Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our first week in New Zealand

Well, it was just a week ago today that Meg and I arrived in Auckland, and then took a commuter flight to Whakatane, the harbor town closest to Ohope, North Island, where Matt, Teresa, Sebastian, and Emma live. Matt has been working at a hospital in Wellington for three months, to demonstrate to the Austral-New Zealand Medical Society that his US Board Certification should be recognized down here.
One of the reasons we made this winter trip was to give Teresa the chance to spend a week with Matt while we took care of the grandchildren. It is tough being grandparents, but somebody has to do it :). I mean, we get the children off to school, and then we must find time to read while drinking tea or coffee, walk on the beach with Aggie, the black lab, pick up sea shells, take sunrise and sunset pictures, eat great fish and chips, drive on the wrong side of the road--I know how sympathetic you are feeling for us.
It is fun adjusting to driving here. The basic lesson is remembering to drive with the center line next to you. I have found that is the key orientation fact for me as I drive. The challenge then is to drive into parking lots on the far side instead of the near side--and not to turn the windshield wipers on when using the turn signals. So far, I am under 10% in turning on the wipers rather than the directionals.
Central heating is non existent in New Zealand. Our bedroom is quite cool at night, probably around fifty five degrees. We sleep under a great comforter, and feel like we are in a cozy den. Since it gets dark at five thirty and light a seven, we sleep quite deeply.
As always, we are impressed with the beauty of the country and the kindness of the people. We are blessed to be here.

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