here, while also staying on top of my school work and finals. Since all my midterms have been handed in, I am anxiously waiting to get all my grades back which is nerve-wracking since the grading here is so different and single assignments are large parts of our overall grade. Even with this at the forefront of my mind, it is not stopping me from making the best of this sunny day-- it is going to be one of the last! Kia Ora!