Day of Festivals

Being in the capital city does have some perks, there always seems to be something going on! This past Saturday we happened upon the Pacific Islander festival, where we heard music from all over the...Pacific :)

Afterward we headed to the Greek festival! Where we enjoyed souvlakis, a kebab, and some desserts while watching a little Greek dancing.

Wellington is surprisingly multicultural, and we always seem to be finding new cultures (and food) to explore!


Christchurch earthquake

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the earthquake in Christchurch. I feel like I have been glued to the internet (since we don't have tv...) trying to soak in any information I can get. My heart just breaks for the people there, and especially for our staff who were already dealing with some serious anxiety due to the last earthquake and aftershocks.

I would ask if you could please be praying for our staff team down there and that they would have wisdom in how to respond and serve their neighbors. And also that our team up here in Wellington would be able to serve them well as we look for opportunities to help.

We had a prayer meeting yesterday with all of the Christian groups on campus so we could pray together for Christchurch. It was a really neat time, and I was so thankful that we were able to come together with our brothers and sisters here at Victoria, whom we don't usually get to work with that often. I am always so encouraged by unity in the body of Christ. We were joined by International Student Ministries, the Christian Union, the Catholic Chaplaincy, and International Christian Fellowship. We all have fairly different focuses on campus, but it was neat to see everyone together with a common purpose to mourn with those who mourn and praying the Lord would be glorified throughout all of New Zealand. New Zealand is a small country compared to home, and everyone here knows someone in Christchurch, which makes the tragedy feel so close to home.


Happy Valentine's Day

It's a little late, but Happy Valentine's Day from us!

Loved these valentines we received in the mail, they definitely made us smile :)


Team Fun Day!

Our team decided that instead of a team retreat to start off the year, we would just do a team fun day around town. The point was to get to spend some time together without having to talk about work. For the most part, we really only know each other through work, and though we get along well, it's easy to just talk about work! Anyway, we started the day by riding the cable car in town up to the Botanic Gardens. This is a pretty iconic thing to do, so we felt it was necessary to do this as a team :)
And the view from the top is pretty spectacular really.

Then we climbed 200+ stairs , because nothing bonds a group like a great workout?
The Weta Caves are another pretty iconic things in Wellington. This is where the graphics and film editing was done for Lord of the Rings. They also built all of the props, so the bazillion swords and bad guys as well. It was pretty interesting, and free! They're obviously the most famous in NZ for LOTR, but they've done several other huge movies as well, such as the Chronicles of Narnia. Anyway, they had several props and a short video to see. It didn't really take as long as expected, so we played a little backyard cricket after wards.

And lastly, we ended the day with a nice dinner. It was a great day to celebrate a fantastic team and great friends. Looking forward to serving with these guys this year!


Planning week

The week is over. This week was our intense week of planning as a staff team. Thank you to everyone that was praying our planning would go well! We spent 40+ hours brainstorming, praying, going through logistics, and meeting with students. I feel like we accomplished a lot in one short week!

To start the year off, we have a big outreach campaign that will run for the first full week of classes. Every New Zealand campus has the same outreach, where we hand out jandals (flip-flops) to freshman and see if they're interested in getting involved with StudentLife. The hope is to come in contact with thousands of students, and ultimately follow up with many of them and get to share the gospel! I'm really excited, and we had some of our student leaders there this week to help us plan which was very encouraging.

A few weeks after classes start we will be having our fall retreat, and for the first time in Wellington StudentLife history (all 4 years of it...) we are going to be starting a weekly meeting for the first time. Woohoo! Please be praying the Lord will use this time to help build community among the believers in our movement, but also as a time of outreach for non-Christians. For the first semester we are going to be using the DVD series, Reason for God, by Tim Keller. Wellington students are VERY skeptical of religion and God in general, and we're praying the Lord can use some of the topics in the series to start conversations and maybe even clear up some misconceptions of God and Christianity. Anyway, exciting stuff, and I can't believe we're at T-10 days until classes start!



This past weekend, Ryan and I took a little mini trip over to Martinborough for a few hours. The week before we worked really hard to prepare for planning week this week, and needed a little break! Martinborough is known for being a cute little town and for it's wineries. The drive over was beautiful, through some mountains, and the town itself very quaint.

We stopped by one winery while we were in town and enjoyed the beautiful day and tasted a few of their wines. There is a food and wine festival here every year, and I'm going to have to make a note to myself not to miss it next spring.

On the way home, we experienced a small miracle, and didn't run out of gas! Thank goodness. So thankful for a nice and relaxing day away with my best friend :)


NZ Sevens

I think I've mentioned already, but rugby is huge here. This weekend was the rugby sevens tournament, which until a few days ago, I had never heard of. But, for Wellington, it's a huge deal because people come in town from all over to watch their rugby sevens teams compete. Rugby sevens is a different form of rugby, which I don't totally understand :), but it seems to be for the younger crowd. This weekend is supposed to be the biggest party of the weekend - picture Mardi Gras with NZ accents.

But, on that note, Ryan and I went to the parade to see all the teams. Tickets for the actual games are super expensive, and I honestly don't think most people go, they just party. Oh! I should mention that everyone dresses up in costumes for the weekend, just like breakfast club at Purdue! Crazy how some traditions can be so similiar!

Anyway, the parade:

Every team seemed to have their own little dance team that went right in front of them, so here are the US dancers, and team USA! Apparently there are rugby players in the US? :)

And of course Air New Zealand made an appearance.
And the New Zealand team stole the show. Kiwis love their rugby!


Botanic Gardens concerts

The Botanic Gardens in the city have free concerts in the summer every Thursday! Apparently they are very popular, we had a hard time even finding a seat!
And, as it starts to get dark, the trees all light up with magical colored lights.
The display and music were so moving that Leigh and Max decided they needed to dance a little.

And as it gets really dark, the colors are so cool!



It's official, I've seen all three of the Lord of the Rings movies now. And, the extended versions at that! Apparently parts of the movie were filmed here in Wellington, so I was constantly being harassed for not having seen them. That might be a little dramatic, but I was glad to put a end to all of the blank looks when I would explain I've just never wanted to see them. So, it's official! Quiz me :)


Road Trip

We road tripped to staff conference this year, to save a little cash and to see a little more of the country. Conference was in Matamata which is in the northern part of the north island, so we had about 7 hours to go.

Our first stop was at Mt Ruapehu, the largest mountain on the north island. Only, as you can see in the picture, she was hiding in the clouds that day. This area is also known as the kiwi desert.

On the way back from staff conference we stopped at Huka Falls, which was very pretty. A lot of water for sure.

And we drove off into the night...


Ryan's mullet

So mullets are very trendy in NZ. Well, not your typical American mullet, but the trendy type. With the sides shorter than the top, front and back. Anyway, it was time to cut Ryan's hair, so Adam and I had a little fun :) He's still rockin it, so I guess I must have done a decent job!


Our new flat!!

Here are some initial pictures of our new flat:

The view of the city out the window

Our dryer :) Or laundry line

The lounge, which is our catch all room right now

Our tiny kitchen

And mini fridge



Hallway, when you first walk in

Our duvet cover, that I love

And our bedroom, a few DIY projects in the pipeline here...

Well, there you have it! Our new flat...if anyone wants to come visit, we would gladly have you!!