PS We arrived!
09 December 2011 | Opua, New Zealand
I could tell you about the excitement of seeing the beacon's light twinkling in the distance, the scent of wet land and flowers as we approached, the feeling of achievement we had from arriving in New Zealand, but all those descriptions are a distant memory and so much has happened since then. So I'll just update you with the basics in a summary kind of blog. Get used to it, I won't be having the time to indulge in daily blogs much longer!
Customs was a breeze and we got to keep most of our food (except fresh fruit and veg) and all of our treasured shells. We arrived on the Saturday and on the Sunday evening Stephen, our new next boat neighbour, was heading down to Auckland the next morning, so Mark arranged for me to have a lift (no rest for the wicked.)
I've just come back from a very successful trip – job, school, marina all sorted out. I will be working with a private speech and language therapist 4 days a week in Albany, Auckland. It sounds like just the kind of job that is perfect for me for a year – see the kids, go home. I will be taking on some ASD kids (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) which will be a new interesting challenge for me.
The Marina is called Westpark and in the west. It has shops, post office, dentist, the usual around. As we are overseas, we can live aboard and the school is within walking distance from the marina. That's called Hobsonville Primary and has 600 kids, so it will be interesting for the kids to go to something larger than Bel Royal (or home schooling!) Mia will be in the same year, but Lochy will be in the year below due to the year cut offs being April/May instead of Aug/Sept. Luckily his class is a split class with the year above, so there will be scope for him doing stuff he'd be doing at home if needs be.
We are going back to Auckland on Wednesday for a 'meet the teacher day.' Then schools break up for the summer holidays and their first day of term will be 1st February. The same day I start work. Thank goodness Grandma will be here to help out :-)
So, we're going to be in Opua for Christmas – there's a nice yachtie community and Richard is here – someone I sailed across the Atlantic with all those years back. He continued on to NZ and then never left Opua! He's been fantastic, lending us his car when he is at work, showing the kids the cockpit of the car ferry that he drives past us every day. We're on the dock for ease and a change!
The kids have already adopted a dog to take for walks and Lochy has done a Tae Kwondo class and loved it. We're meeting Santa today and the Christmas tree is up. After we've filled in the visa, tax, SLT membership, school entry forms, we can (nearly) kick back and relax for Christmas.