2 weeks is actually not a lot of time. Those fortnight holidays feel like they’re over in a blink. You miss your dog a little, but before you know it they’re back wagging their tale featuring in all your snapchats and trying to steal your pizza. (I’m really missing mine). It’s been a crazy 2 weeks here. After the (rather long indeed) flight, I arrived at my temporary home for the next 3 weeks. Miraculously, I got struck down with next to no jet lag, how, I’m still baffled. One of the first impressions of this country was just how incredibly friendly, helpful and united everybody is. There’s a real sense of community.
This is none more so than the people I’ll be working with for the foreseeable future. It’s been a great introduction at work, and I’ve already got to know some very interesting and genuinely great people. We’ve also had many laughs, mostly at my expense, but laughs nonetheless.
One of the most interesting things has been seeing the variety of people passing through the hotel. Currently its host to some of the team from the NASA plane SOFIA – the researchers apparently on the hunt to find the centre of the galaxy. Their work is relentless and incredibly technical, but their tales to tell and the vivid images they depict are mind blowing.
It’s clear that this country is a scenic haven. In Christchurch, the view of the Southern Alps crop up continuously in the distance, there to always remind you that this place emerged out of the ocean with some of the best views in the world. I went for a walk in the south of the city along some cliff tops, The Godley Head walks, over looking a small suburb called Taylor’s Mistake. It sounds like something out of a movie, and it really looked like it. The views were just breath taking, but I couldn’t help but feel this was only 10% of what this place has to offer.
I learned a few days ago that Christchurch serves as the last hub before people head off to Antarctica, and that the US Antarctic programme have a heavy presence from October. It will be an interesting time, meeting people doing research on the ever shrinking poles, getting first hand opinions on climate change and how the world is changing in real terms.
All in all, a great first 2 weeks, setting a fantastic precident and a course for how my remaining time here will pan out.