So we have been in New Zealand for 3 months now. We've gotten use to driving on the left side of the road (I have almost conquered the round-abouts,but still feel like Chevy Chase in European Vacation most of the time) and we can get around town without a map. We know where to shop for groceries, home improvement, and housewares. I know that biscuits here are cookies, jelly means jello, and mince is hamburger meat. I understand that Rugby is a Religion, and that kiwi's laugh at the all the padding American Football players wear. And I have accepted that I will never be able to pronounce local words with my American accent, I have just learned to look away and mumble. Basically New Zealand does not feel like a Foreign country anymore. So if your wondering how long it takes to get through the initial, stressful, scary, foreign, lonely make or break phase of moving to a foreign country I would say 3-6 months. But obviously different for everyone, I think that Brad and I have a high tolerance for change and that has helped to ease the transition.
Are we happy here in New Zealand is a question I have been getting from some folks back home. And the answer is yes. We are enjoying a significantly higher quality of life here in NZ than we were in Kansas. Nature has given NZ an unfair advantage by putting so much fun stuff to do here. And NZ is decades ahead of America in terms of the benefits it provides its citizens. Obviously 4.5 million is an easier number for a government to work with compared to 300 million. We are enjoying living around people of wildly different cultures and backgrounds. And we are crazy about the slow pace of life, and laid back kiwi lifestyle. I also have to be honest here, and say that yes, I am coping with being separarted from family, friends and KD but I still miss them EVERY single day.
What would we change or what has surprised us? New Zealand is less convenient than America but more expensive. We are still in shock over the price of electricity, dairy products (especially with Fronterra in our back yard) and gas. Bacon, chicken and popcorn are also crazy expensive. My new running shoes were $250 and a new tennis racket is $350-$450. We are all learning that less is more and we only buy what we "need" vs. "want". Skyler and I are also getting a little cranky about being cold. Most Kiwi homes have no insulation, and no heat. I turn on the stove in the morning, and Skyler and I stand next to it to warm up. I would of done more research about economical ways to stay warm and ask more questions to our real estate agent about which rental homes have heat. Well, at least I will know next time. And Summer is right around the corner, as we set our clocks ahead last weekend. The days are getting longer and warmer, yippee!!!!
What have we done right? First, we took a chance. That chance being the "unknown" and that can be scary, especially with 3 kids. Packing up and moving to a new country is a gamble, and gambling is a risk. But we stacked the bet in our favor with determination, flexibility and optimisim. If we would of listened to reason and stayed back in KS than we would of never gotten to experience this family adventure that has already made us all grow, adapt, and learn. Cheers, XOXO Jenny
Some random pictures from these past few weeks.
|I bet he did not have an $700 electric bill!!|
|The girls after they ran the Taranaki Cross -Country Race.|
|Nor did he.|
|90% of the runner's went without shoes|
|Lindsey running into the Grand Stands at the finish line. The last quarter mile was on a dog track.|
Skyler coming into the finish. Both girls placed in the 50's, and there were about 130 girls in each race. We are so very proud of both of them and they were equally as proud which was just as important. AND they got to miss school all day to go the event!!
|Lindsey coming off her obstacle.|
|Wasting away a Sunday afternoon. These are the Sugar Loaf Islands which are only 10 minutes from our house.|
|The view from a hike Brad and I took this week.|