A Travellerspoint blog

Bula from Fiji

Beachcomber

Bula means Hello
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Michelle and I decided to take a trip to Fiji during our break before exams (and don’t worry we did pack the books to do a bit of studying while we are here!) Our journey like most other started nice and early! We headed for the airport at 5:45am! Michelle’s roommate Beck was nice enough to drive us down because the train would not get us to the airport in time and it was much cheaper to pay her for petrol then it was to hire a transfer. Check in and Customs were a breeze. Security is not a top priority here in Australia. A little more when coming and going internationally but nowhere near what it is in the states and it always seems to surprise me! We got to our gate with some time to do some reading and just relax before heading out. The flight was just over 3hours long but Fiji is two hours ahead so we didn’t touch down in Fiji until 2:45pm. We were met by rain and singing natives. It was fun to come off to the plane to people waiting for you and singing to welcome you. Customs here were even more lax then in Australia I don’t think they even asked what food we were declaring they just took our cards and we went on through! After figuring out some things with our tour and rearranging a few things because we had missed the last boat to our first stop we were off to the harbor. They just switched our adventure around so we start at the end and go backwards through no stress! It was rain rain rain all night! As we waited for the boat in the Harbor it rained, on our boat ride to the island rain, that night in at the resort rain! It was a hurdle to over come! The boat we boarded at the harbor was not the boat that took us to the island, we took a smaller shuttle boat up to the beach from the larger boat because they can not get close enough. This transfer was quite an experience! We basically transferred boats while still moving nearly full speed in the dark rain! As we hoped off the boat into the waters of the beach we took a walk up the beach to the reception, (please keep in mind it was still very very dark and raining at this point!) Thank God I had Michelle because I think I would have been in tears at this point (she agreed when we talked later that night) So far our trip had not turned out exactly how we had imagined it. Our dorm style sleeping arrangements were in an outdoor hut with no walls just mosquito netting and oh just another hundred or so beds! By far the largest hostel dorm style room either of us had been in. we put our stuff away in the locked compartments under our bed and headed for dinner. Our meals are included for us in our trip, which is so nice so dinner was made for us all we had to do was show up. We have been told all of our meals are fine to eat just don’t drink the tap water so we have some bottled water to bring along with us and they also sell it. After dinner we were so tired and ready for our rainy first day to be over so we climbed into bed to do some reading and hit the hay.
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I was feeling very defeated and not looking forward to the next 11days after this first one, in a sorta debby downern mood and I know God was watching out for me when I picked up my devotional book. It is the one Maddie and I started a while ago but I am going back through it again because there is just so much good stuff each day I felt like you couldn’t get all the good in one go! So I opened it up to day 20 for which the title read: Needy, Whiny, and Discouraged. The verse for the day was “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I was pretty sure God just hit me in the head with a TON of bricks! Saying “Hello Hannah I am still here, I am still Good, and I am still looking out for you. You have no reason to complain for even a second because I Love you and you are enjoying my creation in Fiji rain or no rain, set back or no setbacks, you are Living a dream!” I was like WOW I just sat and thought about that for a second and it changed my attitude right around. I couldn’t believe how selfish I had been complaining about the rain or things that weren’t as I thought they should have been. I was a bit embarrassed as I read on and it the book said “Anyone can whine. But it takes a different kind of woman who wants to live a different kind of life to turn whining into thankfulness instead. Look for the good.” Reading this was just what I needed at that point. I need to live my life happy, thankful and praising God because I AM A DAUGTHER of our MOST HIGH KING! So that is my thoughts for the day for you, when you want to whine or complain just praise God because he is still Good, he is still leading you in procession of triumph even when we don’t think life is going the way we want it too.

