first days in Welly

I’ve been so busy exploring and learning that I haven’t got around to taking pictures or blog posting.  Check out [info]ebbyanne ‘s journal for more on our arrival.  

It is a beautiful sunny day here, perfect for a stroll on the harbor walkway, which is what we did this morning on our way to the downtown Farmer’s Market.  There was a large variety of produce available, mostly grown in a farming region that is an hour to two hours drive north of here.  A large proportion of those manning the stands were Asian people.  In season this time of year (a week into Winter), the majority of produce available which seems to be in season is: persimmons, carrots, potatoes, onions, kiwifruit, tomatoes, broccoli, and lots of other stuff.  We also bought some eggs which the lady told me are from chickens that were run “on paddock”…or, eating bugs and greens and other things that chickens are meant to eat, and not cooped up!  They were expensive at about $5.50 US per dozen…the rest of the produce seemed equal to or cheaper than grocery store produce in the US.  There was also some lamb meat, honey (including manuka honey…manuka is a plant with antiseptic/healing properties stronger than tea tree), and tasty looking fresh breads of all sorts including some made from whole grains and rye.  Just a few steps away on the harborfront, a crew was selling fresh caught fish from their boat.  I bought one, which they then filleted and gave me the scraps, which are now simmering on the stove to make fish stock.

In a few minutes an older couple is coming to pick us up and bring us to their home for dinner and a visit.  We were introduced to them via email through an acquaintance in Auckland.  Yesterday we had coffee with a Christian couple in their 60’s who we’d contacted through an internet site.  We shared stories and learned a bit about each others’ background and current life, and look forward to more interaction with them as the Lord leads.  

Yesterday after a bit of a search Eilidh and I found the bus stop where we were to catch a bus to a suburb where we checked out a “flat” that was available for rent.  It turned out to be too small for us, but the introduction to the bus system was useful, and we walked back through another part of the city.  The greenery is so lush here, and the sounds of the birds inhabiting them are tropical; very new sounds to our ears.  We were constantly exclaiming to each other about this thing and that thing that we saw!  So many new and interesting sights.

Two walks of 2-3 hours each have been enough to give me a reasonable understanding of the city and the lay of the land.  I love how close everything is.  I now see that the compactness of the area could make it possible (if we so wished) for us to live in a cottage surrounded by dense greenery and jungle-like scenery, within only a half hour walk of the downtown area!  

I have never been to San Francisco, but from pictures I’ve seen, I would say Wellington rivals or exceeds SF in ruggedness and steep hills.  I like it.  🙂

I would use the following words to describe most (not all, but a majority of) Kiwis I have met or observed on the streets or at my workplace  or in businesses: reasonable, fairly reserved, generally optimistic and having a “can-do” attitude, unpretentious, respectful yet independent-thinking.  I like the general attitude / feel of the culture.  Wellington seems different, in a positive way, than many of the cities I have visited.  

I am happy to be here, and am excited about the adventure of getting to know a new place and new people.  I am not sure what my job is going to be like, but so far in the one day that I have had in the office, I have had a good impression, I am in support of the general goals of the group, and am eager to get “hands-on” learning and practice.  It is a different sort of position than I have had before, and may require more formal interaction with clients.  This is an area that I know I need to grow in, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to be stretched.  

More later.

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