From the very beginning, today was a beautiful day. Having no classes till the afternoon, I slept in a bit too late and took a morning shower (meaning my hair was presentable enough to not simply throw into a ponytail, and as any girl can tell you, having nice hair can really improve your day). The weather was also gorgeous; I was able to wear jandals and ate my lunch on the back porch of the Centre, watching about eight tiny ducklings and their parents skitter across. I just wish I’d had my camera. Lunch was also great, a chicken and cheese enchilada that the dining hall rarely makes.
But all this is cake icing; the big news happened after my class. I got an e-mail from Mom asking if my brother had posted anything on Facebook about Disneyland (he and his girlfriend are currently vacationing there). I checked, and was responding to her that he’d posted they were in the park when I noticed a new post in that new mini newsfeed thing on Facebook, the one that updates the most recent changes. It was my brother’s status, saying that he’d just gotten engaged! Instantly I tried to chat with him to see if he was kidding, but he didn’t answer. Fortunately Jenna did, and confirmed that it really had happened! Apparently my parents had been helping him plan it for weeks, and – get this – he got down on one knee in front of Cinderella’s castle! Can I get an “awww”?
So in a nutshell, I am ecstatic! I was expecting it, but I was still shocked to learn it happened! I think Jenna is a really great influence on him, and I can’t wait to finally get a sister! I’m a little bummed I can’t see them for several more weeks, but as long as I get to be at the wedding, it’s all good! (Sorry for the explosion of exclamation points; I’m really excited, if you couldn’t already see that …)
The goodness continued when I went to Mel’s house for a delicious dinner of chicken, pasta, a creamy vegetable medley and peach muffins for dessert. SO yum! There were seven of us in all, and I absolutely loved eating family style. It’s funny how growing up, it was such a treat to eat out, but now I love eating around an actual dinner table. I have nothing against the dining hall food – most of the time – but there’s something so great about eating a meal family style. Thanks to the self-contained units my parents and I stayed in over break, we got to do this often. And, of course, the Rainiers have been wonderful dinner hosts, as well.
In the Wonderful World of Rugby … I watched my first complete game last Friday night – and I actually really enjoyed it! It’s a lot more entertaining, in my opinion, than American football, and it certainly doesn’t stop as frequently. I watched the game at Speight’s (pronounced spaits, not spites, a common American mistake) and had my first beer of the same name. I went with Suzie, my friend Nicole, and a handful of Nicole’s friends. It really was a fun experience, not something I can say about a lot of sporting events I’ve watched. The All Blacks played Japan, and slaughtered them 83 to 7. In fact, when Japan made their one try (goal), the people in the bar cheered louder than they had for the All Blacks. I thought that was a nice moment, and not something you’d see in the States, no matter how far ahead the home team is.
- Tomorrow night (well, tonight, technically), a friend from Whitworth, Kayla, is coming to Palmy! She went to Massey last year, and we’re meeting up in town to watch rugby (All Blacks v. France) and catch up.
- Next Saturday I’m Skyping with my parents and Grandma! I haven’t seen Grandma since I left, so I’m really looking forward to it. And hopefully I’ll see Robert, Jenna, and my puppy, too!
- Next Sunday (October 2), I’m getting baptized! Oober excited.
- October 15: I’ll be tramping the Tongariro Crossing with the Alpine Club. It’s hard to overemphasise my excitement for this trip. I’ve been hearing about how incredibly beautiful this trip is for months and months. MUAC’s trip program claims it’s “one of the best one-day walks in the country.” It’s going to be my last trip with MUAC and most likely my last trip from Palmy before I leave New Zealand. I can’t think of a better final trip.
- I’m getting closer to having a concrete date for my flights home. It’s going to be no later than November 13, which is only 50 days away. Cuh-razy.
- meant = supposed (sounds so much more formal, doesn’t it?)
- all good = an acceptable answer to “thanks,” in addition to “no worries” or “it’s alright”
- squiggles = yummy Hokey Pokey biscuits Nicole introduced me to
- wagging (or punking, on the South Island) = skipping class
- whinge = complain
- brill = brilliant
- N.B. = P.S.
Now the much-anticipated question, for Kiwis and non-Kiwis alike (drum roll, please): What goodies should I bring back to America? This is my list so far:
- Rooibos tea
- New Zealand breakfast tea
- Aero chocolate
- Whitaker’s chocolate
- Jaffas (See a pattern here? NZ chocolate is SO much better than American)
What else should I bring?
And finally, a fitting Song of the Day: