Archive for January, 2014

My Grandpa

My grandpa meant a lot to me. I owe him largely for where I am today. He provided for my childhood, my education, and my future. He pushed me to put be my best in life. Sometimes I would get impatient with him, like when he would come over to my house with a letter that I had sent him, just to talk about the spelling mistakes that I had made. He meant well though, and I always try to read things over now before I click send because I remembered that lesson. I can thank him for that. My grandpa loved me. I think he sometimes struggled to show that, but I know that through his actions he did. The other day I went fishing with a friend and I was reminded of the first time I ever went fishing. It was with my grandpa. He had bought me a purple kids tackle box and a plastic fishing pole. I can’t remember if I caught anything, but I do remember that we were at the river and we spent time together. When I was really little, he used to feed one maraschino cherry to me with a special little fork everything I left his house. This was our special thing. I always looked forward to it, and sometimes, if I was lucky I would get two. When I was a teenager, we also shared time together when we had pet rats. Although many people think they are vermin, we learned together that rats are very intelligent and clean pets. When they died we buried them behind his house and had a little funeral for each one. We even wrote out a family tree of them and I still have it today. It has his handwriting and I will always keep it. I cherish these memories. When his memory started getting worse, I wasn’t really sure what to think. I tried to be patient. Then he went into the hospital. As dementia took over his mind I noticed that he was always happy. I almost think he seemed most happy during these times than when I knew him before, I think this was because though his life was hard, raising 5 kids on his own, working as a doctor, that even though I know he wasn’t perfect, I believe that at the end of his life he was at peace. He knew that God would take care of him no matter what happened, that God had him in the palm of his hand and loved him and forgave him just as he wants to forgive each person. The last real conversation I had with my grandpa was when he was in the hospital that first time. We were wheeling him to the hospital chapel. Everyone else was talking amongst themselves. I was at his side and he made it a point to tell me this, “We all go through hard times, but the most important thing to remember is this: Make sure you put Jesus first.” I believe I will see my grandpa again in heaven some day when Jesus returns. I look forward to that day.












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An overdue update

Hey there,

So much has happened. After the Seniors left school for exams I spent time getting ready for the next year. I made pretty good head way. I finished the school year and am now on summer holiday. I’m feeling pretty good about teaching a second year. I’ve been in New Zealand for one year and 1 1/2 months. I’ve had my second Christmas in New Zealand.

My housemate has been married and her new husband moved in, so I and our other housemate have moved next door to another house that was empty. Her cousin will be joining us as well. The great thing about this new house is that it has a nice spot for a garden and I’ve taken full advantage of it. I’ve planted lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, sweet basil, artichokes, zucchini, parsley, thyme, oregano, and watermelons.  It’s so cool. It makes me happy just looking at it. I was blessed to have a friend of a friend with a lounge suite that they wanted to give away, so they have given it to me. My house mate’s parents have helped us out with a fridge, washing machine and lawn mower. I got a great deal on a bed too and some pots and pans.


I’ve also decided to take up tramping, which is also known as backpacking in the states. I have a pack, boots, sleeping bag and mat, a tent, a camping stove… I’m pretty excited about that too. I’m hoping to see parts of New Zealand that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t tramp through it.

I’ve been hearing about the snow storms up in the states and the polar vortex. I hope everyone is warm enough.



I have done a little bit of traveling and site seeing this holiday, but not as much as last summer. I saw Castle Point and the Patuna chasms, which is a canyon in a river that you get to walk up and around and then back through. It was beautiful. It would be great to go back and do it again some time. New Zealand has so many tracks and things to see though. On New Years we went camping and walked up a river and floated back down on tubes and blow up boats. That was really fun. Pictures of that are on a different camera so I’ll post them a little later since I’m having trouble getting those photos onto my computer.

I have a goal of going on at least 5 tramps this year so I’m excited to show you how it goes. I also have a goal to make a friend from the community this year as well. And I’ve made good headway, I thought it would be a bit harder, and that it would take longer than it has, but I did meet a girl at a cafe the other day. I asked her if she was into tramping and she was. So, I’ll be going with her and her friends to do the Tongariro crossing in a few weeks.

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Also, sometimes I do get an inkling that I do in fact like the snow. Perhaps this is because Christmas here is in summer. But at any rate, I think I miss having four complete seasons a little bit. I’m thinking I may start my application for permanent residence soon. I’ve posted some more pictures of the last several months. You can check them out here. (click the word here).

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