Our next morning brought once again clouds and rain ☹ but taking what I had read the night before I was still positive thinking about how blessed I was to even be here! We had breakfast and then came back to our beds and packed for the day! We headed out on a sailboat for the day experiencing Fiji from the water! Once aboard our sailboat we headed for Castaway Island! We got the chance to snorkel off the coast of the island where Tom Hanks filmed the famous and great movie Castaway! The snorkeling was fun but not the best snorkeling we had done the water was clear but still a bit murky. Michelle and I both decided we have been a bit spoiled with our snorkeling after getting to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Even with the slightly murky water we had a blast and got to see a lot including another claim (not as big as the one we saw dad but it was a different colour which was cool!) we had a great time! then it was time to get a chance to explore the Island some. We walked around put our toes in the sand and we think we spotted his cave! It was really cool to think we walked where Tom Hanks walked!!
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We even got a demo of how to husk and split a coconut. It looked much easier then it actually was when we got a chance to give it a try! What our guide did was use a tree that was in half and pointy on the top to pierce the outer skin of the coconut to be able to pull it away in sections (aka to husk the coconut) and then he used a coconut leaf to make a circle like holder to prop the coconut on. I believe this was to one keep it from rolling away and two to get it up off the ground so he could crack it in two. With a swift move of his hand he had cracked in half nearly perfect! It was very impressive, my guess is he had done it a few times before!
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After exploring it was back to the main boat for lunch! It was very tasty they even cooked up some fish that we caught on the way out, I believe it was a Spanish mackerel. As we finished up lunch we headed towards another island to Yanuya village, we got a chance to walked around their village and have a welcoming ceremony complete with Kava (don’t worry Grandma Dykema ill be sure to bring some home for you!) Michelle and I got a chance to try it, I am still not sure if I like it or not but I am told it is very popular in Fiji so I am sure ill get another chance to try it out. This Village was so poor but the kids were so happy and loved getting their pictures taken! It always amazes me coming to countries like this how happy and carefree the people can live when in our eyes they live in such poverty. It makes my heart hurt for them but they are so happy and when a little kid looks up at you with a huge smile saying “bula bula” (hello hello) you can’t help but smile right back!
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Side note about this village is that it is home to a boarding school where the children come to the Island/the School Sunday after lunch and stay there until Friday after lunch. I thought it was a weird school week if you ask me. To go Sunday and only have a half day Friday. But it seems to work for them!

We got a chance to walk through a market of native souvenirs before heading back to the boat. After the village our day was over it was about an hour boat ride back to meet our transfer boat back to our island of beachcomber, so of course being silly girls on holiday we took some pictures and enjoyed our boat ride.
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We got back to our island shortly after 5pm with some time to shower and rest (or write and update for my blog. I am not sure when I will have Internet to update these but I figure if I can at least type them ill be ready when I do!) Now it is nearly dinnertime so I will say Good bye and Good night from Beachcomber Island! I will continue to update when I can and have one ready from each island we venture too. There will be 6 all together! Back just in time for our first exam! We are praying for sunshine for the morning but will be happy and praising God with anything he gives us!

In Him,
Hannah

2 Corinthians 2:14

we never found any internet so i have daily updates from the islands ill slowly upload here so i don't Overwhelm you with all of them at once! There are pictures in the gallery that didn't get put in the blog too! Ill try to go back and add titles when i get a chance!

Posted by Dykemah 15:03 Archived in Fiji Comments (0)

Memorial day weekend on the sunshine coast!

Fraser Island!

Michelle and I figured why shouldn’t we get to have a little fun over Memorial Day weekend even if it isn’t Memorial Day weekend for real here. So we spent the day Friday finishing up some assessments in preparation for our Saturday morning departure. So Saturday morning we headed up to Noosa to meet our transfer to Fraser Island where we spent the next two days.

