Kiwi-isms: Only in New Zealand

I had a great time with my brothers and parents as we traveled “Down Under” to Australia and New Zealand. It was a whirl-wind of a trip, chock full of some good times and memories.

We spent the majority of the time in New Zealand, the country my dad is from and also the country in which I was born. This was a really impactful trip for me, because it was my first time being there as an adult, and to learn and about and see in person more of my family and family history gave me great insight into who I am and what God has for me.

New Zealand is a very interesting country, to say the least. It has the most beautiful landscapes, and it was one of the last lands in which people settled because of its remoteness. In more modern culture, although there are cultural similarities to Britain or Australia, or even the United States in recent years, New Zealand is all its own in that they have their own sayings, foods, animals and interests. People from New Zealand call themselves “Kiwis”, after the flightless, nocturnal, brown bird exclusive to New Zealand.

The land of the Kiwis has many quirks. As I share below in some photos from my 18 days there, you’ll find that every day living in New Zealand is unique, from the people you live with, the surroundings, what you eat and drink and the way you talk. It was very enjoyable to get reacquainted with my second home and delve right into “being a kiwi.”

You can even take a second to visit the New Zealand Wikipedia page and listen to the nation anthem and see some more pictures and facts.

More later about my family and other adventures!

A beautiful yet mild winter day in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was the perfect opportunity to walk down to the harbor and see the sights.

The Moari people are the native people of New Zealand. The arrived before the Europeans, who arrived in the 1800s. When we visited the Auckland Museum we saw the inside of a traditional Moari meeting place, filled with these type of carvings. Sticking your tongue out like this is a sign of war and aggression against enemies.

The New Zealand All Blacks are the national rugby team; they are two-time international champions. You’ve gotta watch them do the Haka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdMCAV6Yd0Y

When we visited my cousin and his wife, we had some traditional Kiwi treats and desserts, including (from top down) toffee pops, bananas, the left over chips from our fish and chips dinner, oranges, cadbury marvelous creations, kiwi fruit, anzac biscuits, lemon and paeroa Whittikers chocolate, and apples. Another really good dessert is the pavlova! http://www.joyofbaking.com/Pavlova.html

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Giant Lemon & Paeroa bottle landmark in Paeroa, New Zealand, a city known for its valuable mineral water which is used in its “Famous in New Zealand” soft drink, which has become an icon. It’s a slightly lemon-flavored ginger ale-type soda.

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Meat pies are awesome, google them. I don’t know why they are not popular in the states. A meat pie can be chicken and vegetables or steak and cheese or other ingredients baked in a fresh, crispy pastry and sold in their own stores. Mmm. They’re like what hot pockets were trying to be.

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When its not raining outside, most Kiwis dry their laundry in their yard on contraptions like these. This one was at my cousins house, and when the breeze comes through it spins the rack with drying clothes around and around.

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When we were traveling to and from New Zealand, I really enjoyed flying with Air New Zealand. They have great service and food and TV’s in the back of every chair. The flight attendants have awesome uniforms. This is the back of the guys’ vest. It was a collage of kiwis, meat pies, sayings, Maori words and symbols and other New Zealand icons. I asked my Nana if she could make me something like this, but I haven’t got one yet!

I’m Headed to the Land of my Father!

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I’ll be headed to New Zealand after visiting Sydney, Australia for a few days. It’s been seven years since I’ve seen the country I was born in, so I’m looking forward to seeing family and some beautiful scenery.

Here are some “did you know’s” about my home away from home!

Keep checking in here to see some sights and hear some stories that I’ll be sharing along the way!