Teaching in New Zealand
Hey bros n bras,
New Zealand for me in a nutshell was an interim period of what I used to do (teaching in strange exotic places) and what I'm working towards doing now (starting a design career in England).
And for that it was what I wanted. I also wanted to glimpse at the wonder of the famous NZ landscapes and that I did too. And as always I wanted to meet the girl of my dreams and guess what? I did that too... but too late.
And for me that was what NZ was (inside said hypothetic shell) from the start, really great but in too smaller doses or just awkward timing.
Here's some examples:
- Working in a good school - too few hours or good hours for short bursts of time
- 1 good flat - After two crappy ones
- Teaching 2 great private students - but only when they had enough money to show up
- Playing great football - Only if enough people were there to play
- Met my girlfriend - one month before the date I was due to leave
Not that I'm complaining or being so negative. Those good times were REALLY good and I miss NZ dearly.
One thing I got right from the start was living in Wellington. It's such a small capitol but it's chock full of all the things I love. The bay is nice, there're lots of hills to run and MTB on, parks, easy going people, coffee shops, rocky coastlines, parties, dinners and on it goes.
REALLY believe me when I say that on a sunny day that Wellington is super sweet and my favourite capitol.
I passed my Kiwi right of passage by Skydiving in Taupo pronounced toe-poo by the Maori people and tau-po by the Pakeha (white people or the people living in NZ of European background) and although you have to agree that it is written the way the Pakeha say it, it is a Maori word and so should be said the way it was intended. Most places in the North Island have Maori names and the White Kiwis say most of them wrong. Although there are some places even the Maori can't decide on how they should say them (but that's a long story).
Relationships between the Maori (mostly in the North Island) and the Pakeha are complicated but in places like Wellington everyones a Kiwi trying to make a living in the city.
The South Island is where the good shit is for those happy snappers like me. I travelled for a month with a friend hitching, Couch Surfing, Staying round strangers houses, staying round friends of friends houses, camping in city parks, camping in the bush, camping in car parks, WWOOFing and anything else I could think of that would make the trip both cheap and unforgettable. There was the odd treat like the train from Christchurch to Greymouth, Coffees and the quickest plane journey I've ever had to end the journey (40 minutes).
As with every adventure I am always looking to develop and a few things that I picked up, achieved or decide during my time in NZ are:
- I'm now a Vegetarian and may become Vegan one day soon
- I'm determined to at least try to become an Industrial Designer starting now
- I ran my first marathon distance on Stewart Island along a hilly, boggy, rooty, bushy
track. It was awesome but gruelling
- I now try to only buy 2nd hand/used products
- I'm trying to get on better with my sisters (not going swimmingly but I'll try)
- I'm now Mr Beardy. I have had my current face bush for 2 months or more
- I am learning Poi and hope to do flaming Poi one day soon
- I volunteered in an Elderly home for a few months
- I did my first WWOOF and it's awesome, check it out
I'm now back home in Blighty. I'm working hard on producing a portfolio from scratch and I have a summer camp to teach in July. Before the year is out I will do another long cycle trip, visit my friends, attend my first wedding, witness the birth of my first nephew and spend Christmas with my better half. Another action packed year eh.
To end, here're a few Kiwi-isms to enjoy;
- end every sentence with eh
- everyone is your bro
- a convenience store is a Dairy
- rooting = screwing
- if something is 'choice' then it's good
- if it's not choice then it's 'sweet as' - follow that with 'eh bro' and you'll do just fine