1 Foot in SA, 1 Foot in NZ

We recently returned from an admin trip to our new country to have our passports stamped and get a few things organized. And it rained a lot. I mean, a lot! We even had hail. And there was that tsunami warning. No, really. I kid you not. Fun and games, people. Fun and games.

The trip over was long, there's no denying it. You lose a day. And the subsequent jet lag is a real killer. I, for one, really found it a struggle to get up in the morning. Anyway, we did eventually get going and got quite a lot done in the short time we were over there. We bought a car (http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/Captiva) and a house! The negotiations that went on were amazing! They have a very interesting way of negotiating the purchase of things - it was another big learning curve for us. Anyway, we're very excited about it all and it's a huge positive to know that we'll be moving into a lovely house come January. The purchase of a home means that we get to move straight in when the container arrives and not have to move into a rental and pack and unpack twice. It also means that we can visualize where we're going to be living which is important, especially for the kids. They've all chosen their bedrooms and can now feel secure when thinking about the move. Happy days.

The kids also went to visit their new school while we were there. They got to tour the campus and see where they're going to be spending their days next year! The school is truly impressive and the staff we met seemed very friendly. I'm sure they're going to be very happy there (fingers crossed).

Besides the 'admin' side of things, we also managed to have some leisure time - the kids loved going down to the park, we visited the Aquarium and went to the Auckland Museum. (The highlight of that visit was a stint in a lounge where they showed what would happen in the event of a volcano erupting in Auckland, along with 'real' tremors! New Zealand might not have any dangerous or poisonous animals and insects, but the natural disaster threat sure makes up for that.) The kids also had a memorable afternoon at the Snowplanet. They all did so well and impressed us with the speed at which they picked it up. I'm sure it won't be long before they're whizzing down the big ski slopes.

My parents also threw a party for us which was really thoughtful and we got to meet some of their lovely friends. And we went for sushi in the city one night, with my sister and her boyfriend. We really ate so well while we were there - I can truly say that the food in New Zealand is outstanding. We had delicious oysters and mussels, yummy lamb chops and gorgeous sushi. And our new house has a big vegetable patch, so hopefully I'll become a keen gardener and whip up some healthy salads and veggie dishes too! Stranger things have happened.

Things I learnt while there:

- I drive fast! (The speed limits are 50 km/hr and 100 km/hr - compared to 60 and 120 km/hr in SA.)
- I really enjoy good food.
- I thought I might pluck up the courage to bungee jump off Sky Tower, but after standing at the base of that TALL building, I now know that I won't!
- Always carry an umbrella in your handbag.
- Just put on a raincoat, get that umbrella out, and go, 'cos if you wait for the rain to stop, you won't ever do anything.
- There is a car called a Holden Captiva.

All in all, it was a very successful trip and the only negative was that we had to go 'home' without Grant. It was a very sad affair and we're all really missing him. I'm so very thankful for Skype, as hearing and seeing him is making the experience so much more bearable.

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