Saturday, August 12, 2017

Week 1: How to break a toilet in Mexico

Hola a todos!!

I have been south of the border now for a week now and I have SO MUCH to share with you.

The first night I flew in from Nashville into Mexico City. If you can imagine someone taking all the legos in the entire known universe and dumping them from horizon to horizon, you might have idea of what Mexico City looks like from above. 23 million people. I stayed in a hotel that night where I finally acknowledged that the nagging soreness of my tonsils was not going to beat it like whip cream  so I started to wonder how horrific it would be to have tonsillitis in another country.

And I did what any intelligent adulting college student would do and called my mom. A couple ibuprofen later and some sleep, I was on a bus for Puebla, Mexico, two and a half hours away. Some guy sat next to me who said to his friend across the aisle "Si no hay droga, no hay vida" (No life without drugs). The bus was the kind your parents pay $300 for you to go to six flags with the choir in grade school. (It was really really nice.) Will be using for future excursions.

When I finally arrived in Puebla, I took an UBER to the college, stumbled around with my 4 months worth of luggage, and got directions from someone who noticed my obvious confusion. I met up with my host mom we took a taxi to our neighborhood, "Las Estrellas del Sur".

Let me start out by saying I LOVE love love my host family. It's only been a week, but already feel at home in our little house with two little white dogs. My host mom speaks a bit of English, but for the most part we speak in 100% Spanish. She's happy to talk for most of the conversation, knowing that I'm focusing as hard as I can to understand and react accordingly. What I mean by that is smiling, saying "Si, si, si" and butchering the Spanish language completely if I do try to make actual words.

This week was orientation and I was blown away by the number of internationals here. There are at least 140 of us. Probably 30-40 from the US. A lot of Germans, Colombians, and Chinese. And a few from other countries around the world. Making friends was such a breeze because we were all in the same boat, so we had already exchanged numbers, social media, and made whatsapp groups before the first day was over.

And without further ado, I give you the following steps for breaking a toilet in Mexico:

  1. Take a short shower
  2. Use the toilet promptly after showering
  3. Use TP
  4. Flush
  5. Congratulations, you broke the toilet

Here in Mexico, TP goes in the trash because it clogs the pipes. Also, many houses have a water pump on the first floor, so if you want to use water on the second floor (where my room is located), you have to be aware of how much water you're using in a certain amount of time. 

Now that I've roused your appetite with my pleasant bathroom story, here are some of the foods I've tried so far:
  • Guayaba (Guava)
  • Papaya
  • Tacos al Pastor
  • Churros
  • Horchata
  • Chiles Aquiles (if that's how you spell it)
  • Tacos rolled up really small with cheese sauce, tomato and lettuce
  • Camote (a sweet native to Puebla)
And I have SO MUCH MORE on my list to try. Will keep you updated ;)

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow I climb a volcano so stay tuned for more trailblazing in Puebla, Mexico.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Solar Eclipse on the 21st

Picture by National Geographic

Hello CIE blog readers-

We are trying to get this information out in every way that we can think of:

MC Eclipse Viewing Event
Football Field
Monday, August 21st
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Current students-
Please promote this event to new students so that they do not miss out! It is going to be incredible. From what I hear, it is a powerful experience and could be a wonderful way to bond with new members of the community.

P.S. If you know how to explain what a solar eclipse is, you'll be more likely to convince people to go! Check out this event if you want to learn more about how solar eclipses happen and why they are important:

Free Public Presentation by Dr. Guerinot
Clayton Center’s Lambert Recital Hall.
Tuesday, August 15th
6:00 pm

If you can't make that event, check out this straightforward explanatory video on YouTube:

Thank you for the help.

Cindy Columbus
International Programs Coordinator
Center for International Education

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Work at Maryville College

As a college student, many students experience a tight budget and may want to earn a little extra money by getting a part time job. Getting a part-time job is a decision that you should really think through. Some questions you should ask yourself is:

·    Does my visa status allow me to work at Maryville College?
·    Will I have time for a part-time job with my current class schedule?
·    Do I want to trade off time with clubs and fun activities for a part-time job?
·    Will I gain something from this job? New skills or competencies?

If you feel that working at Maryville College is right for you after answering these questions, here are some things to consider.

