…Until We Come to the Tunnel

Liesel Rutland University of Otago, New Zealand


April 17, 2019
Currently Studying at: University of Otago, New Zealand
Homeschool: Wofford College

If you are an avid reader of my amateur blog posts, you might have noticed that I didn’t post a blog last week. I am sorry to say that schoolwork finally caught up to me, and I needed to prioritize a couple of projects and assignments over my blog. I'm extremely happy to say that I didn’t get bogged down, and I am still completely on top of my work! Finding balance is super rewarding and taking a week off from blog writing definitely helped me to understand how important it is to take a break every once in a while. With that being said, writing these blogs has been very therapeutic for me, and it helps me to reflect on my week. So buckle up kids, welcome to your first TWO-WEEK recap blog post!

I had my first assessment of performance for my Māori 108 class of a Mōteatea– a sad song that sends a message. I feel very good about the assessment, and our class has really melded well, working as a team during our assessments and during our tutorial practices. The next day I had an amazing potluck dinner with some girls from all over the world, and we all brought a dish from our home country to share. That Thursday, one of my friends, Sally, had her parents in town. So they took me and another friend, Jason, to go see the local Glowworm Cave. This was a really neat experience, especially for it being a five-minute drive from campus! The following day was Sally’s birthday, so we went out to dinner and then we went to the Highlanders vs. Hurricanes rugby game with Arcadia! Rugby is such a cool sport, and it was amazing to finally experience the sport that brings New Zealand together. We had such a fun time at the game, even though the Highlanders lost.

That weekend, a group of girls went to Milford Sound. We left early Saturday morning and stopped in Te Anau for lunch. We drove to Fiordland National Park and made many stops along the way. The first stop was the Mirror Lakes, followed by Pop’s view lookout, Monkey Creek, the Chasm until we came to the tunnel. I love tunnels, and this one was no exception. It was under a huge mountain, and it was a one-way tunnel, so we had to wait a couple of minutes to go through if it was not our turn. We drove all the way to the sound and saw the sunset and did the Milford Sound foreshore walk. Then we backtracked to set up our campsite at the Cascade Creek Campsite. We ate dinner, stargazed, and had a little Ukulele concert in our tent.

The next day we woke up and took down our campsite and drove back out to the sound. We did a cruise tour on Milford Sound and got to see the underwater observatory. The cruise was phenomenal and we got to go all the way out to the Tasman Sea since we were having amazing weather and the ocean was not choppy at all. We ate lunch and headed over to the Lake Marion track to do a bit of tramping before we drove all the way home.

The following week, I got to see our program director, Jane, at Saint David’s Café on campus. It was a lovely get-together, and it was fun to catch up with everyone. That week I worked on a lot of projects and got to drive all around Dunedin to take pictures for a poster for my Tourism class. I also made a lot of smoothies that week. It was Jason’s birthday on Wednesday, so we went out to eat and had an awesome party. On Friday, Sally and Jason and I watched Moana and made stir fry. Saturday and Sunday, I had a Wānanga to practice for my Māori 108 class. We went from 9-3 both days and learned poi, the haka, and finished learning our Waiata-ā-ringa. This was a cool experience and helped our class to bond even more. We still have a ways to go, but now we feel a lot better about the concert at the end of the semester.

I have also been busy planning for our mid-semester break that starts this Friday. Three of my friends and I are going on a big road trip to the north of the south island! So the next blog post is likely to be another two-week recap since I will be on a road trip from this Friday until the following Saturday. I cannot believe the semester break is so close! I am getting very excited and cannot wait to share about the trip!

Kia Ora,