In short, my weekend was much more relaxed compared to the beginning of my trip. Less short, I attended a rugby game, a "beach" day out, a toga party, and slept a bunch Sunday.
The rugby game was awesome, but I had no idea it would fly by so fast! The games are only 80 minutes, and like [real] football (soccer), the timer almost never stops. Since it went so fast I'm not entirely sure I understand the rules, but here's a couple things I picked up:
- Try- like a touchdown, worth 5 points; there's a kick after for two extra points; you get the ball back afterwards
- Scrum- all of the forwards slam into each other, making a tunnel, the guy given possession tosses the ball in the tunnel and his team's hooker is supposed to get the ball to the scrum-half (#9), who plays in-between the forwards and backs (note that the numbers actually refer to the position being played)
- Ruck- dogpile, happens whenever someone drops the ball and it becomes contested (in other words, every 5 seconds)
- Line-out- when the ball is kicked out of bounds, 7 people on each team line up parallel while the ball is thrown in. Each team picks up what I assume is their lightest guy and they attempt to catch the ball for possesion
- Dummy- a pump-fake, if you will
Next up was a beach party put on by the residence halls that wasn't really at a beach. Not much to say there, to be honest. I made a dreamcatcher though, which was pretty sweet (and lopsided). It's currently sitting under a book, flattening out.
Later that day I conversed with a bunch of really intelligent Scandinavians (and the food they made looked incredible). I found myself wishing I wasn't raised in America, as silly as that is. The truth is, we're an incredibly sheltered people, unaware of so many things that occur outside of our borders. Over and over, I'm amazed about how much they know about us, while I can't reciprocate at all. For a melting pot of culture, we sure are slacking when it comes to learning about what's going on in other countries. Needless to say, I plan on learning a lot from these guys.
Being so close, all of the Europeans related to each other very quickly, and I couldn't help but feel slightly left out in the beginning of conversation. However, there's no such thing as a language barrier to these guys, because almost all of them had secondary or tertiary language requirements. Finland was my favorite; by the end of what I would call high school, students are supposed to be fluent in FOUR languages. Finnish, Swedish, and English are compulsory, and the fourth is picked. I've only recently realized the importance of being a polyglot, and I'm really jealous of their education system. Anyway, because they all spoke English really well, we had some pretty good discussions over dinner.
That night, I went to my first toga party. It was put on by the residence halls, so I expected a ton of freshmen. And there certainly were heaps of them. Throughout the night they kept chanting their dorms or something, mostly to distract everyone else from how bad they were at dancing. Think of a high school dance, but a little less raunchy. Much different than the bar from the other night. Near the end, it became pretty fun. I accidentally made eye contact with a dude shuffling in a circle pit and he waved me in, but luckily I can shuffle pretty well (added bonus: remember that I'm in a toga) and I didn't make a fool of myself. I was one of the last four people to leave, so that definitely says something about the night.
On Sunday I slept. Around noon I finally got out of bed to Skype with my parents, and then I went to get stuff for the weekly potluck. This week was Mexican, and it was absolutely delicious. I cooked a bunch of stuff and got that thing down where you flick the pan and everything flips over.
So I'd say that was a good wind-down before school starts. I think I'm going to post about classes and Uni later this week, after I take a couple of shots around campus. I didn't have my camera with me this weekend, but here's a few pictures of me by some of my mates that prove I've actually been doing this stuff. (Another note: my posts are always a little late because the internet in my apartment is impossibly slow. I have to go to campus to upload pictures, or do anything data-intensive.)
Until next time,
Rasta Sheep (Ryan Mckeown)
The aforementioned Mexican feast (Meghan Cheek)
Pure bliss at the Wai-O-Tapu: Geothermal Park (Ryan McKeown)
Zorbing- After the race
We crushed 'em
Happy Tramping Family (+Ryan Mckeown)
First day in New Zealand! (Bianca D'alessio)
Checking out the sunrise (Jessica Giacobbe)
Walking around Lake Rotorua (Jessica)
Doing the Haka at the Māori Village in Rotorua (Lyssa Goodrich)
RITchie and I looking fly at the top of Mt. Eden (Jessica)