Wednesday, May 31, 2006

today was a good day.

after a couple weeks of increasingly bad insomnia, peaking with being awake from 1am to 6:30 the night before last, I slept pretty much the night through last night. That was with the help of leaving the heat on and taking my last sample dose of Lunesta. Lunesta leaves a very strange taste in your mouth...hard to explain but it isn't pleasant. When I asked my friend who tried it how it had worked for her, the first thing she said was, it gave me this horrible taste in my mouth :-P For me it's not such an issue, but definitely bothersome. So, I slept, happy me.

Then this morning I decided that I would do one (or more) of three things with my day. First choice was something I've been wanting to do since before I moved here which is to visit the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary. It is mostly just a bird sanctuary but they have removed all predators and are trying to reintroduce endangered species there. Second on the list was going to the Wellington Zoo, I like animals, what can I say? Third option was going for a little shopping and getting a fleece and maybe some warm socks or something.

Turns out I chose the first option. So, after doing a little straightening around here I drove down to the sanctuary. My third driving experience in NZ and my furthest drive. I wasn't expecting much excitement, really just getting myself out of the apt. and into nature was enough motivation. The entry fee is $8 and i also bought a little bird booklet for another dollar.

I spent a few hours wandering about looking up and down and all around to see the creatures. Saw quite a few birds, most of whom look like the birds I see outside of my apartment. They have a special little hangout they built for the Weta an insect that has apparently been around, pretty much unchanged, since dinosaurs were hanging out http://www.kcc.org.nz/animals/weta.asp

My biggest realistic hope was to see the Kaka (a New Zealand species of parrot). My unrealistic hopes were to see a Kiwi bird and the Weka another flightless bird in the sanctuary. They are both quite rare and quite skittish and the Kiwi pretty much only comes out at night, so, unlikely they were to be seen. The parrot seemed a little more likely though.

I reached the far end of my walk without a parrot being seen. I was a little disappointed and a little damp when I turned back. It didn't take too long though before I came back to a feeder I had seen on the way up and there was a big brown parrot getting himself something to munch on. It's a little embarrassing to admit just how happy this made me. Unfortunately this was a little in the day and the lighting was not good. Also, when I tried to get close enough to use flash, the parrots would head further away. That was a little frustrating. So, after probably ten or fifteen minutes of watching the parrot (and a friend of his that came along a bit later), I continued my walk back to the car happy that I had finally seen a parrot in the wild. I then heard quite a bit of noise off to my left and when I looked out there were four or five parrots sharing a feeder. Of course I had to stop and stare at them for another 10 minutes or so. Once again lighting and distance made pictures unlikely. I've not yet gone through the 103 pix I snapped, but my guess is no pictures of birds will be worth looking at. It was quite an enjoyable afternoon nonetheless.

I then drove back home. Right after coming in the door the house phone started ringing. I don't usually bother answering as not many people call me, especially on the house phone. This time I thought I would in case it was one of the roomies needing something. It wasn't one of the roomies. It was actually Massey University asking for me. I have a job interview on the 7th of June for the position of Student Liaison Adviser. Not necessarily my dream job, but a perfectly acceptable entry into the uni world in New Zealand. It would also be based here in Wellington which would make me most happy.

I'm very excited to have finally received an interview. Even if I do not get the job, this is another step and adds to my experience.

That is about all I have for now.

I am very much enjoying New Zealand still.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I've been a bad blogger. Really, I have no excuse. Actually, that is soooooo untrue, I have the perfect excuse! I'm LAZY.

This week I've received two rejection letters for jobs. My recruitment agency I am trying to get temp work through has yet to find me a job. This means I have a lot of free time. I've applied for two more jobs this week though. So, what have I been doing with all of my free time? Sleeping quite a bit, walking around Karori Rd. (the main drag in my neighbourhood). I go to the library semi-regularly as well as the post office. Been to downtown Wellington a few times. I like it down there, I don't go down there often cuz it makes me want to spend money and I can't really afford to do that until I have a job.

