Life change number 367

Forgive me father, for I have sinned, its been over a year since my last blog…

Last time I did one of these things I was in dilemma whether or not to move to Auckland and return to the land of finance, working in an orafice (office…). After spending 4 months living and working on an amazing outdoor education course, it was a tough decision to make.
I was undecided about a career in outdoor education. The course had been fun, and I learned a lot (even though a couple of my course mates were a bit hard work at times). But living and working at an outdoor centre gave me a good idea of the lifestyle. You have to do it for the love, and not the money, and a lot of people there love the outdoors, but its not the positive environment that you might expect. A lot of the instructors would much rather be out enjoying the extreme outdoors, rather than teaching kids all week to do the basics.
I was offered a 3 month placement, which would have been ideal, but unfortunately my application for residency failed, and the centre would not sponsor me. So I had the option of leaving New Zealand, or getting a Job that would Sponsor me.
I decided that I was not ready to leave NZ, and so took a job working for the bank of New Zealand in Auckland.

Am not going to go into detail about the last 16 months. Some of you know the basics.
It was a year of highs and lows.
The job was frustrating and boring at times, and I was tempted a couple of times to leave NZ and return home, especially as I was finding it difficult to settle in Auckland where it is difficult to make new friends.
I was also having ongoing back problems, I have spent the last 18 months seeing various specialists, physiotherapsts and doctors, as well as forking out large amounts of money for X-rays and an MRI. The latest diagnoses is that I am suffering from Anklyosing Spondlytis – an inflamatory disorder which causes my back and hip joints to flare up, especially after long periods of inactivity, such as sleeping. Currently treating it with anti inflammatories and daily stretchng exercise. It is more of an annoyance than a disability, and it has not stopped me from doing some fun stuff over the year, such as the Mud run, or play a bit of football. I just suffer for it a bit more than I usually would the following day..

The year did have its good points though. I had managed to convince the BNZ to let me work only 4 days a week, and I spent the other day working at Auckland Zoo as a volunteer. Not normally a fan of Zoo’s but Auckland isn’t too bad, and when I got work helping to Keepers I got up close and personal with some amazing Animals, including taking Cheetahs for walks, and feeding Tigers.

I gained my residency in march 2007, and have only just left work, so the BNZ wasn’t too bad. mainly because of the people that I eventually worked with. Especially one specific person, a Beautfiul English lady called Sinead (Irish mother), who started work last May. We got on so well that we ended up causing a lot of office gossip, and eventually decided to rent a flat together. 🙂
We also got up to some fun stuff, doing a few “adventure” races which seem to be very popular here in NZ for the mega fit all the way down to people like us who were just in it for fits and giggles..

So we were starting to settle a we bit in Auckland, and even had a fantastic flat with a million dollar view over Auckland Harbour.

But I came to New Zealand to do something different, and would not be happy stuck in an office for much longer, so spent the last few months wondering whether to go back and try the outdoor thing again, or try something different.

Was told about a course that my Kiwi mate mark had applied for a few years ago. A masters degree in Science Communication, with an option to specialize in Film-making. basically the opportunity to learn how to make Natural History films from some of the best in the business.
After a hasty application, and then a very short phone interview which I was convinced I had flunked I was offered a place on the course.
Only thing was, it was in Dunedin – the far south of the South Island, and was starting in 3 months. A lot of soul searching and discussions with Sinead, we both agreed it was an oppotunity not to be missed.
So we both quit our jobs at the BNZ, must to the consternation of our boss who was losing two employees, and after a few farewell do’s, lots of paperwork, and some packing, we set off on a road trip with two carfuls of stuff to travel 1500km down from Auckland down to Dunedin for me to start a new exciting chapter in my life as a poor student, and for Sinead to wonder what she was going to do in Dunedin (there is always the cadburies factory), and why she had left a perfectly good job in Auckland and followed me down to the cold end of the country.

Next chapter – the road trip, Me, Sinead, Bruce (my new pet Mantis) and a slightly famous celebrity in tow..


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