Friday, July 9, 2010

The All Blacks: New Zealand's Superheroes

Hi Gang,

If there was one thing I was told I should do while in New Zealand, it was see a rugby match featuring the Kiwi all-star team, the All Blacks. And boy, was that an understatement. As soon as my last final was finished, I hopped in a van with 7 of my mates and headed down to the town of Hamilton, where the All Blacks would be facing off against Wales in a test match later that evening. The ride down was pretty ridiculous, as I was driving the whole way and everyone else was partaking in a certain...erm...activity. If you have ever seen college students at any type of sporting event, you can probably guess why Sober Sweeney was the only one fit to drive.

Anyway, blatant violations of open-alcohol policies aside, we had a blast all the way down. We saw a double rainbow at one point, which was gorgeous. When we got to the game, things were crazy. There were SO many people there, and it was pretty clear who was the favorite to win. There were painted faces, NZ flags, and All Blacks regalia everywhere. The game began with the All Blacks' traditional Haka, a Māori war dance meant to intimidate their opponents. If it were me out there, it certainly would have worked. These massive men were terrifying, and I would not have wanted to be on the Welsh team one bit. I have never been to a professional sporting match before, let alone a rugby game, and the excitement in the air was feverish. The game was tons of fun to watch, and the AB's stomped Wales as predicted, but the most fun part of the experience for me was just spending time with this group of people I had grown to care about so much over the past 5 months. It was our last hurrah as a group, and I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend it my night.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of my blog in the following post. Till next time!


The All Blacks: New Zealand's Superheroes

Coming full circle

Hi folks,

As our time in New Zealand neared an end, my mates and I found ourselves feeling nostalgic and reminiscing about our first impressions of this beautiful country. We recalled that our first week had been spent in the town of Rotorua, and there had been a few activities that we weren't able to do during our time there, yet still wanted to. Feeling spontaneous, four of us rented a car and drove down to Rotorua for a Saturday getaway. Upon arriving at our destination, we prepared for our first activity of the day: ZORBing. For the unfamiliar, ZORBing involves being placed in a giant hamster ball-like sphere filled with warm water, and then rolling down a large hill. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it WAS. It was the most action-packed bath I have ever taken. It's hard to describe the feeling of being inside a ZORB ball, except to say that I now know what fruit feels like as it's being blended into a smoothie.

After ZORBing, we got some lunch, and then headed down to Lake Rotorua for the next exciting activity: Jet Boating. Imagine being on a speedboat, but that boat is strapped to a race car, and there's about 15 people in the boat. That's sort of what it was like. We put on splash jackets and hopped in the boat, and the second we were away from the dock, our guide hit the gas and took us speeding away on the ride of our lives. Every time our guide would turn sharply, one side of the boat would get splashed with a huge, sulfury wave. Yum. The ride was punctuated by fun facts about the lake and the island in the middle of it, and overall, it was just a wonderful, fun experience.

After jet boating, we strolled into Rotorua for some souvenir shopping, and then drove home once we had emptied our wallets thoroughly. It was a wonderful day spent with great friends, and one I will remember for a long time.

More to come soon!