I've been mostly reading, watching movies and following the NBA playoffs. I also spend a significant amount of time chatting with letlet. I was downloading some shows online until I realised that I had very quickly used up the entire months allotment of broadband downloading so our internet speed has been reduced to dial-up speed for the remainder of the month. Oooops. I can't get used to this limited internet thang. Suffice it to say that downloading is a thing that will have to wait until I have my own internet though. Luckily both LOST and Grey's Anatomy had their season finales already.

I get along quite well with my roomies. They are rather Catholic, so that is a slightly uncomfortable situation sometimes, but mostly they are quite accepting of me and my non-religious ways. They feed me quite well, in fact maybe a little too well. I'm afraid that the weight I lost before is making its way back.

Oh, as I mentioned in my last entry, I went to see seals. That was fun. A really nice hike and it rained a little, but not so much to make it unpleasant.

Letlet had her interview. It sounds like it went quite well. She has a few more documents to turn in and then it's just waiting for the results. I feel good about it all.

Now I want to get a job, get an apt. and get a dog. Then the dog and I can wait patiently for the arrival of letlet.

Take care all.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hi, here I am. New Zealand, Wellington, Karori, Monaghan Ave., in my room, on my computer tapping! Arrived safe and sound on Friday morning after many hours in airports and on airplanes. Picked up by Mon a friend of the couple I'm staying with who is also familiar with Let from an e-group for filipino/nz expats. He drove me to the house where Didith was on her way out but had left us breakfast waiting on the table.

We ate breakfast and Mon left to go about his day. I just sat around for awhile trying to get my bearings. After a bit I decided I should walk down to the main Karori street (Karori Road) and find my post office/bank. Went and did that, had to finish the opening of my account that I had begun back in NYC. Also went to a convenience store to buy myself a soda and a chocolate bar :-D, things haven't changed much.

That first night Didith and Clark planned on taking me to meet the filipino community but I was not feeling quite up for it and begged off. My stomach was protesting all of the adjustments and I decided it was best to just rest for the night.

So, yesterday afternoon a friend was having a house warming party and that was my coming out party for the filipino community here. The house is very cute, all the people I met very nice. Getting my ears more accustomed to hearing Tagalog (why else would I move to NZ than to learn Tagalog :-P)? It was a great night of beer, food, laughing, singing (even me!!!).

Then we came home and I was asleep by about 10 and didn't get up until after 10:30! A long long night of sleep.

This afternoon I am joining a trip to the coast to see a seal colony. That should be fun as well. Then tomorrow I must start working on the job search and getting to know Wellington a little better.

It feels a little bit unreal still. But I also feel very lucky to have landed with these very friendly, welcoming people who have been most helpful during my first few days. Next step is Let having her interview and getting her to join with all the other filipinos here in Wellington.

I miss all of my US friends already!

jon

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Oh Shit! I'm leaving TOMORROW! The most amazing part is, I'm really ready to go. A couple of errands left for today, a couple loose ends that will need cleaning up, but really, I could walk out the door for the airport now and feel okay. WOOOHOOOO.

This has been an amazing year of making this happen. I have so many feelings inside. I have a niece that I'm having a very difficult time leaving behind. Family I've not been able to visit, friends that I don't know when I'll see again. There is some guilt and sadness mixed in with all of the excitement of this new adventure. Concerns for the future and how it will all turn out, not in a bad way, just wanting to be certain that I am doing everything in my power to make it a great experience.

The passport adventure ended smoothly and with me parting with about $300. Nice part is that I could be a NZ citizen before my passport expires again. I have five years to consider that possibility...

Oh, I know I should have so much to write, but the thoughts are whirring so quickly around my head that it is hard to catch them and put them on paper. Hopefully Friday I'll be able to catch a few more and share my first thoughts on being in Karori, Wellington, New Zealand.

Hey, if you read this, leave me a comment wouldja???

Regards,

Jon

About Me

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Hi, I'm Jon, you may know me from my appearances in Brattleboro and Marlboro VT. Or you might know me from my time in New York City. We may have crossed paths in Northampton, MA or possibly during my brief stint in Berlin, Germany. More likely you don't know me at all, but if you're from Portland, OR or Wellington, New Zealand there's a chance we've bumped into each other. If any of these sound like places where you may know me from, drop me a line. :-)