I’m finally settled into Wellington- food shopping done, room set up, wifi set up and classes arranged. This is definitely one of the best cities I’ve ever been to, and I can’t believe I get to live here. The beginning few days were very sunny and warm, which is evidently uncharacteristic of Welly, and I experienced the true normal weather today with rain, fog and LOTS of wind. Also, the waterfront is breathtaking. I went for a run the other day and didn’t want to stop, even though my legs protested. Another thing to mention, it’s very hilly here and you walk everywhere to get places. I’m pretty sure my legs will be in the best shape of their existence by the end of these five months.
While things have been crazily amazing, I’ve also experienced some loses while away. On the day I had my flight from Auckland to Wellington, I found out that I lost my Godfather. He was a truly inspiration man and also a kindhearted sole. Today was the wake and I’ll be missing the funeral. I also found out the other day that a friend from high school had passed away. As lucky and excited as I am to be having this amazing experience, I’m heart wrenched to be away at the same time.
Odd enough, I passed over the International Date Line and I’m 18 hours ahead of everyone back on the Eastern Coast. I always have to remind myself that I’m a day ahead. Due to that, it’s currently Saturday night for me and I start classes Monday morning. Another exciting fact- I only have classes Monday and Tuesday from 9 am-4 pm!! That’s it. If you truly know me, then you know I’m always booked to the top with classes and events, so this is a huge change. I am taking Photography in the Studio, Photography in the Darkroom and Design Studio. I saw the lighting room the other day and was blown off my feet, such an incredible opportunity to use equipment, such as what they have. Wellington Massey is arguably the best art school in New Zealand, and Internationally recognized as one of the best in the world; it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’m working next to some of the best of the best in their field. The school also offers free “clinics” where anyone in the school can sign up to go to a free hour class on several subjects, like painting, felting, Photoshop and so much, with multiple classes a week.
Today I visited the NZ national Museum- Te Papa, and got to look around at a lot of their cultural exhibits. I think it’s so interesting that they have a whole exhibit dedicated to Air NZ, their airplane company, even including the outfits they wore throughout the decades. I went with my flat mate Will and we saw the Giant squid they have on display, which was found off of Antarctica by a NZ fishing charter boat. We also went into an earthquake simulator, which showed the effects of a 5.0 magnitude quake. In the South Island, one of the major cities- Christchurch was hit by a major earthquake and is still under construction after four years. The museum did a great job of educating about earthquakes, especially since NZ in the very edges of the Ring of Fire, yet still in the target area.
So far, I’ve absolutely loved Welly and I’ve met some incredibly nice people while here. I can’t wait to see how my classes go and what they have in store for me!