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19 april 2014
Today I woke up at 10 and I’ve just been taking things slowly. But I already have my holidays sorted which is good! Tomorrow one of the Rotarians is going to take me to the Agrodome. It’s the oldest touristic attraction here in Rotorua (50 years) and they have a big show where they show different sheep, even a Dutch one from Texel! Anyway. Last Friday I had another Rotary weekend, this time to Waitomo so I’ll write about that now!
So yeah Friday I stayed home from school so I had enough time to prepare myself for the weekend hehe. It was raining the whole day anyway so who wants to go out? Well around 16.30 I got picked up by one of my chaperones Karen by a shop close by. So together with Louise, Victor and Bastian we drove to Waitomo, around 1,5 hours from here. It was already getting dark so early because of day light savings so by the time we got there it was dark. We got to the place and it was a little bach in the middle of the bush as usual. Just a living and dining room and a kitchen together in 1 house and then 1 house with big bunk beds for us to sleep. We waited for the other exchange students and then had some ‘dinner’. Mince on toast ahaha seriously this country is all about toast. After dinner we sat down and talked etc. but because we are performing in the Rotary conference of our district next week we had to practise for it. One of the exchange students, Pauline from Germany, is going to play a bit of piano so we drove to a nearby hotel where she could play the piano. So while she was playing we sang. Kind of a disaster ahaha but oh well it was fun. We then went back to the bach and as good exchange students we continued the night eating. We also prepared our songs and drama for the conference. The day after we had to wake up at 7, so we did. We had some breakfast and we left to a bird centre in a village close by called Otorahonga. First time I saw an alive kiwi!! It was so cute running around. But it looked so awkward because it just had 2 little legs and that was it. I just felt like they needed some wings or little arms on the side. It looked so unbalanced and uncomfortable haha. Like a cooked chicken on 2 legs. Oh well. I couldn’t take any pictures or videos because we were in the dark looking at it and you don’t want to disturb the kiwi pff. After that we walked outside where it was like a little park with different bird species around.
After the birds we went to the Waitomo caves. Now this was truly awesome! In a group of 12 we got driven in a van to a place where we had to get ready. We put our togs on and got some wetsuits. So first 1 wetsuit that coverd you from the ankles to the chest and then another jacket, to finish it off we got some soft shoes and a helmet with a light. It was not very comfortable hence everything was wet! After that we took some pictures and hopped in the van. We got out by these grass hills. We got handed a rubber tube (donut) and had to walk up the hills. My god I was exhausted before everything began. Then we got to the cave. We turned on our lights on the helmet and walked down the stairs and entered the cave. I had already been in a cave down South so I kind of knew what to expect but every cave is different. There were a few lights in the cave but nothing too bright also our lights on our helmets guided us. We had to pay attention to not knock our heads on the caves because it could get really narrow and low at some points. Our guide told us to turn of our lights and look up. We saw a few glowworms right above us! He then explained that the actual glow worm doesn’t glow, its poo does! So as good mature teenagers we started laughing ‘hahaaa glowing poo hahaaa’. Well we turned our lights back on and continued. We then got to an open space where we could sit on the ground. He told us to turn our lights and look up. It was pitch black and the top of the cave was like 20 meters up and full of little glow worms! Hundreds of them. Our guide told us to listen quietly because the glowworms made a noise. I thought it was a bit weird because they didn’t mention that at the other cave but I was quite and listened. “Did you hear that?!” he said. ‘Eh no’ we said. “Ok listen again really carefully” everybody concentrated on the sounds but it was completely silent. And then out of nothing ‘BANG!’ we heard the loudest noise ever. I seriously felt my heart pounding in my head and screamed. The guide had popped on of the tubes! Not funny! But then he said: “Now look up again” we looked and wow! Out of nowhere thousands of lights appeared and it was just magical. A starry night at midday! He said: “See, I made them shit their pants” haha nice one. Well that done, our first adventure started. There was a hidden waterfall close but in order to get there you had to crawl your way to it. So we did. We walked to this really narrow hole in the cave and had to lie down on our stomach. It was filled with ice cold water so thank god we had our wetsuits. I crawled on my elbows and knees through the cave but at times I had to stretch out completely and just pull myself through by my hands. At times I could get on my knees and all the freezing cold water entered through my neck into my whole suit SO COLD. Well continuing that for a few meters I finally got to the waterfall. It was kind of like those big round showers where you stand under and all the water is falling around you. It was so cool. We all turned our lights off and just enjoyed for a few seconds and then went back. When we all got there the tubing was going to begin. We kept on walking straight and the water was slowly rising until it got to our stomachs. We then had to sit in our tubes and were all connected by our feet and arms. They pulled us through the cave whilst it was pitch black. I relaxed my head back in the freezing cold water and just looked at the top of the cave where I saw thousands and thousands of little dots. It’s incredible. Everybody was silent enjoying the moment. Then he was preparing us for ‘the massive waterfall!’ We all got scared by the way he was telling us about it but at the end it wasn’t that bad. We all got disconnected again and there were 2 little steps in the water leading to a platform. I had to stand on the platform with my back to the waterfall underneath me. I had to hold my tube behind my bum and let myself fall in the water. I did and with tube and all I splashed underwater in the water and even hit my bum on a rock! Auw! After that we continued in our tubes. We even had to sing. I quite enjoyed my abba and Justin Bieber songs ahha. Then there was a slide. Right before siting he asked: “Do you wanna go fast or slow? And remember fast is really fast and slow is really slow” Ehm fast I said. He grabbed my tube and threw it down and told me to hold one hand on my shoulder and the other one squeezing my nose. I got on my back got a push and holy guacamole I think I almost flew out of the slide ahaha. I made a huge splash in the water and survived! Then it was the end of our cave experience, we had to walk 2000 steps up. So after 2 amazing hours I was blinded by daylight. We drove back and got changed into our normal clothes again. Back in the bach we had some lunch and got ready for our next trip out. We took the mini van and all squeezed in. We drove half an hour to the waterfall and got out. There was a 5 minute walk through the bush and then we got to a platform way up that looked down on the waterfall. It was a huge waterfall and it even had a rainbow in front of it. Some other exchangers and me decided to be some dare devils and started walking down. There was no path just slip nd slide through the mud. So funny. Linnea (girl from Sweden) was walking down and she slipped and her whole back was brown from mud ahahah. When we finally got to the waterfall we were soaked because of the mist coming off of it. It looked like we just got out of the shower with clothes but it was totally worth it! We took some amazing pictures and then it was time to walk up. After a while you just don’t care anymore. On hands and knees I got up by pulling myself up and holding on to plants. My black converse were soaked in mud till above my ankles so that was good. Bye school shoes haha. After that we drove a bit further and got to ‘The Natural Bridge’ it was honestly like a fairytale. I don’t know how to describe it. A river surrounded by huge steep narrow rocks with those tarzan trees hanging around. Everything so green and blue and brown wow. After a while I asked: “So where’s this natural bridge?” turned out that it was right above me ahaha. Oh well. After that we went back to the bach and took some long hot showers and had dinner. After dinner we practised more for the conference and stayed up late again.
Next morning we had to wake up at 7 We had breakfast, cleaned the whole house and then left to Ross his farm. We were going to shear some sheep! The true kiwi experience since there are about 30 million sheep (4 million people). His house was on top of the hills surrounded by more hills and cows and a breath taking view. Well we headed to the sheep farm thingy and we had to chase the sheep into the little shed. After that he showed us how we had to grab the sheep and place them. You had to kinda hug the sheep and wrap your arms around its waist and pull his front legs up so it sat on its bum. And then drag it outside and start shearing! Well after other people had some attempts it was my turn. I headed into the 2 by 2 meter shed where some sheep were nervously jumping on each other not wanting to get hugged by me ahha. I picked my sheep and tried to lift it up but man mission impossible. After a few attempts and almost getting kicked in the face I gave up. Ross got the sheep on its bum and I only had to drag it outside. Well I tried but instead of dragging its bum across the floor outside I only managed to get the sheep on its back and after that he started moving all his legs and almost got up. I was seriously scared it was going to run away but luckily I had Ross. Before the shearing I took a few selfies with it and Ross even made it kiss me haha! He did the first part of shearing and then it was my turn. I had to put my legs against its back and head and start shearing with this electric thing. So scared that I was gonna cut it and my sheep was so stroppy aswell! It started breakdancing or something but after a while I got it under control and the shearing actually went quite well! Of course the speed wasn’t as good compared to him but that’s alright. I’m a true kiwi now! Yay! After that we our own little souvenirs out of the sheep wool for our blazer. We went back to his house and had lunch. Then our last activity was there. Shooting! I went to Ross and he handed me a gun, one of those fancy long ones for hunting. I rested it on a wooden post and I had to aim for the balloons waaaay down. I had to pick a colour that I wanted to shoot, a pink one, and then I had to look through the gun and aim. Well it took me a good 10 seconds to actually find the balloons because that thing zooms in so much! I shot but I missed but the second time I shot my pinky one! Woah! (There were enough cows on the side to shoot but when I asked if I could just shoot one of those he wasn’t too pleased). Well that was it for the week! Tomorrow, Sunday, Im going to Auckland for a few days. I’m going to stay with Emma, my friend from Holland who moved here a month ago, and her host family! She works as an au pair so we have a few things planned. I’m excited! I haven’t seen her in 9 months and she only comes back in September I think so it’s good that I get to see her here in New Zealand! Well catch you later!
Random fact: the world record sheep shearing is on 721 sheep in 9 hours that’s 45 seconds per sheep on a constant base. You have these contests in New Zealand as well. Honestly crack up how they just grab the sheep like it’s nothing and shear in a super speed and push it in the next hole in the wall and continue doing that. Maybe one day I’ll be up there. Now I know how haha!
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19 april 2014 18:44 | Door: Mummin
Pero ¡qué barbaridad! Qué de aventuras y experiencias. De verdad es que tus anfitriones están dando lo mejor de sí para brindarles una estancia tan variada y llena de nuevas actividades para ustedes.
Con todo lo que describes me dan ganas de ir a ese país y gozar de todo lo que describes.
Me da mucho gusto leer todo lo que haces y por la manera en la que lo describes, me siento como participante.
Goza de tus vacaciones. Dale nuestros saludos a Emma y sigue manteniéndonos al tanto de tus actividades.
Sigue practicando con los borreguitos. Tal vez puedas establecer un nuevo récord antes de marcharte de NZ.
Recuerda ser agradecida por todo esto que estás viviendo.
¡Felices Pascuas! Que tus días estèn llenos de luz, salud y amor.