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The Capital and Lots of Reading

This was a hectic week. It started with a trip to Wellington on Saturday with three friends I met during international student orientation. We started by driving the roughly two hours down to the capital (on the left side of the road I may add). Once we got there we found the capital and signed up for a tour of "The Beehive." This is the nickname for the New Zealand parliament. The tour was great and gave me a sense of how the government operates, as well as a bit of history! One of the most interesting pieces of information I learned during the tour was that the floor of parliament's decor was green in order to follow suit with the green decor in the House of Commons (as red is used in the House of Lords). It also had a lot of touches of Māori culture scattered throughout the building. Following we grabbed dinner before heading to be picked up for a Weta tour.

Weta's are these small cricket/grasshopper type creatures found in New Zealand. Weta's known in the culture as the god of ugly things. However, I did not go to a tour to see these insects. Weta is also the name of a movie industry company. Specifically it is the one well known from making Lord of the Rings. They also have an special effects and props workshop! The company is based in Miramar, NZ. The company has expanded and worked to help make many major films! My favorite part was these awesome ogre/troll creatures outside (pictures below). They also showed us a lot of awesome props they had created and were used in films, but no pictures were allowed inside. On the way back into Wellington we also got a short bus tour of the downtown area.

After the Weta Workshop tour, we went to Te Papa. This is the national museum of New Zealand. Te Papa had many cultural segments and highlighted not only the history of the country, but also a lot of information about life in New Zealand and the species found here. This included a colossal octopus!

Sunday included finding a nice church and getting prepared for the first week of classes. The style of classes are a little different than in the United States. The class schedules are a little hectic, they meet at different times each day and sometimes twice in one day. The courses I am taking are Māori Agribuisness class has already taught me a lot about the native culture here. I have also joined the Political Science Society, which debates all types of politics in an open forum, the Young Farmers, and the Alpine Club that goes on adventures across New Zealand to hike and do other outdoor activities! I have also joined a bible study on campus.

This weekend I plan to go on some local hikes and explore a little more of Palmerston North!
Outside of "The Beehive"


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