From May 12 to May 16 I didn't photograph enough, so not everything we did is included in this section. Some days I recorded video more than I recorded photographs, and some days I just wrote my experiences. And I think that's okay.

Needless to say, this section comprises of our stay in Rotorura to the first couple days in Auckland.

May 12 >>>

  • Went to the Agrodome
  • Maori College of Arts & Crafts
  • Geothermal land
  • Maori demonstrations and dinner

The geothermal areas blew me away. I was constantly kept in awe and it felt like I was transported to a different world. Yet again I wished I was one of the first people to discover that place and experience it, and I try to imagine what that must have felt and looked like.

The Maori culture is so beautiful and I love their language and traditions, especially the concepts of being one with the land and being in harmony with the natural resoures. 

And the bus ride back was also beautiful, listening to songs from every person's country and being able to laugh and sing together [Our bus driver for the night picked up several groups of tourists from different countries. He made each country sing their national anthem, and made all of us sing universal songs]. It is yet another reminder that we are not so different from one another and that we are all connected.

May 13 >>>

  • Luging
  • Zorbing

This day was our fun day. I didn't take any real photos and it was liberating to let everything go. I was nervous for luging but my friends encouraged me and it was too much fun. Then we went zorbing at the place that invented it, and it was "sweet as"! I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

May 14 >>>

  • Toured Bethleham Tertiary Institute
  • Stayed at Marae Ranginui

RETURNS

Inside your ribcage
One million stories
Seep from the wet ground
And cultivate my
Wisdom.

Inside your whenua
I rumble and live
One million lives;
With the red string carved
To connect.

We are marama
From the void, and we know
One million stars and
One God watch us move
To final end.

May 15 >>>

  • Auckland Museum
  • Rugby Game

May 16 >>>

  • Auckland Zoo
  • Rhesa's house
(A real Kiwi bird! They are nocturnal so he was in nearly complete darkness, and also sleep 20 hours a day, so the mere fact that I got a photo of one awake is awesome.)

(A real Kiwi bird! They are nocturnal so he was in nearly complete darkness, and also sleep 20 hours a day, so the mere fact that I got a photo of one awake is awesome.)

Meeting Rhesa and her family might be one of the best highlights of this trip so far. We ate and talked for literally six hours about everything. It was so cool to learn about New Zealand from people who had lived here their whole lives. 

I will never forget the feeling of welcome and kindness, and the feeling that I was completely at home. I never want to leave this place. It just amazes me how insightful and kind people are. I'm coming to discover that every person in this world is so indescribably beautiful.

 

View more photos from this section of the trip here!

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