Students on F-1 visas and some J-1 visas may work up to 20 hours a week on campus during the school year. On breaks, students may work up to 40 hours a week. Many on-campus positions have lower limits to accommodate your school schedule. If you are eligible to work, you can try to find jobs through one of these methods.

a.      Handshake is where most campus jobs are advertised, including work study jobs.  They are usually posted late August. You must make sure that the work position is not a federal work study position, as you won’t qualify for any of those positions.
b.      You should check with Metz Culinary for student positions. Metz Culinary is the company that runs the dining services for Maryville College.
c.      Mountain Challenge sometimes hires students. Contact Bruce Guillaume and he can explain his hiring process. It involves shadowing events and pretty extensive training.
d.      It won’t help immediately but applying to become a Resident Assistant (RA) or doing other leadership opportunities that might give you spending money like becoming a Peer Mentor or MC Ambassador may be an option if you plan on spending more than one year at Maryville College.

What if you don’t want or can’t be employed, but want to gain skills and experience for the career world? You can still have valuable experiences without having a job. Join a club or organization and ask if you can help plan or organize events or initiatives. Some great organizations to develop leadership skills are the Student Government AssociationGCO or the International Education Week Planning Committee. Want to improve your writing and communication skills, check out the Highland Echo or one of the other great organizations. There are many clubs and organizations that you can join and strengthen skills and gain experience for the “real world.”

Monday, July 31, 2017

Maryville College Academics

As you know, Maryville College has very high academic standards, and you will be expected to keep good grades. Although you may have your system of education figured out and know how to thrive in that environment, Maryville College may be quite different, especially from schools in Europe. Some important benefits and other aspects of Maryville College classes include:

-       Small class sizes. On average, your classes will be with few other students, perhaps about 20. Maryville College has a student:faculty ratio of 13:1, meaning for every 13 students there is at least one faculty member;
computer lab in lamar library with students working
Lamar Library Computer Lab
-       Expectation of class participation. Often times, your grade is dependent on your class attendance and participation. So you will be expected to complete your reading and assignments before class, so that you can actively contribute to class conversations. It is also important that you develop your own opinions on course topics, rather than just repeating things from the readings and assignments;
-       High level of interaction between students and faculty. If you need extra help in understanding the class material or just have a question that you may not have had a chance to ask in class, professors encourage students to reach out during office hours and after class. Professors are used to being asked for clarification and help.They are here to help you learn as much as possible, and they take their role very seriously.
-       Intensive amounts of reading, writing and assignments over the course of the semester. You will be expected to have readings and assignments done by the specified due date. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge on the topics throughout the semester, rather than primarily on final exams.

This may seem overwhelming now, but if you plan your time appropriately and ask for help when you need it, you will all do fine. All students may run into road blocks in some courses and may need extra help. Maryville College has many resources to help you overcome those road blocks, but each student is responsible for seeking help out when they need it. If you need help researching a topic for an assignment, librarians at the Lamar Memorial Library are always willing to help. You can email or call them with your questions, or you can set up a face-to-face appointment. There is also an Academic Support Center on campus. This center sets up group study sessions and has writing and math help. We highly encourage students to take advantage of these resources.

Mountain Challenge Tower - You can do it too!
Learning at Maryville College also extends beyond the classroom. There is an emphasis on experiential education at the College. Experiential education is typically a guided activity of some form, typically in an unfamiliar location or new task. Performing these activities allows students to adjust their mental and emotional process to the task at hand and develop new tasks. Many times, students participate in Mountain Challenge programming for experiential education, which gives students the opportunity to explore themselves while outdoors. The Center for Community Engagement plays a role in experiential education. Students can reach out to them to help find volunteer opportunities in the surrounding community. Some examples are tutoring, adult literacy, work in social service agencies, environmental projects, and many other possibilities. These are just a couple of ways that Maryville College students get involved. To see more options, click here

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Maryville College Sports and Athletics

the mascot of the college is a scot, with plaid of orange and garnet
Maryville College Mascot

Maryville College loves sports! There's an option for everyone from the devoted athlete to the curious stander by. Sports events are also a great way to make friends and understand the culture of the campus, whether you're playing or cheering the team on.

Maryville College's mascot is the Scot and the school colors are orange and garnet. On game days, and especially during Homecoming on October 21, you will see students, staff and faculty alike wearing the school colors to support our teams.

