It's three weeks into the semester at the University of Auckland, and I have started to become active in clubs and activities on campus. I play field hockey for the University of Rochester, so coming to New Zealand I knew I wanted to get involved in club field hockey here. There was also a club fair the first week of classes where I signed up for the underwater club and the tramping club, which is the hiking club. Through joining and getting involved, I’m also getting immersed in New Zealand slang.
Field hockey here is referred to as hockey and a good move will sometimes get the praise that it was “sweet-as” or “cool-as.” The game itself is exactly the same and the strategies used are also very similar to what I was taught back in New York. The terms used to call for the ball are different though. It has been fun to learn some new terms for a sport I have been playing since middle school and it has been a great way to make friends who are from the area. The girls on the team are all really welcoming and it’s fun sharing different hockey ideas.
The word "keen" is used here as well, and I am starting to catch on. I was very keen on joining the underwater club because I have always loved the ocean and sea creatures. However, there are not many SCUBA diving locations near Rochester, New York. I am not SCUBA certified but I joined with two good friends I met through IES Abroad. They are both SCUBA certified and inspired me to sign up for my certification through the underwater club. I am taking the class next weekend, and I can’t wait!
A week ago, all three of us went on our first trip with the underwater club to Goat Island Marine Reserve. It was a beautiful place with lots to see under water. It was a pretty shallow area so snorkeling allowed me to see heaps of the cool marine life. The best being an Eagle ray, which thanks to a Go Pro I have a nice video of. I also got to see a jellyfish. Additionally, I was able to make many new friends with people who have been in the underwater club since their first year.
We camped overnight on a campground close to the island that had an abundance of cows. I woke up the next morning with mooing coming from right next to my tent! It was a very unique way to be awakened.
Through these clubs I have been getting to know the perspectives of locals. I could see how everyone was impacted after the tragic incident at Christchurch. I have witnessed so much compassion from the people here and it amazes me that this country is already working to make sure something like this won’t happen again. This is an incredible country and I feel fortunate that I get to live here for five months.
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<p>I am a biomedical engineering major and a studio art minor. I play field hockey for the University of Rochester and I love to exercise and be outdoors. If I'm not playing field hockey my exercise of choice is running, Crossfit, waterskiing, wakeboarding, skiing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and anything else that gets me outside.</p>