I’ve been out of touch (blog-wise) for a while. We’ve been pretty busy lately, and, well, New Zealand is not really a tech-driven kind of place. As the t-shirts here say: “No cell phone, no email, no problems.” I tend to agree. But I figure it’s time for a brief update on life over here in Dunedin. July has been a great month for us: the second chapter of my thesis was accepted, I was asked to teach Greek at the University, we got Aidan on the waiting list for kindergarten, and best of all we had our first visitors.
My parents, Larry and Pam Thornton, stayed with us for three weeks and we all had a blast! Of course, it’s winter here and summer in the U.S., so they had to get adjusted when they first arrived–they went from almost 110 fahrenheit in the States to about 3 celsius in New Zealand. Additionally, they had to get accustomed to the chilly housing in New Zealand; this time of year only two rooms of our house stay warm and the rest of the abode is quite cold (about 48-50 fahrenheit). I think my parents wore two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, and two or three shirts the whole time they stayed with us! I have to admit, it was funny watching them as they tried to get used to the cold.
They also had to get used to the fact that we drive on the left side of the road here, and the roads are extremely windy and hilly, nay, mountainy–with no guardrails. Sometimes all it takes is a mere meter to the left and you plummet down a jagged cliff. Not much room for error. I tried to get them to take a shot at driving while they were here, but neither of them felt ready for that just yet. I can’t say that I blame them. It does require either bravery or insanity to drive here. Maybe next time they visit they’ll dare to drive, and I won’t have to serve as the chauffeur for the length of their stay.
Though I did all the driving, mom and dad helped pick the destinations, and we got to see so many beautiful places while they were here. We took them to all of our favorite spots: Aramoana, Sandfly Bay, Tunnel Beach, Orokonui, Long Beach, St. Clair, the Botanical Gardens, the Otago Museum, and the list goes on. We also got to explore new spots with them; we took our first ever trip to the west coast, visiting: Manapouri, Te Anau, the Fiordland National Park, and Milford Sound. We also went about an hour north of Dunedin and visited Moeraki for the first time. I’ve included some of the best photos we got from the many breathtaking places we saw. New Zealand is teeming with gorgeous beaches and majestic mountains, and the country has the greenest grass and the bluest water you’ll ever see. There’s really no way to fully describe the beauty. You probably just need to come visit us and see for yourself.
But visits, by definition, are temporary. Sadly, we had to say farewell to mom and dad yesterday. It was wonderful having them with us for three weeks, and they did so much to help us while they were here. We are so very grateful. The Lord has truly blessed me with godly parents. They have taught me so much over the years, and they continue to guide me today. I am thankful for the way they love each other, and for the way they love me, my wife, and my boys. I am thankful, most of all, that from the time I was a small boy they have pointed me to Christ. Thank you, mom and dad, for your faithful example.
We miss you already and we eagerly await your next visit. In the mean time, I’ll work on warming up the house for you…