Our first stop on the transfer bus was the Red Canyon, it was pretty sweet! Tall red sand hills that a canyons had been etched out of. We had some fun trying to climb on them but it was harder than it looked due to the sand just falling away when you tried to climb them!
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The drive up rainbow beach was very nice, we could see some rain coming in but as we drove we were still dry, No rain yet. We got to drive on a sand highway through rainbow beach. Yes I did say sand highway complete with sleep limit signs!
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After rainbow beach we caught the ferry over to Fraser Island we got to our accommodations for lunch just in time lunch on the balcony. Thankfully it had an over hang because the rain started coming down! After lunch we headed to pile valley to do a walk through the rainforest. There were some GIANT Trees! A few vines to swing on and a river than ran along the path the entire way. It was a lot of fun!
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After Pile Valley we got back on the bus and headed for Lake Birrabeen, this lake is supposed to be very blue and clear but due to the cloudy and some what rainy conditions it looked much more grey (kinda like dean like I must admit, reminded me of home) the sand was very white which was fun to see a change from the color (or colour as they would spell it here in Australia) of the sand from the actual beach.
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From there it was time to head back to our accomidations and get dry, warm and out of the rain! Michelle and I were pretty tired from our early morning start and all the time we had spent on buses that day so we got warmed up and watched a movie before dinner (I may have napped more than watch the movie ha) dinner was great all of our meals were included in our tour so a nice hot meal with rolls that were So GOOD (don’t worry Aunt Judy they were good but still don’t compare to yours I can’t wait to have those again! I think my stomach is ready to come home) after dinner Michelle and I got a chance to just sit and chat with a cup of tea or two, it was so nice to just have some girl talk again and not be rushed to go anywhere or worried about anything else. After our tea we walked down towards the bar where the other people from out tour were hanging out and decided it just wasn’t our scene so we headed back to the room and played cribbage! It reminded me of the days we would play at the little house on Big Pine. After a few games of cribbage we headed to bed for our early start once again the next day.

After breakfast we were loaded up on the bus and on our way to see the island. We headed towards the famous Indian Head and on our way made a few stops. The first stop we made that morning was the Maheno Shipwreck. Captain cook hit the ground of Fraser Island and the boat is still there. It was a really cool shipwreck to see, I could have spent a lot more time there. Exploring the ship and looking around (to bad they wouldn’t let us go to close because it was rusty and could be dangerous…)
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But we were off to the next stop, a few photo stops along our way one being at the Pinnacles, we were only there for a short time but they were really neat to see. The sand dunes of different colours and designs were so different from back home so that was interesting to see!
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From the Pinnacles we were off to the beautiful Indian Heads. We took a hike up the cliff and got some great views of the island.
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From Indian Heads we headed for Eli Creek. We took the board walk down a ways and then hoped into the creek to “float down” the water levels were very low so we ended up just wading down it taking some fun pictures along the way!
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We spent some tine laying on the beach before out drive back to Noosa began. Once in Noosa we headed for the bus and back to the sunshine coast we went. It was a quick trip but I am glad we got the chance to go! We had a fun even with our ups and down of the whole thing! Sunday night we got back to business and started finishing up our final assessments. Monday brought more of the same thing. Michelle and I spent the morning in class and then off to the local Photoshop to get our pictures printed for our final assessment, from there it was all day in the library, from 1pm-9m and then some more time at Michelle’s apartment but I am happy to say after this afternoon we are assessment free and classes are done! Tomorrow it is time for a break and a trip to FIJI!!! I can’t wait to see what happens in Fiji, it will be time to study, relax and spend some time relaxing and praying and enjoying the company of a good friend. I look forward to spending some more time with Michelle and just experiencing another beautiful country! Trying to experience and see everything I can here on the sunshine coast and around it while I can because in just over a month ill be back state side! I hope everyone’s Memorial day weekend went well!

In Him,
Hannah

James 3:2

Posted by Dykemah 14:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A weekend of hiking

Enjoying the sunshine coast!

It is crazy how fast my time here on the sunshine coast is winding down here. I am trying to fit everything I can in these last 40days! Trying to enjoy every minute I have left. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact I will be leaving this beautiful place and this chapter of my life behind in just under 40days. As I walk to and from class or enjoy things that have become routine here on the sunshine coast and what has been home for the past semester of my life. I will miss getting up to the sound of the birds (or maybe I wont ha) I will miss walking to class in the fresh air watching the native birds and seeing the kangaroos just go about their business or the way all the classrooms are in outdoor like buildings. As I enjoy everyday I look forward to seeing friends and family once again but struggle with the thought of leaving good friends who have become my family over the past few months. This past weekend was spent enjoying the local attractions here on the sunshine coast outside of the beach.
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Thursday morning my new friends Michelle and Sam and I took the bus into Buderim and then walked to the national park where we did a lovely hike through the rainforest seeing the beautiful Buderim waterfall. The morning was warm and the air was crisp it was a great morning for a hike with wonderful friends! We had a fantastic time and the waterfall area was BEAUTIFUL such a hidden wonderland that was only a 15minute bus ride away this whole time!
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After the waterfalls Michelle and I headed to the plaza and Sam headed back to school. As we headed for the plaza the rain started. Just in time we got a great dry morning for a hike and a nice rainy afternoon to run some errands. That night I headed off to soccer practice in the rain. I have been given the chance to play with a club team here near the school called the Kawana soccer club. I met a few girls at church who play and asked me to come play with them until I leave. The level of play isn’t anything incredible but I get the chance to train twice a week for an hour and a half and play a game. Although I wasn’t able to play in the game this past week due to paperwork not being finished I was able to train and enjoy the atmosphere of a soccer game. The coach is even going to let me run a training session this coming week! Oh how I have missed the feeling of a ball at my foot and a training session to go through it has been so great!! That was my wonderful Thursday!