Maryville College is home to 14 competitive sports teams. There are seven sports teams for women and seven teams for men. Games and competitions are often held at Maryville College, and you can go to support your friends on the team and also to learn about unique sports that you may not have in your hometown. You may have seen many TV shows or movies that feature American Football teams and cheerleaders, but you can learn about the real thing here at the college. You can find the schedule for all sports here.

Intramural Sports

If you want to try out a sport during your time here, there are teams on campus that are for anyone. Nearly two-thirds of students at Maryville College participate in some sort of sport or intramural during their time here, so its a great way to spend time with existing friends and meet new ones. Maryville College has recreational teams for students on campus in several sports, which are open to any student. Intramural teams play various teams on campus to become the reigning champions of club sports, such as flag football, sand volleyball, softball, and table tennis among other things. In past years, I-House has even formed some teams in various sports and competed.

a group of students on paddle boards and kayaks
A group of students enjoying a Mountain Challenge event. 
Mountain Challenge

If your not sure if intramural teams are right for you, you can join Mountain Challenge on any of their adventures or activities. On many Saturdays, they organize a trip or outdoor activity that students can participate in. Find the schedule here and be sure to sign up for trips one week in advance. On Wednesdays, they've started the initiative Camp 4, which is a designated time for students, staff and faculty to have access to Mountain Challenge fitness equipment, classes and the bouldering cave. (Bouldering is a form of rock climbing where you are close to the ground and climb freely without ropes or other equipment.) Each Wednesday, there is a Group Fitness Class from 4pm to 5pm, followed by a yoga class from 5:15pm to 6:15pm. These services are available free of charge to MC students. They also have many other opportunities, so stop by Crawford House when you get to campus to learn more!

Student climbing in Mountain Challenge's bouldering cave! 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Halftime Reflection

As fun as my time has been here so far, I am halfway through it and now it seems like a good time to reflect on thoughts I’ve had up to this point and some thoughts about what I could do with the rest of my time here. I’ve had quite the time in these past four weeks and I still have lots to try and do in the four I have left. I’ve learned how to buy groceries in what feels like an adult manner, so there is that.
Working in Wellington has been a starkly different experience than being a student at Maryville College. Heck, it’s a stark difference from being in the United States. I’m not just talking about the use of the metric system, calling cookies “biscuits”, chips vs crisps, or driving on the left-hand side of the road – though it’s not something I’m entirely used to – rather, the way that life seems to roll on around here. A lot of it I was expecting thanks to my incredibly thorough Study Abroad preparation class, but it was nonetheless interesting to see in person.

In general, people don’t seem to have a “gung-ho” way of doing things which seemed semi-normal back in the States, though I’m not sure that I would call this normal. New Zealanders aren’t lazy by any means, but there is a less rigid attitude toward establishing and maintaining a system of running like a machine at maximum effort. Rather, their approach is more “I’ll get to it when I get to it” and this is sort of confirmed by the number of native Wellington citizens I’ve talked to that haven’t embarked on a lot of the tourist outings available. The only things that they don’t seem to be nonplussed about are rugby, the finest weather Wellington has to offer, and road rules. Unlike what I’m used to, pedestrians usually do not have the right of way and you probably shouldn’t try to claim it. I may or may not have gotten honked at by a bus for thinking I could cross. Sometimes I think that I’ve finally gotten the hang of confidently crossing a street without waiting, but a honking vehicle that creeps up on the crosswalk will kindly remind me that I’m not a native or indestructible. Another thing that you don’t want to mess around with is Wellington weather. On the day that it came for me, I decided to test it and walk to work. It wasn’t raining too horribly, but I swear that the wind had it out for me. I had heard it the night before, howling and whistling like it wanted in my building. So that morning, some 72-km/h (44ish mph) winds decided to not-so-gently guide me to work and help me unofficially set a record for commuting. I later took the bus home and had no regrets whatsoever. However, I don’t really think that a bit of aggressive weather is going to keep me from coming back.

This entire experience has far exceeded my expectations which I think is also due to not having many rigid ones in place in the first place. Helping with a research project like this has been incredibly valuable not only in terms of practical experience gleaned from it but in a way that has made me feel less anxious about my not-so-distant future at Maryville College and beyond. I’m not quite at the level of “raring to go” on my senior thesis, but now I have begun building a less blind and scared-sh*tless approach to it. Being here has also made me even more thankful for the educational experiences MC has provided me with up to this point and I find myself often thinking of how I can use my learned experiences here to make the rest of my time at MC even better. Being away from something for so long makes it easier to see it differently and enable you to learn more about it.

