The next adventure was north of Auckland to the Bay of Islands area. Jane, one of the program managers, brought all 16 students in my program to the bay to stay the weekend at her parent's(Kieth and Aylsa) house. The house is right on the water and fairly secluded.
I wondered where they were going to put 16 college students for two nights, but they had it covered. Their backyard was dotted with campers that reminded me slightly of the one down by the Kaskaskia river back home. These were of course in better repair, but the beds inside were about a foot too short for me, so I had to use some inventive sleeping techniques. The chickens that roamed the yard also reminded me a bit of home, and it was fun seeing how the east coast city dwellers handled the birds. For example, Ben, who looks scared of the little hen.The first evening and next day could be spent as we liked. We layed around on the beach, swam in the cold, clear water, and went cayaking around the bay while others went on a fishing trip. This was the first time everyone had been together since school started, and it was nice sharing stories. Saturday evening we held a boche ball tourny, and I was part of the winning duo. Our prizes were stuffed animals, but I'm sure I can find someone who will want it.
Sunday was more structured, but not in a bad way. We caught an early cruise around the bays. During the trip we saw dolphins and awesome scenery. There is a large hole in one of the rocks in the bay and the boats drive through it sometimes. Our driver wouldn't do it though, and said the water was too rough. I think we needed a better captain.
Before returning to Auckland, we stopped the site of a historic treaty signing between the native Maori and the Pahkia (Europeans). It was an interesting walk through the grounds, but it seemed like the treaty itself had many unkept promises similar to the U.S and the Native American tribes.
The weekend was great, and the only thing we had to pay for was lunch on Sunday! That was very helpful at the rate I had been going through money.
Now I still need to post about Cape Reinga, all of semester break, and Raglan, so expect more soon.