Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My window

Alas!  A sneak peek into my day to day life at Lincoln Uni!!!
I have a window.  It's the most popular window on campus.  When I'm home, I open my window and people come to it to talk, play cards (we play a lot of cards), listen to music, hop through, and to check on how my broccoli plant is doing.
I have a broccoli plant that I am growing.  I got the seeds from the environmental fair and have had to repot it twice already!  We had a two week break starting on Good Friday and we headed South, so to make sure my broccoli wouldn't die, I brought it with us in the car!  He sat in the cup holder and my friend Nathan would make me bring my broccoli inside during the night so he wouldn't get a cold shock.  This picture is of the end of Mission:Broccoli when we almost forgot to get Broc out of the car before he got cold shock in Queenstown.  That's also our sweet car, High Voltage Legacy, that our friend let us use while he was in Australia.
During some point of the trip, we decided that my broccoli plant needed a name, so Hannah, Amber, Nathan, and I named him Broc James Smith Brunner Nathan.  We all became quite attached.  Julia and I left Broc in the car for 24 hours while we went to Stewart Island for a day and night and when we got back, BROC WAS INFESTED BY APHIDS!!!  I spent the next 30 minutes as Juila drove to the next town picking off aphids all over the stems and wrapped in the leaves and in the soil!  It was traumatizing, both for Broc and myself.  He was weak. Luckily he has overcome the shock of the aphid attack, I bought him a nice flower pot from the Bluff Market, and he is doing quite well.
Anyways, back to my window.  Here are a few stellar window pictures of my window:

Julia lives next door, so sometimes instead of walking over to her room, we just talk outside through our windows :)
For St. Patrick's day, everyone climbed in through my window, took a group photo, and then climbed out to go to the Irish Pub in Prebbleton (a town between Lincoln and Christchurch).
One day I was studying for an Economics test when Chui, a Kiwi who lives across the courtyard from me, started pouring things down from her 3rd story window to the windows below her, and eventually started "cleaning" them with laundry detergent and water, so I took a picture through my window.
On haircutting day, the razor ran out of battery, so Mandi (the hairdresser) plugged the razor in through my window in order to finish up her third customer of the day!
This is my friend Rosa who's family lives in Auckland and grows passion-fruit and flowers!
Jen's 23rd Birthday window picture!
This is probably one of the most exciting window events so far: Julia, Hannah, Mandi, Sarah, and I were studying for our Sociology test in my room and all of a sudden, I saw a car driving up through my window!  Our landscape architecture friends had been visiting a site and apparently Nathan had asked Britt to drop him off at his door, so he did. 
This picture is from the Sharon and Rachel photo-shoot; we took pictures of the two of us with hair, since we'll be shaving it off on May 10th to raise money for St. Baldrick's foundation for childhood cancer research.
Although I could go on forever about my window, I will stop there and hope that someday you may be able to pop your head in, like in the Wizard of Oz, I suppose... This leads into a quick story:
The other day I was talking to my family on Skype video and my friends Nathan and Britt came to my window since they had just gotten out of class.  They thought I was watching something on my computer but I told them I was talking to my family.  I suddenly found myself turn to my family and ask "Do you want to meet some of my friends?" and I turned the camera on my window visitors, who weren't expecting to meet my family and weren't expecting my mom to start laughing herself to tears and start talking about some scene in the Wizard of Oz where the farmers pop up in Dorothy's window (a scene that still escapes my memory...).  Mom then went on to ask my friends names and where they're from, and as soon as they could, Nathan and Britt said goodbye, ducked out of the window, and I heard Nathan mutter "close your window the next time you're skyping."  Ah man.  It didn't hit me until I had hung up with my family how incredibly intimidating it must have been for my friends to meet my loud, awkward, invasive family so suddenly over the skype machine.  Luckily it didn't scare them away too long and I have learned to skype loudly so not as many people come by, however I am still working on my mom's awkwardness during computer conversations...

ChCh Square and Gardens

Julia and I love the Christchurch Market and Botanic Gardens, so when we had a free weekend, we decided to take the bus to Christchurch with some homework and our journals, and a wee bit of money.
We ate our sack lunches on the square.
Then we walked through the market and bought matching satchels and scarves and made our way to the gardens, after passing one of many ridiculous New Zealand signs:
Here's a sweet as tree in the Botanic gardens.
Then we stepped into a wonderland greenhouse:
And smelled the stellar flowers:
Back outside, we walked through the rose garden, and, naturally, had to smell every single one.  These were supposed to smell like coffee, or something weird like that.
Beautiful beautiful beautiful.  Surprisingly enough, we didn't manage to get any homework done, however, I was able to rest up for the 5.5km Fun Run I participated in the next morning!  I dominated it in 33.24 minutes!  What a magical place this country is! 

Dolphins, Seals, and Kaikoura

So a long time ago, I went to Kaikoura and absolutely loved it!  When I first saw it, I named it the town where the mountains meet the sea.  Although now that I've been all over the South Island, it seems like all of New Zealand is where the mountains meet the sea.  Anyway, we went to Kaikoura to celebrate my friend, Alex's, birthday!  
On Saturday morning, I woke up before the sun at 4:45am, crawled out of my tent, saw the stunning stars above, and walked with Allison, Alex, and Brad to the Dolphin Encounter headquarters!  That's right; I SWAM WITH DOLPHINS!!! I got to wear scuba gear and had a snorkel and by the end, the dusky dolphins and I were playing around and swimming in circles together!

Later that afternoon, we started out on the peninsula walk, but walked towards the wrong peninsula, so we just stopped and played around on the beach!
Then we walked back to the town and hopped in a van that took us to another bay where we went kayaking through the treacherous Pacific Ocean to a seal colony at Shark Point!  Julia took all the pictures (since she was in the front of the kayak; we're kayaking dominators) but here's one of the surroundings:
We went back to the hostel and sat in the hot tub until dinner was ready :)  I know, lazy, but best day ever.  We had our big family dinner/birthday dinner for 14 people and then I did the dishes because I had done nothing all day but have fun :)  To finish the night, we went to the Strawberry Tree, a wonderful little pub that was lit by candle light and a fire because it was celebrating Earth Hour!  Awesome, I know.  We had a dance party and had a rad time.  Later, Mandi said that we could have a good time anywhere we go because we bring the party with us; there are 14 of us!!!
The next morning, I crawled out of my tent, once again before the sun, looked at the stars, and headed out to try to dominate the right peninsula walk at sunrise! 
Along the way to the end of the peninsula, we came across this entire wall of aloe plants!
As we approached the tip of the peninsula, we looked over to our left and saw a seal sprawled out on top of a big bush right on the side of the road!  It was another fur seal colony!  
We walked around them and took pictures as they posed for us.
Here's a picture I took through my stunnashades at the end of the peninsula:
I love Kaikoura.