For example, in one of the seminars organized by the department I’m in, I’ve learned about a few tools and programs that can be used in the name of making a research project and thesis less daunting, more organized, and much more accessible to a general audience. The speaker’s presentation was mostly about how to collect data more efficiently, but he took the time to provide overviews of programs that would be helpful for research Authorea and RStudio are ones that I found interesting, but have slightly different uses. Authorea is an online collaborative tool for documents and can be reformatted automatically for journal publication while RStudio is a collection of many programs that are used to present data and the accompanying analysis in a more “friendly” way. RStudio requires being able to code, but I was told that Coursera is an excellent online learning platform for learning this. It’s probably about time that I learned how to code anyway.

Another important conclusion that I am making from my internship is the kind of environment I want to work and thrive in. One of the SMART goals I set for this internship (and my SPE form) was to have a better idea of what kind of career I want to pursue in medicine. The day that I got to spend shadowing one of the surgeons is easily going to go down as my favorite day of my time here. Then my second favorite was the first Grand Round lecture I could attend because it was a presentation on conversion disorder (disorders with psychologicalàsomatic symptoms). These are both my favorites because they were places that I could see myself being in and want to see myself be in. I can’t wait to be one of the students observing (or even assisting with!!) a surgery and learning or a bit farther down the road, be the person who is presenting clinical cases to students and faculty. Honestly, I’ve been starting to fall into a bit of a rut as my college years are ending faster than I am prepared to deal with. I’ve been telling myself for over ten years now that I was going to become a doctor, but it feels much easier to climb to the top of that mountain now that I can see myself there.

For those who are considering an experience like this, just know that you get from it what you put into it. I firmly believe that the reason that I am enjoying my internship so much is that I always try to find something to be excited about each day and to find something that I can take away from each day. Getting to this internship was kind of a painful uphill battle but now that I’m here, I know that it is one that I would have no hesitation in doing again. I can't to tell everyone I know (who's interested, anyway) about my time here and hopefully inspire some people to go out into the world as well. 

Until next time,


I’m planning to go do some more scenic activities over the next few weekends, so look out for that 😊

Cultural Programming at CIE

There is no doubt that you will be kept busy while attending Maryville College. Through the cultural ambassador programming and possibly joining GCO, you will have a lot of exposure to activities. Sometimes you will want to do fun activities with friends without the complications of planning those activities yourself. And that’s where CIE comes in!
A group of MC international students at the Blue plate concert in Knoxville
A group of students at the Blue Plate Concert in Knoxville. 

Every month, CIE plans fun activities for all students – ESL students, international students and U.S. students.  We offer many events to learn about the USA.   In the past, we have celebrated U.S. American Cultural Holidays as a group at I-House. For example, last year we had a Christmas party for all students, but have done Halloween activities as well. One of our biggest events of the year is our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  We celebrate with international students and our local social host families to learn about and celebrate this popular U.S. American holiday.  Students have set up international dance parties on campus and coordinated fashion shows. These events are fun and allow you to teach friends about your culture.

The stairs at international house decorated with Red Christmas Stockings
The stairwell decorated for
Other times, we offer the opportunity to learn about local Tennessee culture!  We explore the Great Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. I-House has adventured out to rivers for white water rafting or tubing and gone hiking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Some years there have also been weekend trips to Nashville, Atlanta or other cities. These events are organized by I-House and students can sign up for a reasonable fee.

If there are any activities that you and your friends are interested in, you can tell the staff at I-House. Whether the idea is for an on campus program or off campus excursion, we can work together to see if the activity is a good fit for I-House programming. If it is a good fit, we can work together to plan the event for students to enjoy.