Friday brought another beautiful morning for hiking! Michelle and I headed out to Mt Coolum! This was about an hour bus ride away which went fast and then we spent a few hours hiking up and down the mountain! The hike was fun and the view was outstanding! We had some fun taking pictures up at the top and along the way.
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Then it was time to head back home after an day of hiking so I would make it home in time for my soccer game that night. Michelle and I have found a new easy food that reminds us of home that we have had the past few dinners together – Grilled Cheese, now the cheese isn’t as good as home but the grilled cheese with a little tomato on top has really hit the spot and is making me hungry right now as I type this! After dinner I headed to my game thankful I had packed my raincoat and rain pants because it rained nearly the entire game! However I was just happy to be at a game!

Saturday brought another nice morning followed by rain and rain and some more rain! Sam, Michelle and I spent the morning down at a coffee shop on the esplanade with a view of the ocean and the sound of the waves working on some assessments we had to do. we had a great lunch date out which was very tasty as well. as the rain started we headed to talk to a travel agent where Michelle and I were able to book a trip to see Fiji after school finishes up next week I am looking forward to spending some time in the hot weather and surfing in a new area! That night brought a lazy night of movies and working on some photography stuff.

Sunday Michelle headed off on a trip with some girls from her tourism class that the school paid for them to go on, she was really excited to go (she actually comes home tonight and I am looking forward for her to be home) I spent the day with Beth and Zac taking some pictures of them for my final photography class and then taking a walk up to the store with Beth to print some pictures and pick up a few things from the grocery store. The sun was out and it was a great day with some friend who I hadn’t seen in a while. Both Beth and Zac are now in the “prac” phase of teachers college where they are working in a classroom every day all day and by the time they come home they are tired and have to be up early to head back to school the next day so during the week I don’t get to see them to much so spending the day with them was great. We headed to church that night which was really really good. I am enjoying it more and more as I get used to the format and the environment this church follows but I am looking forward to be back at crossroads and sitting in church with my family. This week has brought time to really get into Gods word and let go of the anxiety I am facing with leaving here and going home. The time spent in his word has been great knowing I am Complete in him and he has a plan and going home is all a part of it! As I look forward to going back to GVSU next year I am planning out classes and schedules for the next few semesters with Good news that I will hopefully be walking in Graduation next may with only two courses to finish up that spring semester and then heading off to PT school in the fall of 2012! I can’t believe it might actually happen after years of undergrad and then thinking it would take me 5years to finish talking with a good friend Erin she has helped me look at what classes I need to finish, and what I need to do to apply to PT school. We are hoping to apply to the same schools and hopefully get the chance to go together! Now as I finish up this week I ask for a few prayers that I will be able to remain focused on my schoolwork and the task at hand to complete the last few assessments I have. Only one more week of classes and three assessments! (Then exams but lets just finish the assessments first!) Thank you again for all the love and support you have all provided me with over this season of my life and I will be seeing you all soon!

In Him,
Hannah

1 Thessalonians 5:16

there are a few more pictures in the gallery so i didn't once again bombard the post with pictures!

