Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Welcome to New Zealand

Written By: Calvin Poznik

Hello Everyone,
  My name is Calvin Poznik and I am from Cleveland, Ohio.  I am studying Emergency Management and Homeland Security at the University of Akron. LeBron James and Goodyear are two things Akron is known for.  I am 22 years old and I enjoy listening to good music, going skiing, swimming in the ocean, traveling to new places and meeting new people.
After racing through the Auckland airport and almost missing my flight, I finally arrived at the Urbanz Hostel located in Christchurch.  I had been traveling for over twenty-four hours and was exhausted, but excited to start my six week adventure in New Zealand.
Once everyone had arrived (Justin, Nicole, Glenn, Augustina, and Casey), Jana and Mitch began our Orientation.  After our orientation we ate some HELL Pizza and it was hella good.  We found one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever seen in our lives and decided to join the children of Christchurch to play on this amazing thing.

The next day we woke up, had breakfast, and then broke up into two teams to do our ........ AMAZING RACE!!!!  We went through Christchurch and did a bunch of different things, which helped us learn about the Kiwi culture and the city of Christchurch.

Here we have my team, 2 Vans and a Tramp
(Calvin, Augustina, and Glenn)
We were facing off against the Fellowship of the Flying Fox, boooooo (Justin, Casey, and Nicole)

The Amazing Race was going really well, until Glenn, Augustina, and I sat down to get lunch and were distracted by a Scottish man serenading us with his guitar.   Once we realized we had a race to get back to we went to one of the stops with 185 empty white chairs.

These 185 empty white chairs represent the 185 people who lost their lives in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.  I can't remember the name of the artist who came up with this memorial but it was really touching to see and also an interesting way to pay respect to all of these victims from this disaster.

While on our Amazing Race throughout the city, we ran into many different murals along the city buildings (I hear there are even more in Wellington so I can't wait to see those as well).

This was my favorite mural from the day in Christchurch.

After we finished up our Amazing Race, we went on a team grocery shopping trip to get us through until we arrive to Wellington on Thursday.  Tomorrow morning, we take off for site tours in the Canterbury region and then we head to Kaikoura for the night.