I am now sitting on a soft bed, drinking tap water from an orange cup for the first time. The weather is cool for a summer evening, at least for me whose summer in Thailand is always hot and sweaty. The gentle breeze from the ocean across the flat guarantees that tonight’s sleep will be pleasant. Yes, I made it to Tauranga, New Zealand, the destination I had been dreaming of – not just its natural beauty but of the place God called me to indulge in His word and to grow even more into His likeness.
My journey from Bangkok was bearable although definitely not enjoyable. The total time of flying was 11 hours, excluding 2-hours layover. Before I departed, I was so busy making final in-country arrangements and packing my bags that I forgot to be emotional (which was a good thing…somehow I have gotten used to leaving and saying goodbye) and that I would be on a different side of the ocean from my family for two years. This is different from me living in Chiang-Mai because New Zealand is a whole different culture. Plus, the distance is great; and the freedom of coming and going to visit each other is limited. So when I turned to wave goodbye to my family for the last time, a wave of emotions surged into my heart. Suddenly, there was a lump in my throat; and I had to blink away my tears.
There’s not much to tell about flying, except that I was surprised by the amount of food and drinks they served. I flew with Qantas to Sydney. During the flight, their dinner included biscuit and cheese, Thai glass-noodle salad, pasta with creamy chicken and mango panna cotta with lychee pearls. In the morning, after only a few hours later, they served breakfast of spiced apple muffin, yoghurt and coffee! Then I flew with LAN airlines from Sydney to Auckland, and they served ham and cheese sandwich with fresh fruit. What surprised me more was not the quantity but the quality. I have had the impression that the food on board was crappy. This was not the case for me! Everything was tasty with right temperature for each dish.
Some of the blessings I wanted to count out loud were getting to watch the sunset and sunrise with just only seven hours apart; seeing the Sydney Opera house from the bird’s-eye view and smooth transits in all customs and immigration. After landing in Auckland, two school staff drove me here. I am grateful for arriving on the weekend because I have time to get adjusted and settled in. My flat is very close to the beach. So I reckon that it will be my next favorite walking spot. I share the flat with a Chinese girl, who is three years older than me. Tomorrow I’ll get to meet my classmates at church for the first time. Then Monday is first day of school for me.
So this is a short update. I will write some more in the upcoming week and post some pictures. In the meantime, please say a quick word of praise to the Lord for His carefully laid-out plans and faithfulness in my life. Thank you for reading. Good night, everyone!