back in christchurch

I have arrived back in Christchurch! Two of our friends have graciously let me stay at their place for a week, so I will have a chance to sort out a job this week. I’ll have to figure out soon where I’ll live and if I’ll need to get a bicycle or car. I am hoping to stay here for a while.

I visited Pam (my grandma’s cousin) and Colleen last week close to Hamilton and it was lovely to meet them and Pam & Sonny were lovely hosts. She showed me around the area and I was spoiled with nice food. I will post more about this when I get the chance!

And yesterday, Lauren and I went climbing and I met three of Lauren’s friends. We drove down close to Timaru and climbed at Hanging Rock. PHEW I AM OUTTA CLIMBING SHAPE! It was challenging but I am really glad we went. It was beautiful there.

I don’t have a computer or any sort of Internet device at the moment, so I won’t be updating as often. You can keep posted to here: for updates that’ll be more often than this blog. Hope everyone up in the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying summer! I am currently wearing a big sweater, a down jacket, a toque and wool mittens…. inside.


leaving fiji soon

Things are wrapping up here, and this could be my last post from Fiji! Hopefully not though, I still have one more in the works.

My courses are all done, as well as exams. Yesterday a big group of us went to the forest park one last time as most people leave today or tomorrow. Last night we had our farewell evening and we’ve been wrapping lots of things up and having lots of nice dinners.

Alex on the rope swing:


Our girls night:

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The Canadian girls this semester:


They are awesome. Me, Christine (Vancouver from SFU too), Liz (Guelph), Maggie (Guelph), and Catherine (Quebec City). Canada is big, but it doesn’t seem as big when you’ve lived near both ends.

I’ve decided that I am electronically cursed.. my netbook power cord has stopped working so I will really be technology deprived for the next while. I’ll leave Suva on Monday and fly out to New Zealand on Tuesday. I have some ideas of plans, but I’ll try to figure out more of that stuff this week. I am hoping to visit Pam (Grandma’s cousin!) in the first few days. It’ll be a bit challenging to keep doing all my prep without a computer, but I’ll figure it out.

During the first week of exams, the new stadium in Suva had a New Zealand Classic All Blacks rugby game vs Fiji 15s. It was a lot of fun to go to! SFU barely has practically no school spirit and the games are boring, so this may be the pinnacle sports game of my entire university career! The American students here were shocked when they heard that. The Classic All Blacks team are all ex-All Blacks, but they were still alright. They were slotted to win, but Fiji dominated 33-14! I had no idea what was happening at most times, but it was still very exciting.

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natadola beach

Earlier this week, Lauren and I went on a trip along the Coral Coast. We started off with Marty and did some excellent snorkelling at Votua Reef, where I went with my Marine Biology class. It really is a stunning area because of all the soft coral! It is a marine protected area so everything is very healthy (you are not allowed to fish there).

We all went to Natadola Beach (SW corner of the main island) and hung out there. The beach is huge! Definitely the largest beach in Fiji. It was very nice there so we decided to set up the tent on the beach. I felt slightly like a dirt bag because one of the nicest resorts in Fiji is on that beach. You have to have heavy pockets to stay at that resort.

The beach was really deep, Marty could dive off it!

Credit: Marty

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Here is Lauren’s interpretation:

volcom fiji pro and puppies

The Volcom Fiji Pro surf competition is going on right now at Cloudbreak (last I checked they had 3 days of events so far – the whole competition has a waiting period of over 10 days but they only surf on the first 4 days with good waves) – if I budgeted it in better I would’ve gone to watch but alas not this time… A bunch of international students went and this is Milou’s photo! WOW!


And for anyone that stayed at my apartment in the past 5 months, you will appreciate this sign that is on our lawn:


We still haven’t figured out who put up the sign.. whether it was the owners of the puppies or someone who has finally had enough of the puppies….


vatu-i-ra passage and many suva adventures

It is the beginning of the 2 exam weeks, but I don’t have any exams until the 2nd week. Two and a half week long study break? Fine by me! A lot of USP students get really fuffed about exams here but they don’t bother me at all.

This past week, I went up to Safari Lodge (3rd time is the charm) to hang out/snorkel/possibly do some diving. 9 of us went up and it was lots of fun! I got to snorkel a ton where I saw coral and coral and more coral. Acropora party! Butterflyfish mayhem! I felt nerdy.


Ever since I did my dive course I really wanted to do dive the Vatu-I-Ra passage. The dive instructors at Safari Lodge have been travelling the world for the past 7 years and diving at pretty much every dive site known to man. They said that these sites were the best BY FAR, so we did it!