Posted by Dykemah 05:03 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

A weekend In Sydney

Girls weekend plus Willy

So I apologize this has taken so long to get updated. But it was a very busy week Finishing up a few big assessments, the end of the semester always get busy and lets be honest my time here on the sunshine coast is quickly coming to and end so I have been trying to spend less and less time inside on my computer and enjoying all I can while I can!
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So with that said last weekend Beth and I went on a girl’s trip to Sydney! And then the day before we left Willy decided to crash it! But we didn’t mind at all. Thursday afternoon we hopped on the bus at the uni and headed for the Sunshine Coast Airport! From there it was a short hour and 30min flight direct to Sydney. Here it is a lot easier and cheaper to fly around within the country. It only cost us 50dolloars round trip! We arrived in Sydney just before 1pm and headed to our hostel. Once we got settled in our room we grabbed a map and headed for the city! We learned a lot about public transportation while we were there and learned how to take their bus system and their underground train (not exactly a subway because we did come out from under ground sometimes too). So on our first day we headed for Darling Harbor and walked around some. We walked through the Wild Animal World and the Sydney Aquarium. Both were really cool! The animal world was fun and we got to see some red kangaroos, which are different than the ones we have on campus. We also saw this croc that was HUGE over 16ft long I was glad it was in a cage and not out in the wild! There were also more koalas and lots of creepy crawly bugs.
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After the wild world we headed for the Aquarium, this was really really cool! And there were giant lego people and sculptors all over these places. It must have taken along time to build most of them and I kept thinking about my cousin Luke who I know would have Loved to see these giant lego people, sharks, whales, and snakes! In the aquarium there were underwater tunnels where the sharks and turtles swam all around you as you walked around in the tunnels it was different than anything I have done before! There were even some manatees in some and those were really cool to see!
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Once we were done at the aquarium we headed back towards our hostel for dinner and ice cream! We had Mexican for dinner and it was just like qudoba and it was So good! And ice cream was really good too!! Then we headed back to bed we were tired from our sightseeing and traveling plus we wanted to be able to get up early and head out for a long day in the morning.

So Friday morning we got up and were out walking towards Sydney harbor shortly after 9am! We got to walk through the botanical gardens as we headed for the opera house and the harbor. The botanical gardens were beautiful to walk through and it was a great day. Seeing the opera house and Harbor Bridge for the first time unreal. I just sat there and looked at it for a few minutes asking myself is this for real!
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From the gardens we walked around up to the opera house and found out that we could go see the Australian Ballet that night if we wanted. How it works is they sell the remaining tickets to students an hour before the show for 30dollars. We were sold! So we walked around the city back to the train station headed back to the hostel packed our dresses and then headed back to the Harbor. Then we caught the ferry over to Manly where we met up with my friend from home Molly. We had played soccer together a few years ago and she lives right in Ada so small world that we both ended up in Australia at the same time! We got a chance to see her college, which used to be a monastery and looked like a castle! We also walked through underwater world in Manly, which is like a smaller version of the aquarium so it wasn’t as cool but we still had a good time. After picking molly up and getting a short tour of Manly we got some food and headed back to the opera house. We got changed into our dresses and took a few pictures while we waited for it to be 630 so we could get in line and wait for our student tickets. Once we got up to the window to get our tickets we found out they did have four tickets all together so we could all sit in a line. While we were paying the lady behind the window told us we would be sitting in 130dollar seats and we only had to play 30! It was great! The ballet was amazing and just being able to sit in the opera house was sweet too!
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opera house at night

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Sunset from the Ferry

Mollys school

Mollys school

Mollys School

Mollys School

Mollys School

Mollys School

Opera house at night

Opera house at night

The girls at the Opera House

The girls at the Opera House

all dressed up before the opera house

all dressed up before the opera house

before the Ballet

before the Ballet

the opera house at night from the ferry

the opera house at night from the ferry

After the ballet we were all hungry so we put our warm clothes back on because it is cold in Sydney right now and headed to a famous restaurant called Pancakes on the Rocks (I had been looking forward to this all day!) these pancakes were AMAZING!! So good SO GOOD. They put ice cream on the pancakes such a GREAT idea!!
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By the time we headed home it was almost midnight and we were beat! So off to bed we went. The next morning we got up and the three of us headed for Bondi Beach! We had to go see it while we were in Sydney. It was Beautiful I am glad we ventured over there. It was cold but people were still out surfing just in Full Body Wet suits! We walked around for a little while then headed back to the Harbor to wait for Molly to meet us.
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Once Molly had made it over we headed through a few markets to the bridge. We walked the bridge, which was great fun and had some great views of the opera house! Once we were on the other side we headed for Luna Park. This is like an old fashion amusement park mixed with like a fair atmosphere. It was really busy and we didn’t go on any of the rides but it was just a fun bright place to be. We did stop for some fairy floss (cotton candy) and it was really good!
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After Luna Park we took the ferry back to the harbor and headed through the city to the sky tower. We went up into the sky tower and got a 360view of the city from up high, which was really fun to see!
Worlds HIghest working Post Box in the Southern Hemisphere

