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Exploring the North Island

Catching up from where we left off I had a great first two weeks of classes. Things are a little different and many Maori words thrown in. The classes however, are very interesting. The teaching and learning styles are also slightly different. Much less emphasis is placed on facts, but instead on writing. Further, the natural and green agricultural movement has a much stronger emphasis here.

The political thought seems very divided in opinions here much like in the United States. However, their political system is set up very different and there are not just two parties. Many here seem to know more about America's politics than do some of the other American students here. There are many New Zealand citizens who are very pro-Trump and many anti-Trump, but everyone wants to know what my opinion is! I enjoy talking to people about our politics and discovering their perspective on how our government runs/ our political future. It amazes me how much of it they follow, I have had more in-depth conversations on upcoming policy here than when I was working in D.C!

However, it has not been all politics and school. I left my last post saying I planned to do some hiking and exploring. I did just that! I went on some local hikes and spent a lot of time wandering around the city. The following weekend I went to Lake Taupo, Huka Falls, Te Puia (a geothermal area with the North Island's largest geyser), the Redwood Tree Walk, and the Movie Set for Lord of the Rings and the Hobbiton. While all of this was awesome, my absolute favorite part was the Redwood Tree Walk. We went at night so we could see it with the lights on, so my pictures did not turn out well. However, I think that is why it was so special. It was something that had to be experienced in person. To give you a little idea, it was a massive system of treehouse-like structures stretched halfway up giant redwoods that were also connected by suspension bridges. There were several light shows throughout the trails, as well as many informative posters and exhibits. It was magical and I never wanted to leave.

I also must add that I have not seen any of the Lord of the Rings and although I did attempt to watch the first Hobbit movie, I fell asleep three minutes into the trip. So the Hobbiton was all foreign to me, but I did enjoy the little fairytale world!

Below are some of the pictures from the trip:



Inside the Green Dragon at Hobbiton


The Mill at the Hobbiton

Here I am using a strange contraption to widdle a stick.

I think I would have had to crawl through.

By far my favorite part of Hobbiton





TE PUIA




This is the largest geyser on the North Island.






The yellow is sulfur, and boy was there a lot of it here. The whole place smelled bad, but the sights were worth it. 



Redwood Tree Walk






This hilarious sign inside of the bathroom of our hostel. Apparently their toilets have been clogged by too many ex boyfriends, that they felt the need to make a sign.





Huka Falls, outside of lak Taupo. 












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