During orientation, we took an overnight trip to Springfield. When we got there, we checked in at a hostel called Smylies and dropped off our things. The hostel gave us sandwiches for lunch and then we all headed out for our adventures. First stop, we went to a kayaking triathlon type competition. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but we went down to the river to watch the kayakers come in and get on their bicycles. It was really cool. After that, we headed over to Castle Hill for some bouldering and walking around. Castle Hill was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I went off with a small group and we climbed up tons of rocks and took lots of pictures. There were some rocks that we struggled to get up, and then struggled more getting down. The most exciting part of the adventure was when Sam, the bus driver, showed us a place you can climb up to get to an amazing view. You basically had to wiggle into a crack between two rocks, put your leg around the outside of the rock into a foothold and hoist yourself up. One of the boys helped pull me up because I wasn’t quite tall enough to reach all the hand holds. It was slightly terrifying, but also exhilarating. The view from up there was amazing. After Castle Hill, we went to a cave stream where there were some amazing views as well. The trip was really wonderful and I definitely enjoyed it.
I’m having an amazing time here so far! I’m excited for classes to start and to meet some more Kiwis so I can get more integrated in the culture here. So far, it is quite similar to the US in many ways, but very different in others. I’m excited to see how different classes are too!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Katie Steike and I'm a junior at the University of Rochester, studying molecular genetics and music. I love reading, playing soccer, and going on hikes and adventures! I'm going to be studying in Christchurch New Zealand for spring 2014 and I'm excited to become immersed in the Kiwi culture and explore the beautiful country!</span></p>