A group of students white water rafting
White Water Rafting

Monday, July 10, 2017

Global Citizenship Organization

By Kristen Rolston

5smiling individuals are posing and their clothes are covered in colorful powder.
Kristen (center) and friends after the Holi
Global Citizenship Organization, or GCO, personally has felt like a family to me. I've met students from all over and each of them has very different personalities, but every single one of them is accepting and friendly. When I first came to Maryville our previous president invited me to join the leadership and he became one of my good friends – I still talk to him even though he has returned to Cyprus. One of my funniest memories is when I came to help make signs for our "world directory" post that stands outside of I-House, and all of the students kept asking me if I was the girl coming from Ireland because of my red hair. From then on, I met more friends than I thought I would and now have connections all over the world. I also have a language buddy to practice my Chinese with!

students are standing on a the steps in front of bartlett, wearing traditional clothing from many countries
Students at the International Fashion Show.
GCO is a Maryville College organization intent on helping MC students connect with other students from all over the world through visual presentations (dances, PowerPoint, panels, etc.). Any student is welcome to join and sign up for emails regarding organization events. Typically every Friday at 3:30 in Bartlett Hall, students put together a presentation on their home country or some cultural aspect of a country. When there isn't a presentation there
are lots of parties, dances, and activities to be had!
a large group of students are standing in front of a presentation screen. one is holding the armenian flag
Students attending a country

Some of our most popular events are Holi, the Love, Sex and Marriage Panel, Fashion Show and our themed dance parties. ​

Currently there is a leadership position open for any international student interested in being directly involved in organizing events. Below I have attached some pictures from some of our events and a link to our page:​.

Please like us and share our page!​

a group of students are outside throwing colorful powder up into the air. they are celebrating holi

Culture Shock: Japan

Hello, friends! In this blog post, I'm going to talk about some aspects about Japanese culture that will probably shock people who have not visited Japan before! Some of these I knew beforehand, but some of these I had come to learn about.  I hope you will be intrigued by them as well!
  • Fruit is expensive.
    It's the worst. A watermelon for $20? How about the tiniest pack of blueberries for $8? Pass. The only fruit I purchase on a regular basis here are bananas - which are about $2 (for four or five of them). What's even more surprising, Japan even sells fruit that sells for thousands of dollars! There's a market in Japan for giving fruit as a high-end gift, which is why farmers go to extreme lengths to cultivate such fruit.
  • Handkerchiefs are essential.
    In most of the bathrooms in Japan, you will probably not come to find paper towels or a hand dryer after you've washed your hands. Why? You're expected to have a handkerchief on you. Its main purpose is to dry your hands after washing them, but you can use it for other situations such as wiping your face. The summer heat has gradually been growing with each day, so I've been seeing both men and women alike using handkerchiefs to wipe the sweat off of their face. Handkerchiefs can literally be bought anywhere, and you can easily find decorated ones in stores.
  • Job-Hunting Season & Company CultureAlthough college seniors will not graduate until March of next year, job-hunting season is taking place now. This means that the students are continuously filling out entry forms and completing interviews until they have been accepted into a company. Once you start working for a company, it's expected you stay with that company for the rest of your career. Although certain circumstances may arise, it's unusual for an employee to move to another company to work. Companies like to hire new college graduates in bulk. If you're about to graduate and aren't participating in job-hunting season, it's going to be quite difficult for you to find ideal work.

The Japanese Job Hunting Suit.

  • Restaurants
    Once you're seated, a server will bring you packaged wet wipes or wet towels to wipe your hands with before your meal.
    Tipping is non-existent in Japan, thankfully!
    Sometimes, you order from a vending machine and it spits out a ticket with your order on it, and then you give it to one of the workers.
    Rather than a server coming by to collect your money, you go up to a cashier at the end of your visit. Surprisingly enough, depending on the place you go to, you may or may not be able to split your check - which means everyone in your party is going to have to have exact change, or someone is going to have to pay for everyone and then you pay them back later.
  • Customer Service
    Japanese customer service is awesome, plain and simple. Employees are very polite - maybe even so polite that it might annoy you a bit.
  • Walking
    It's considered rude to eat or drink while you are walking in Japan. You might see a student or two doing it on a college campus, but it's generally considered indecent. If you buy ice-cream or some kind of other snack, you are expected to eat it where you bought it, or wait until you arrive at your destination.
I hope to post again in a few days as I'm a bit behind schedule, but that's it for now! See you guys later! 👋

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Things to Do in Wellington (Weekend or Otherwise)

One of the first details I got about my internship is that it would be from 9 to 5 on Monday through Thursday which leaves ample time for exploring during the weekend. By the end of my first week, I had already begun making plans for the weekend. I’m still not sure whether I’m planning to travel too far outside of Wellington just yet just because there is so much to see and do here, but I will be sure to share with those of you reading if I do along with details of what I do locally. Here is my list of recommended activities to do (weekend or otherwise) so far. Expect to read more as I see more. 

