In Fiji we went on an excursion to yanuca island and spent the day trekking and snorkeling. The reef was amazing there, especially the coral and fish! I swam down and got a giant clam to close. The trek was harder than they made it out to be, considering it was raining and the whole way up was a steep muddy path. We also had to make our way up and down climbing with ropes at points. Afterwards we enjoyed lovo, a traditional barbeque feast and a kava ceremony, their traditional gathering drink (it tasted like dirty socks!) We played a game of watermelon smashing, similar to pinata, where you’re blind folded and have to try and step your way to the watermelon and smash it. Needless to say, it’s much harder than you expect. I veered right. An amazing day though!
For a day I became a hobbit! Got to walk around the set and stand in a hobbit house. Also, I had a cider in the green dragon inn! It was amazing to see the size variation in hobbit holes to create deception in size for the movies. It was actually much larger than I expected. Fun fact- while being filmed, it was illegal for any plans to fly overheard and a man list his pilot license from doing so. There is also a tree overtop one of the houses, very fake and made of 40,000+ fake leaves, and I got to keep three of them!!
Before heading out of new Zealand, our last stop was horse back riding through the woods and along the muriwai beach in Auckland. We got to trot and canter as well. The view was amazing! The only downside was having to wear a florescent vest and look like a traffic cone.
We hopped into a huge plastic bubble and rolled down a hill. In essence, we became hamsters for a while. We did a double ball with water in it and got sloshed around everywhere. It was so disorienting and super fun!
A group of five of us American girls from Massey decided to travel some more and visit Fiji! The country definitely reminded me of Mexico and its obvious that the country survives off of the tourism industry. We started in nadi and then traveled to our timeshare in deuba. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to stand out as much as I did. as bad as it sounds, being a white, girl, foreigner made me a target for the markets and attentioOverall the beaches were amazing, crystal clear and blue. We visited the capital, Suva, during a rainy day and took a trip to yanuca island.
Taken in my last week in Wellington, I had to capture the stereotypical photo next to my school logo. People may blow art school off as an easy major and relaxed school, but for each class I had to create portfolios worth 120 hours of work. By the end of the semester I dedicated at least 480 hours worth of time to my classes. It was a challenge but now I’m very close to finishing my photography minor!
One of my most challenging classes this past semester was Darkroom. I spent countless hours in the Darkroom trying to perfect the exposure, dodging and burning and spotting. I took several trips to porirua, a town close by Wellington, to capture the dilapidated housing and state housing. Overall, I was very pleased with my final eight photos.
That time I voluntarily jumped off a bridge 154 feet high. While road tripping through northern new Zealand, we visited lake Taupo and I got to bungy jump. I did need a little help though, and asked for a shove. It was so scary, especially for someone terrified of heights, but I did it. My legs shook for 10 minutes afterwards.
My last excursion with ISA was visiting the weta workshop, where infamous Peter Jackson works to create his master pieces. I got up see tons of props and costumes used in movies, such as King Kong and lord of the rings.
With my study abroad program I spent the night at the Wellington zoo and got some close encounters with the animals!