Worlds HIghest working Post Box in the Southern Hemisphere

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Sky Tower

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Then we headed for Paddys Market which is one of the biggest markets in the city. We didn’t have much time there because they were closing but we did have fun walking through while we were there. It reminded me of a much bigger, busier and indoor flea market. After paddies market it was time for dinner and time to part ways with Molly. She headed back to Manly and we headed back towards our hostel stopping for some ice cream on the way. It was a great weekend with Molly and I am so glad we got the chance to meet up and do some touristy stuff together! She was a great guide and it was fun just to be able to see someone from home in Australia. She is now safely back in the states as we were there just in time for her last weekend in Sydney (perfect timing!). Over all we had amazing weather, which was a huge blessing, and everyone got along great! Sydney might be my favorite big city so far.
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I came home from a great weekend to a busy busy week. But I got it all done and the two big assessments have been turned in. Now I just have a big research paper due next week and a few photography assessments due the following week then it is time for exams. After a long week of school we headed to the beach with some new friends Saturday and Sunday! It is getting a bit colder here so we didn’t do much swimming and no surfing because we were sadly waveless, I am hoping for better luck this weekend. Sunday was great and I got the chance to meet some new friends at church who are all very nice it was such a good night! One of the girls actually plays soccer for a club here in town and asked me to come play so last night I had my first training session with the team and it felt so good to be back on a soccer field with my boots on running under the lights! I don’t think I could have had a bigger smile on my face! Meeting more an more new people and enjoying every minute I have left as it is going SO FAST I can’t believe it. I have an action packed weekend so ill be sure to update after that! Have a wonderful rest of the week back home and thanks for all the support as I finish up my busy school year and time traveling here.

In Him,
Hannah

Matthew 11:28-30

Posted by Dykemah 00:04 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Lake Tekapo to Kaikoura and Home

The last few days

Like I said we Left Lake Tekapo bright and early because we had a big day ahead of us. Due to the earthquake in Christchurch the bus no longer stops there except to do a few hotel drop offs and pick ups. So as we left the shores of Lake Tekapo we traveled around the edges of the Mackenzie Country crossing over Burks Pass and the foothills of the Southern Alps. This was not before we stopped at the shepherd’s church on our way out of town. This was a hand built church by the shepherds who had moved into the town and had no church so they gathered stones from the lake and built this small church. It is one of the most photographed places in the south island.
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Our trip up to Christchurch was a smooth one nothing to exciting just some more beautiful scenery on a beautiful afternoon. However once we got to Christ Church everything that could go wrong began going wrong…our first drop of a the Jail House Hostel (yes it was once a jail house!) went fine we lost a few passengers but gained a few as well. After that was the beginning of our troubles. A few of our passengers were staying at a different hostel in the city and the head offices had given our driver permission to drop off there. The city is a GOHST town right now and streets are closed off everywhere you look. This led to us driving about for about an hour trying to get to this hostel and we ended up having to leave the few passengers at a bus stop as close as we could get. This may seem harsh but they did end up closer to their hostel then they would have been if they were dropped off at the Jail House. This was also where we had to say good-bye to Abby. It was different being back on the bus with here gone but I am hoping to go see here in Perth before I leave and she has plans to visit the mitten state at some point! We had been driving for about 20mins out of the city towards the airport to pick up a passenger who had been waiting all morning while we drove about in the city when Nick (our driver) got a call from the head office. They informed us that when the passengers had gotten off the bus at the bus stop with their bags they had pulled out an extra bag and it did not make it back on the bus. The other passengers had left to catch a bus so the bag was just sitting on the side of the road. The head office said they would see what they could do but we needed to get back there as soon as we could. So back into the city we went. Once we had gotten back to the stop the bag was gone at this point the other kids I was traveling with and I were off the bus checking for our bags and much to our relief they were all there! Nick on the other hand was running about trying to find this lost bag. After about 30mins at the bus stop we got word that the police had come and picked up the bag and had it at their headquarters. So we loaded the bus back up to find that some girls had walked to the store and were no where to be found so we waited another 15mins for them to come back to the bus before we could be on our way. Finally the bag was retrieved and off to the airport we went. By the time we got to the airport it was legally time for Nick to have to take a 30min break so we were waiting again! (these are some pictures of the devastation of Christchurch I was able to snap as we drove through the city)
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After the 30mins we were finally on our way to Kaikoura. Arriving much later than planed we made it safely into Kaikoura. That night my new friends from England and I did watch the Royal wedding. It was interesting to watch with them because they knew who everyone was and could tell me about them. But if you ask me I felt bad for them because the wedding was so stiff, I know it was supposed to be because of all the rules and pressure surrounding the wedding but id rather stay Hannah Dykema and have a wedding with smiles and emotion then be royalty with all the rules! But despite the rules and pressure she sure did make a beautiful bride.