Visit the Museum of Tongarewa Te Papa.

If you ever get a chance to see this, please do. This is a place for people of all ages with interactive exhibits along with exhibits that always remain culturally relevant to New Zealand. I like to think of it as a beautiful mega crash course in New Zealand history and the indigenous Māori history. I easily spent half a day to explore each level of exhibits and there are still things I want to go back and see. 

The first exhibit level (Floor 2) comprised mostly of natural history as well as recent phenomena in nature.
My favorites were the kiwi displays, the exhibit about the giant squid, and pretty much any time I thought that animals looked like they were up to something funny.

There was even a section of exhibits about natural disasters. One was about Papatūānuku (earth) and her relation to the cause of earthquakes in New Zealand.
According to the exhibit, R
ūaumoko was the unborn child of the earth and the sky and is considered the god of earthquakes.  

The second level (Floor 3), otherwise known as “people’s impact on the land” had a stunning display called Blood Earth Fire and was a walkthrough of the history of how New Zealand came to be the land that it was.
I mean, doesn't that just look intriguing???

The third level (Floor 4), housed displays about the social history of New Zealand with exhibits about the Māori and the stories of immigrants who had made it to New Zealand. I wasn't able to photograph all of them due to their being some museum restrictions out of respect for the Māori community's contribution. 

Fun fact: Aotearoa (meaning long white cloud) is the Māori name for New Zealand.

The Mixing Room is an exhibit dedicated to telling the stories of refugees that have made New Zealand their new home. 

Unfortunately, the next level was being renovated for an upcoming exhibit (IN SEPTEMBER WHEN I’LL BE GONE) so the last level I visited was what was nothing more than a viewing terrace. Despite the windiness (that Wellington is known for but I had not seen at this point) on the rooftop, there was no denying the breathtaking view of the harbor I got.

*I didn’t want to make this part too long especially because there are so many parts of Te Papa I didn’t even get around to, here is a link to those pictures on Facebook.

Explore Cuba Street.

A disclaimer I’d like to make about just touring Cuba Street is that I was fortunate enough to be placed near here as my “home” for the next two months. Someone at the hospital called it the place “where all of the youth are” which I suppose is fitting. There are so many places to eat (mostly reasonably priced), cute little shops to browse, and you can guarantee that something will be happening there during the weekend.

Browse the Underground Market.

This wasn’t something that I initially set out to visit on Saturday and was intending to spend my entire day at the library. However, as I was preparing to leave, one of the other interns brought it to my attention in a group message and mentioned that it was near the harbor (aka in my intended direction). I wasn’t there for very long, but I definitely picked up a few souvenirs before I left and with plans to come back.

Get caught up in the rugby madness.

This is a bit more specific to the time that I arrived in Wellington…in the heart of rugby season when the Lions tour had stops in Wellington. If you come at the right time, it is next to impossible to avoid rugby happenings. SERIOUSLY. Rugby is a nationwide craze. On my way to Te Papa, I got distracted by the rugby fans diving into the harbor for the sake (what seemed to be) their rugby teams.
Go All-Blacks!

On Saturday night, I even went out with a few of the other interns to find a place to watch the game. Something that I learned is to leave at least 4 hours before the game actually starts to claim a seat at any bar in the heart of the city or at the giant Fanzone erected near the harbor. 

Find the local library (or at least something familiar.

No matter where I am in the world, a library is where I feel most comfortable and has always been like a second home for me. As great as it is to be in a place that’s so new and different, I think it’s important for anyone that will be away from their first home for a while is to find another place that makes where they’re going feel a little bit more at home. 

Don't forget to enjoy it.

As exciting as it is to be in the adventure capital of the world, sometimes I just like to find places with great views or a quiet atmosphere and just take a moment to enjoy how lucky I am to be here doing these things in the first place.  
Here's me on one of the better weather days last weekend. 

Plans for the Future

  • Go back to the Underground Market for souvenirs
  • Visit the Night Market on Cuba Street
  • Spend more time at the library
  • Take in NZ's version of American food and go to the Adrenalin Forest (later this week, actually!!!!)
  • Buy fresh produce from the local market
  • Figure out how I'm going to fit all of my stuff in my suitcase in a month or so

Until later this week,