The First Six Week Slump

Fiona Bell University of Auckland, New Zealand


September 22, 2017

The first half of my semester was all in all pretty uneventful. I walked into a cult meeting on accident, but decided to stay until it was over so I could eat their free vegan food. I tried my hand at kayaking, which in hindsight wasn’t a good fit because I don’t particularly like water. My Arcadia leader, Kate, somewhat taught me how to make Pavlova, which didn’t end very successfully, but was fun nonetheless. I spent a weekend exploring the Bay of Islands. I did day trips out to Davenport, checked out any and all museums within a walking distance, explored the top of the sky tower and ate an unreasonable amount of chocolatey treats from the Chocolate Boutique. One of my biggest highlights of the first half of the semester was the Arcadia activity weekend.

The activity weekend was particularly entertaining because we started by going to the famous Waitomo glow worm caves. I think I can speak for all the other girls, who adventured into the caves with me that day, when I say that we all thought that we were going to die of hypothermia. Yes, the glow worms were beautiful and they made the ceiling look like a night sky. The cave leaders quickly broke the illusion of the beauty by telling us that the glow worms are actually just maggots that excrete glowing poo that attract other insects to them, so that they can eat. Fortunately, we were given soup and bagels at the end, which in my mind still doesn’t make up for the fact that I was so cold, I couldn’t feel my extremities for the rest of the day.

The following day was an improvement. We ventured out to Raglan, a beautiful surfer town on the west coast. This is where I tried my hand at surfing. One would think, “Why would she do that? She doesn’t like water, especially rough open ocean. Didn’t she learn her lesson from kayaking?” Yes, I did learn my lesson, which was why I was terrified the entire weekend leading up to it. Despite all this, it turned out I actually loved surfing! I don’t know if it was because the wetsuits we were given actually kept me warm, unlike the ones given for the glow worm caves. I don’t know if it was because I was always attached to a giant flotation device, or that I could take in the views of the beautiful black sand beaches. Either way I loved it. This of course didn’t mean anything though, because I was horrendously terrible at it.

These highlights of the first half of my semester, were unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that a terrible flu/virus/sickness spread throughout the Auckland campus. Anyone who know me, knows that whenever something is going around, I will catch it. To top off the week of bed rest I also got a sinus infection. Fun! My highs and lows of these six weeks all in all were solid, but they didn’t come close to the two week adventure I had through the South Island over my mid-semester break.

To be continued…