A "not so" Study Break

Kayla Petersen
October 30, 2015

      The semester is now coming to a close and students are scurrying around trying to get last minute assignments finished and some study time in for finals. Leading up to this point, everyone had been planning a few last minute trips around the island during our week off before tests. I was lucky enough to only have one to worry about this semester, which has left me the time to enjoy my break by relaxing and soaking in as much of New Zealand as I could in the final 2 weeks of my trip. The lack of money available has creeped into conversations about how to utilize the last bit of funds for traveling and food. People have also began the reminiscing stage where we laugh about what it was like to first arrive in New Zealand and what we expected verse what was real. There is a bit of excitement in the air when going home is brought up, some people are really excited to go home while others are neglecting the very thought.

(Flowers and tree from the Botanical Gardens)

For me, I truly regret nothing this past semester. When our group arrived, our program director gave us notecards to write down everything we hoped to get out of this semester. In one of our final meetings, these cards were given back to us asking if we had accomplished what we intended or not. I wrote to learn as much as possible and to take it easy and just have fun. Not only was I successful, but also I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I would. I’ve learned heaps of information about Maori people and I have a growing passion for my own culture. I’m happy to be soon coming home with a much higher respect for different culture and a hunger to learn more right in my home university.

      My study week may have not been filled with awesome adventures to fairy tale places like many of my friends experienced, but I did embrace as much of Christchurch as I possibly could. It’s easy to sometimes forget as a people what we have right in our backyard. The earthquake that destroyed the city of Christchurch was extremely devastating, by wiping out beautiful architecture and activities previously available. However, the city has a specific charm to it, which is probably what I am going to miss the most. Artists have flocked to areas within the city, expressing themselves through gap fillers that make Christchurch truly come to life.  My favorite mural in the city is of a ballerina with a beautiful dark blue hue contrasted with a black background. She sits above construction that surrounds her being the flower in a boring blank space. Right beside the bus interchange sits a car hanging of the top of a building positioned to look like it is driving right up the wall. The art is impeccable but what is even more impeccable is how the people came together and built something worth more than art, but a loving a supporting community. Physical and tangible objects serve as reminders to the wonderful people of Christchurch. 

(Boat Shed Café with owner's cat)

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Kayla Petersen

<p>I&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">am a sophomore at Miami University in Ohio. I major in nutrition and have a concentration in Dietetics. &quot;Home&quot; is&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">wherever I feel happy, and for that I find my home in many places. After undergrad I plan on taking part in a Dietetic&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">Intership that will last about a year and then take the RD exam to become a Registered Dietitian. I am apart of the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">Miami tribe, and hope to give back and work with the tribe after I become a Registered Dietitian. I am hoping that my&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">experience in New Zealand will help lead me to better understand how culture plays a role in people&#39;s health and diet.</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">The Maori tribe plays a crucial role in being able to research and compare the different revitalization efforts from the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">Miami tribe.</span></p>

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