23 Days to go!

August 3rd is really sneaking up on me. Must be time for a mini update!

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First came the visa forms! Lots of paperwork to do and then I had to send them off to the embassy. We were given these at the Q & A session and had to have them in between the 30th June – 4th July.

Pro tip – Don’t leave it until the Sunday night before forms are due to start filling them in. Not worth the stress. Yes I lack common sense…

I did managed to tick a couple of things off of my to do list. My parents and I took a day trip over the Takaka hill and to visit Waikoropupu springs.

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It’s the world’s second clearest freshwater spring, with the most clearest being Blue Lake also in the Tasman District. According to the D.O.C. website it pumps around 14,000 litres of fresh water per second and has a visibility of 63 metres.

This is the entrance. It is a sacred place for the local Maori.

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I’ve been a couple of times before but I really to enjoy the short walk through the woods, over the rivers and bridges. The water in and around the spring is honestly breath-taking. It’s so clear and very fast moving in the streams. I would really like to scuba dive in the main spring one day but the public are not allowed to touch the water or enter it as D.O.C do not want weeds like Didymo to ruin the spring.

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Waikoropupu Springs with the second clearest water in the world.

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Below is one of the rock faces near Ligar Bay on the opposite side of Takaka. The actual ‘face’ of the rock on the top left makes me laugh every time I drive passed it. Really good rock climbing spots around the Pohara coast.

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So that was my trip over to Takaka and while I was away for the week my new prescription sunglasses finally turned up and so did my contact! So I had a quick read through and it is better than I originally thought. Enough holiday days to actually see a fair bit of my new home. The Toyooka Board of Education was nice enough to send me a couple of pamphlets about the city which got me thinking. I decided that I would walk around my old school and take some photos so I could show the kids in Japan what New Zealand school look like compared to their own.

My old intermediate

My old intermediate, looking a little dull

I’m really glad I thought of this while the school holidays were on because I didnt even consider how creepy it would have been if there were kids running around while I was talking photos… Still I felt really weird walking around the empty ground taking photos through the windows of a classroom. Luckily I bumped into a receptionist who was briefly popping back into her office to pick something up and I explained why I was being creepy and lurking at the intermediate with my camera. She was really lovely and understanding (possibly just happy that I wasn’t being a pedo) and gave me some newsletters and a prospectus for the school and seemed to like my idea of setting up a pen pal system with a class or two. So that was ultimately a really helpful visit.

Hoping to get to Punakaiki, or Pancake Rocks as they are more commonly known as, possibly next weekend when I visit family down on the west coast.

One final thing, I officially resigned today from my job. Safety blanket gone. No going back now. No chickening out. Worst case scenario, I don’t like being an ALT, it’s only a year and I can say I’ve lived in Japan. Best case scenario, I can stay for five years. I’m probably going to be somewhere in between those two.

Just over three weeks and then everything changes. Nervous but excited! That was a lot of text to read, sorry for the longish post! More photos next time!

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