The next morning we got the chance to sleep in a bit because we stayed two nights in Kaikoura. So I got the chance to get up and go for a nice run that morning along the water it was beautiful with the snow covered mountains in the background. I ran down to the Information center to book my shuttle back to Christchurch the next morning that would get me to the airport in time to fly out that afternoon. But then some more trouble started! The shuttle I was told I could take actually stopped running after Easter so I had missed it by about a week now I did not know what I would do. it was a huge problem but ended up being resolved by having my wonderful new friends drive me down to Christ church that night and then drive the car back to Kaikoura so they could catch the bus the next morning. The plan was to take a shuttle or bus to a local airport after arriving at the airport but I got there and there was NO ONE in the airport. So I wasn’t sure what I would do I went to the arrival terminal and ended up running into a girl who was also on my bus. To make a very long story short my wonderful mom got a hold of my airline and changed my flight to leave Christchurch the following morning at 6am instead of 3pm that afternoon. So I stayed the night with Emma (who was from south Africa so very interesting) in the Christ church airport. It was a long night but I was happy to have a friend and parent who could help me out. I finally made it home May 1 and went to bed! I was so tired and I have spent the last two days since being home catching up on school work, laundry, sleep, and some more school work.
the view as i took my morning run! INCREDIBLE

the view as i took my morning run! INCREDIBLE

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But if we take it back a few hours before leaving Kaikoura Charollet and I got to take an incredible trip out into the ocean. We got all suited up with thick wetsuits and headed out to swim with WILD DOLPHINS! It was an incredible experience unlike I have had. They just drive the boat out to where these pods of dolphins usually hang out and let us get out and swim with them. There was easily 1000 dolphins no exaggeration at all! You couldn’t ride them or touch them the way you could in Florida at sea world but it didn’t matter because all you had to do was look down and see them swimming by you and below you and next to you. They were very playful and if you could dive down under the water a little they would come swim to see what was going on or you could swim in circles with them and they would play with you that way. The water was cold but the experience was amazing! I loved it! Then after we got out of the water and dressed back in some warm water we got to do a short viewing of the dolphins and take pictures and we even saw a sperm whale come up but had to drive away because the dolphin swimming boat did not hold a permit for whale watching so we had to stay so far away from the whale. Either way it was a great time! even with all the trouble of getting home the stay in Kaikoura was so worth it!
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It is hard to believe that in less than two short months I will be returning home to the states. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. It is a bitter sweet feeling as my time here comes to an end and spending 17days riding a bus I had plenty of time to think about it. I am excited to be back home with friends and family but it will be hard and sad to leave new friends and this beautiful place knowing this chapter in my life is quickly coming to an end. I do not know if I will ever get the chance to return here someday I hope I will but until then I will be living up these last few months on the beach catching some waves and experiencing life in Australia!

In Him,
Hannah

Revelation 3:20

Off to Sydney for a girls weekend with Beth and to meet up with My friend Molly!

Posted by Dykemah 14:02 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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