Patrick, Chris and I did a two tank dive at Half-Vatu at a dive site called Malaise. It was incredible. The only way I can really describe it is imagine the best coral picture you’ve seen in National Geographic and then imagine better! We got to go through a huge number of coral tunnels and we saw an unbelievable amount of giant coral fans. Everything was just massive and with such beautiful colour. Sometimes we could look up through a few holes and you could see the surface with red fish floating through and 20 kinds of coral at different depths – absolutely stunning. There is no way that I can describe it to you to do it justice.

Lauren went snorkelling at the same spot at the same time and he thought it was phenominal as well. This trip was his first time snorkelling – he is spoiled (as am I!!). Chris took a camera down so I will hopefully post some photos or videos at some point, but the colours don’t really come through.

We also went to Colo-I-Suva this week, which is always a blast. Yesterday a few of us went to my friend Tui’s farm and it was really great. His family owns a great piece of land in Nausori (about 25 minutes away) and we made a lovo from scratch. We made palusami (dalo leaves with onions, fresh coconut cream that we squeezed and either corned beef or tuna), yams, cassava, dalo, and chicken. It was delicious and I really appreciated him inviting us up there. It was incredibly fun and Tui and his father are two really great people.

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Credit: Evan

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Lauren and I are on a ‘strict’ get-back-into-shape-regime involving pull-ups and ab exercises. I did about 3 sit-ups two days ago and my abs still hurt. Our diet has also changed to bagels and bagels alone because Lauren has mastered the art of bagel-making. YES.


I finally got my netbook in the mail (took 7 weeks when Canada Post says it will take 5-10 business days even to Fiji) and have been installing Lubuntu on it and getting it up to snuff. It’s nice finally have a reliable computer again.

The other day Liz, Lauren and I saw a Hindi movie called Yamla Ragla Deewana 2. I can honestly say that, to me, it was one of the worst $6.50s I’ve ever spent and 3 hours long gone. The plot was typical… two con-men want to marry a girl with money but accidentally gets engaged to the wrong girl, but add in sumo wrestlers that literally fall from the sky, an orangutan that paints and likes to hang out with lady orangutans, an evil person whose ‘lab’ is in the space exhibit of a science museum and a Super Sheik that can blow people away using his mind. Wow.

There are a billion movies coming out that everyone wants to see in the next 2 weeks: Great Gatsby, The Internship, Man of Steel (all this week), and Monsters University and World War Z (next week).

And yes, through the movies and having fun I will be studying. I am at a pretty good place right now with classes which is good because they are all at the same time. I already finished Health Psychology (final mark: A!), and I am going into all my exams with good marks (A+ in Marketing, and B+ in Marine Biology – WHAT!!!). I still need to check my Ethics mark, but I’ll do that today.

I’m also getting ready for New Zealand more and more.. seeing if I can get more job bites and deciding where I want to fly to at first. I also need to figure out how I am going to pack and where I will stay.. all depends on everything really. Lots of options so hopefully narrow that down a bit more before I have to leave. It’s looking like I will try to start work as soon as possible…. I am hoping for some relevant experience but I might do some odd jobs until I can find a job like that.

Oh and lastly, here is a picture of Christine after her Diablo act at the USP Talent Show. She won second place and won $600! We were all very proud of her. Also, she is awesome. She has inspired me to take some circus lessons at Circus West in Vancouver (where she goes too). Hopefully I will have enough money to do this because I think I would really like to enjoy it. I would love to do the main-en-main course, or a silks course. But main-en-main would be awesome! PS: Diablos are really fun


And a Stomp-esque group:


sending parcels in the mail & another awesome video

Attention Harry Potter fans: Do you remember when Ron sends a package to Harry and he isn’t sure how many stamps to put on the box? So he decides to cover the parcel in stamps and write the address in a square that is one inch by one inch?

This happened in real life! A couple of the girls from the US were sending a package back home that cost $150 to send. I am not sure why, but for some reason they were given the whole stamp value in 40 cent stamps! (I sent some stuff for a friend from last semester and they gave me $5 stamps, which was quite a bit more reasonable)

fiji post boxThis would seriously be the best package to send home ever.

In other random news, I’d like to share with you another video that Evan made this semester. This is from a time we went to the Colo-I-Suva forest park earlier this semester (he also made the Sovi Basin video in Lauren’s post). He’s talented!