Hi I'm Valentina (17) from Switzerland and I'm an exchange student in New Zealand, Whangarei. I left my home on the 15th of July 2015 and flew over to New Zealand with three other girls from Switzerland. I live on a little farm with my hostsisters Emma(17) and Zoe(14), my host mum Marie and my host dad Kerry.
I moved into another house with my host family. We live at Whangaumu Bay now in a cute little house directly at the beach.
Swimming in the lake in Wanaka was so much fun and so amazing. The water was clear as no other lakes you could almost drink the water. Well i didn't actually but it just felt extremly refreshing. Before we arrived in Wanaka the people that didn't go skydiving ( I really wanted to do it but I wasn't allowed, thanks mum. Just kidding, I love you) went to 'puzzle world' which was real cool. I know it sounds weird but I had so much fun there with my friend Bella from Germany that I got to know on that trip.
When we got dropped of at the kayak renting place in Nelson Abel Tasman it was raining really hard and not many people were very keen on going on a kayak tour through the national park but as we were getting ready it seemed to get very fun and exciting. After a short safety instruction we hopped in our tandem kayaks and started paddeling. I was in a kayak with Nora which was great because we are very good friends and she is a competetive kajaker back in Danmark so I didn't have to paddel too hard. Our destination was Apple tree bay where we met the other half of the group that was walking to the beach. We had a nice lunch break and swimm there because by the time we arrived at the bay the sun was shining. After a few group pictures we swapped groupes so my roup had to walk back to where we rent the kayaks and the others got to kayak back. We walked trough the bush and after an hour walk we found a little cove so we went in there to explore which was fun.
The south island of New Zealand is absolutly stunning. There are beautiful beaches in the north of the island and clear blue lakes and rivers in the middle and in the very south. You wouldn't
believe it as a swiss person but there are actually some glaciers down there too.
My journey began on the 29th of November at 9 am. My host dad Kerry drove me to the airport in Onerahi, Whangarei where I was supposed to get on the plain at 10 am but because of mist the flight from Whangarei to Auckland got delayed and I was stuck there for an hour and a half. Because of that, my flight from Auckland to Wellington got cancelled and I had to book new tickets. Before I travelled all the way from Switzerland to New Zealand I would have freaked out but since I've flown around half of the world on my own I'm way more relaxed with these things. Anyways I arrived safely in Wellington after a few hours and met some people that were joining the south island tour. We got picked up by our tour manager Wayne who dropped us of at the hostel next to Queen Street. Olivia, Nathalie (both from Switzerland) and I went to the Te Papa museum which was quite interesting. After that we had a nice gelato at the marina while we were watching people jumping of a tower in the middle of the harbour.
That day we got to know so many new people. Most of them were from Germany though which was a bit annoying sometimes as they were speaking german all the time. I made many new friends from all over Europe. Lucca from Denmark, Bella from Germany, Olivier from Belgium, Alex from France, Raphael from Switzerland, Hannah from Germany...
My hostsister Emma and I went on a tramp with her school for four days in the very north of New Zealand. The first day we got dropped of at 90 Mile Beach. 90 Mile Beach is the longest beach in
New Zealand but it's actually only 60 Miles long. You can't even see the end when you're walking on it. We had to walk on there for 6 hours which was very tiering and quite boring because you see
the same landscape for hours. I had blisters all over my feet and they were massive and that was not fun! The second day was not much different from the first day. The sun was burning
everyones skin of and the blisters were worse than the day before...So it was quite nice when it started raining on the third day. It was a light summerly rain at first but it just didn't want to
stop. We were walking in the poring rain for hours and our tent, all the food, clothes and sleeping matraces were soaking wet. I also decided to hike in my socks because I couldn't walk in my
shoes anymore because of my blisters.
By the way, we had to carry all of our food, sleeping bag, water, tent, for four days in our backpacks. It was so heavy and it made it way harder to walk for hours every day. I was qiute glad when we arrived at Cape Reinga which was the meeting point with the teachers and the end of our tramp. Although it was vey exhausting I'm glad I joined the tramp because it was fun by the end and it was a very good exercise.
First of all I have to apologize that I haven't written anything for a long time. Saying that I didn't have time would be a huge lie because my life here in New Zealand is very relaxed. That's
why I feel quite sorry for my friends in Switzerland who have to go to school and study so hard before christmas. To be honest I'm quite lazy here especially now in my 3 months summer holidays. I
still can't believe that I have a quarter of a year off.
A few weeks ago I was in in Auckland for a week. My hostsister Zoe was competing at the 'National Championships of Gymnastics' there and she did very well. She came second over all competing angainst the top athletes in New Zealand which is amazing. I really enjoyed spending time in Auckland, It's such a nice city and the huge Sky Tower is very impressiv but quite scary when you are standing up there and you are looking down through the glass floor.
For my birthday I went out for brunch to town basin. My host mum Marie and my hostsisters Emma and Zoe came with me. After brunch my hostsisters and I went up Mt. Manaia. The view up there was amazing and it was absolutly woth it climbing up this mountian. In the evening we went to watch fireworks. It's quite cool that the fireworks were on my birthday so it felt like the town fired the fireworks for me. :)
Last week was the first time i tried to surf. It was soooo much fun. I wish i could do it every day. The surfing course was two days long and a lot of other internationals joined the course. We met at Sandy Bay which is a beautiful beach five minutes from where I live. It was raining really hard the first day and there were so many huge waves. Well maybe not huge but they were quite big for me. The second day was way better. The sun was shining, the water was so blue and it was really warm. We had heaps of fun and the surf instructor surfed the waves with his dog on his board which was very cute and fun to watch. The next day I climbed up Mt Manaia again. It was so windy up there I was almost afraid of beeing blown away by the wind. When we went down we went for a swim in the ocean. My feet were bleeding a lot because I cut them at the horrible oister shells that were everywear. Sooo annoying.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell that I was camping the other weekend. First we had to cross the ocean for a little bit in a little boat but on half the way the motor of the boat broke so we had the paddle to the next beach. From there we walked for 40 minutes to our place where we put up our tents. We walked the whole way without shoes which was very soar for my feet beause i don't have kiwi feet yet. But I'm almost there hopefully. We made a big camp fire at the beach where we camped. We cooked dinner and roasted marshmallows on it. I really liked it and it was so special to me to fall asleep listening to the waves crashing.