Recently I finished my first lone adventure here in New Zealand. My worn down boots carried me and my 40 pound pack sixty kilometers over the tops of fiords that reached to the sky from untouched waters. It took me three days to clamber over the mountain saddles and back into civilization. Outside of the huts my only company was the occasional Kea, the world’s only alpine parrot who coincidentally also enjoys a nice salami sandwich. I really enjoyed the alone time, but the endless back tweaking and the accumulated sweat from three days of not showering had taken its toll. But you can’t see beautiful spots like this without effort. Unless your a baller and can just take a helicopter to the top.
All alone over the tops.(yeah, I set a timer to take this…hey still classier than a selfie stick!)
My only company
Avalanche trying to take out the track
Cheaters skipping the six hour ascent
My view from the top of the world
Finally finished and ready to party!
I returned just in time for our thanksgiving festivities. I work with one other American but the rest of the staff had never celebrated a true Thanksgiving before so we pooled together our resources and had a feast together. Kimbop, potato salad, quiche, and tacos were topped off with a handmade (rectangular) pumpkin pie, chocolate crumble, and an actual fancy bottle of wine accompanied by French wine etiquette. It was absolutely lovely. There are a few things that full on stink about spending holidays away from home. Turkey is $64 dollars here so a traditional meal is out of the question. My siblings are all missing so there is no one to tease about things… although the rectangular pie still warranted some harassment. While I did get to skype my family, its still not the same when you aren’t there lounging on the couch or poking your little baby nephew or rather getting things thrown at your head.
On the real thanksgiving I was fortunate enough to attend a New Zealand citizenship ceremony. My boss became a citizen just a few weeks ago and today was the official to do. It was really beautiful to watch as people got emotional reciting their oaths and singing the national anthem.
The professional choir nailing the national anthem in English and Maori
Me, Jo and my boss, happy to be a brand new Germakiwi! (working title)
Despite the miles separating us from the states, I suppose its much more fitting for the actual holiday to celebrate it with strange food in new lands with new friends, watching people being accepted with open arms into a home far away from home. We come together, we offer what we have, and we create new families where we are. So to everyone back home and everywhere else, Happy Thanksgiving!