New Zealand Adventures

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rotoura and Waitamo Bay

Allie, Diana, Kara getting ready for a sweet as adventure black water rafting through one of Waitamo's many caves.

Paddle Paddle

Some of us took a paddle boat out on the lake. I have to admit, my calves burned :)

Rotorua Museum in the center of the Old English town

Monday was our busiest and we explored for an hour around the Old English town and waterfront of Rotoura city. Here I am posing like a Kiwi with my tongue out and looking very ferocious

Posing on a deck that's situated on the 3rd lake we visited (I put my feet in this water and it was really cold, just like the Columbia river around April)

After visiting Te Puia and eating a quick lunch (we had roast beef, cheese, and lettuce on bread everyday) we took a drive to 3 great lakes. The first two were the Blue and Green Lake (can't remember the third). What's special about the Green Lake is that nobody is allowed to swim there since the Maori look at it as a sacred water source because of the minerals that make the lake green. Both lakes were gorgeous and even at one overlook you could look out and see both lakes (sadly I couldn't maneuver my camera right to get a picture)

As part of the Maori culture some make their food underground with hot stones-also known as a Hangi.

The stick game as part of the cultural performance we went to

Rubbing a jade rock for good luck

You can't tell but my eyes are closed in this picture

This is what the national park looks like around the geysers, it's amazing how fauna thrives with the sulfur. According to our tour guide Te Puia is way prettier than Yellowstone: I think I have to agree.

Chief Jacobs. As part of our visit to Te Puia we went to a marae (sacred gathering place) and a powhiri to be welcomed by the this Maori tribe and we needed a male to come forth and be a chief so that we would be welcomed into the marae peacefully. Dr. Jacobs was volunteered by 16 eager girls

Te Puia Maori Cultural Center and home of Rotorua's national geyser park that we visited on Monday

Walkway along Lake Taupo (before it rained) on Sunday after church (and yes, later on you'll see pictures of our flat tire we got the same day)

Baa, I'm cold!

What are you going to do on an early Saturday morning? Oh, you know, shear a sheep.

Okay so another funny story along with this picture...some of the girls were talking about the internship and I didn't really want to get too involved in the drama with that so I went on a little run just around the house we were by. Well, you don't get too far without smelling the sulfur in Rotorua and believe it or not there was a little geyser park right by the Bronson's house. So I thought it would be fun to go explore in that park, and it was until a rock and I collided. I was almost done and just running by some of the stinky foamy geysers when I noticed a cute boy walking past and of course I was checking him out and not looking at the ground, and then wham, I stumbled and crashed right on my right knee on the hard-packed gravel. I was so embarrassed, and the guy was going to help me up, but I bounced right up and sprinted off to find a way out of the park and back home. It wasn't until I got home that I really started to feel a bruise and swelling coming on, but man, my knee was bloody! This is a photo a day after it happened so the swelling went down a tiny bit, but it felt like a water balloon for a few days. Pretty gross. Moral of story: when running don't check out cute boys :)

Baby lamb! I love his face

Black sheep and Bessie-a cute sheep that took right to me

After the sheep show (Saturday) we all got on stage for a picture with the stars themselves!

Our excitement continued as some of us prepared dinner Sunday night for 18 hungry people. Sunday night was potato bar, Saturday was hamburgers, and Friday night was taco salad. It was a lot of cleaning up and cooking to do, but luckily each of the girls took turns and we all had a night where we cooked and cleaned. Well, Kara and I cleaned a lot, especially Friday and Saturday, but on Monday we took a break and let some other girls clean (also, Dr. Jacobs told everyone that the girls who clean constantly can't clean up dirty dishes for Monday or Tuesday morning). In this picture, Anna and I are stabbing potatoes.

After church on Sunday we took a drive to Lake Taupo to walk around and explore. It was rainy and cold, but the walk was nice. Well, we had a lot of adventures on the way home. First, it was rainy really hard and Jim hydroplaned the 13 seater van and after saying "Oh my gosh" 5 times and holding on to the seat in front of me for dear life, we got back on all 4 wheels. There was a moment when I really thought we were going to tip over. It was a little scary. Then, not even 20 minutes later we hear a huge pop and Kara noticed a hubcap fly down the road from our car. We stop and yes, our worries were right, we got a flat tire. James was ahead of us and didn't see it, so after calling him on the cell, he rushed back and for a good hour we got all the supplies and watched Jim, James, and Kara fix the tire. I was glad I got to see the action of changing a tire because now I know. One girl even asked me if I was scared to drive because I don't know how to change a tire, and I told her no, but at least I got to learn now. Kara was amazing during this trip and such a trooper! Even changing a tire in her dress! It was an exciting Sunday :)

Front row seats at the sheep show on Saturday!

Everyone at the dinner theater and the stage in the background

Our table at the dinner theater

Me, Heidi, Christine, and Jessica during the dinner theater we enjoyed Monday night. It was hosted by James's best friend's wife-Sister Bronson. The play was all about one of the villages in Rotoura that was buried after the 1867 volcanic eruption. Dinner was really fancy with muscles (didn't eat one because I've already tried one and they are disgusting), peas, carrots, salad, chicken, ham, potatoes, and Kumeri. Yum!

Us after zorbing...with the 3 guys who pushed us down the hill (good Saturday activity). Even though it was rainy and cold, the ride was awesome!

Zorbing-Kara and I went in one ball, and Katie and Hannah went in the other. It was awesome! We jumped superman style into the ball and then slid and rolled down the hill in freezing cold water :)

Our group that went on the Black Water Rafting experience in Waitamo Bay. I was nervous because I thought we were going to have to repel and do some crazy caving stuff that I have never done before, but it really wasn't that bad once I relaxed and listened to our guides. The hardest part was jumping backwards over waterfalls, but it got easier as time went on. It was so awesome to go into the caves and paddle and jump over little waterfalls and then look above you and see the lights from the glowworms. Funny fact: the glowworms aren't actually the worms, it's their poop. So really we paid money to see glowing poop :) I'm so glad I got to go and see all the lights inside this amazing cave.

All of us right before we went into the Hamilton, New Zealand temple one Friday afternoon. We got picked up at 6:30 am Friday and made it a little late to the 9:30 am baptism time. It was cold and rainy, but the temple was wonderful inside and the visitor's center was really cool to. We got to learn about Matthew Cowley, one of New Zealand's most influential LDS missionaries. It was gorgeous inside and it was only us with James and Jim in the baptismal font (and all the temple workers as well) so it was nice and cozy. I loved going to the temple again after not going for 3 months-the spirit was very strong there and I felt peaceful. Something I definitely need right now before the interns are decided for the upcoming school year.

Hello!! It's only 10 more days left for this lass and then she goes back to America! It's crazy how fast the time goes. This past weekend all 16 of us went with JJ and James to Rotorua and Hamilton for a temple trip and some fun. I found myself looking at the scenery more than the last trip to Hot Water Beach because I realized how soon this land is going to be part of my past. It really is so beautiful here, but home is gorgeous too, as long as I do my part to make it so. Soon, I'll find out if I was accepted for an internship in Nebo district for the 2011-2012 school year, and while I am waiting we are all going to head up North for a little trip to Northland: our final trip before it's goodbye New Zealand.

Sorry the pictures are all out of order.

Enjoy the video of Dr. Jacobs doing the Haka :)

1 comment:

  1. Love all the usual. Boy, have you had some wild adventures! You're going to be sooo bored when you come home. Still, we can't wait to see you! Don't worry--we're taping all four sessions of Conference for you. And guess what else? The new movie, "Jane Eyre," is out! Can't wait to see it with you.