Greetings from Auckland, NZ! We have now been here three weeks! We arrived early in the morning on January 30th. We spent the first week and a half finding a place to live and a car and beginning to find the furnishings that we needed. God has been incredibly gracious to us and has provided so abundantly for our needs. Several people connected with the Navs here donated different items that we needed and many others recommended the right places to go to get the rest of the things we need. There is a website here that is a bit like eBay mixed with Craigslist that we have used to find most of our major items!
We are finally beginning to learn our area a bit and are able to drive (yes, on the left side of the road) around without always needing a GPS! In a city of around 1.5 million people there are lots of streets and areas to learn! Kathryn has posted several pictures of our car and apartment on Facebook, but just for fun, here's a couple of our place:
|We live in a one-story four plex just off of the intersection of two major roads in Auckland.|
Getting our bearings
For the past week or so, since we're mainly settled, we've begun meeting some of the key students here (it is Summer vacation right now so many students are working or have left Auckland on holiday). As you may remember there is currently a band of around 12 students involved with the Navigators here that have been studying the Bible together and seeking to reach out to their friends and classmates. We've greatly enjoyed getting to meet them and are organizing a couple of kickoff events to start the year on campus!
A post-grad student here, Jess, has stepped up to co-lead the team with us for this year while we largely focus on cultural adjustment and starting new initiatives on campus. Our first few times together as a team have been great; we feel sure that God is going to work in big ways in the lives of students this year. Please pray for Jess and the other students as classes start in two weeks.
This next week we are gearing up to go to a Rugby match with the students (the Auckland Blues) and to go paddleboarding with them. Being a coastal city it seems the students love to do things at the beach, and they are eager to take us out on the water!
|One of the many beautiful views from the SkyTower in mid-town. Most of the buildings that you can see in this picture are part of Auckland University's downtown campus.|
And just for kicks, here is just a glimpse of our new vocabulary:
Tramping aka hiking
Sweet As aka nice, all good
Gumboot Tea aka ordinary hot tea, black tea
Ruck up aka gather together
Fizzy aka pop, soda
Keen aka just about everything that you are excited about
Chin Wagging aka light conversation during informal occasions