It’s our last night in New Zealand. . .
And I’m feeling very bittersweet. I am excited to get home to Minnesota, but there are so many things that I will miss. . .
Dropping Luke off at school.
It’s a relaxed vibe at school in the morning. School officially starts at 8:50 but students are encouraged to get there early to play. I will drop Luke off at school on my way to work around 8:15 and there are always kids hanging out, both outside and in the classrooms.
The teachers are “around” but not supervising in any specific way, and the kids do great at finding activities to do. Some days they’ll be playing soccer or reading books, playing Legos or other games. And Luke always jumps right in. It just felt good.
Starting the work day with karakia. I’m not going to lie, I felt completely out of my comfort zone when the singing and prayers started my first few days of work, but now I look forward to starting the day together. Everyone who is working in clinic that day comes out of their office to be together for about 5 minutes each morning before starting the day. How often do we just get to work, go to our office and stay in our own little world each day in the US? I’ll miss this.
I’ll miss the coffee. Yup, it’s not like Caribou and their large is laughable, but it’s good.
I’ll miss work. Crazy, right? It’s the same job as at home, but it’s less stress, paperwork, etc. It feels less like running a rat race everyday and more like taking care of patients and helping families, while having time for morning tea and actually having a lunch break.
I’ll miss morning tea. And afternoon tea. And having a proper lunch break that allows me to go for a walk and eat lunch. Basically, morning and afternoon tea are our 15 minute coffee breaks. Most of the staff come to the break room to have a bite to eat and take a quick break from the day.
I’ll miss Jake’s daycare. Especially Koka Trish <– his favorite. They have an amazing outdoor play area and they spend a ton of time outside, which is perfect for a little boy.
I’ll miss the ocean and the waves.
I’ll miss peer review. At 2pm on Wednesday for an hour, the doctors have a meeting (typically at the local coffee shop), to discuss interesting or difficult cases, issues with the medical community in town, new information to share, etc. This is invaluable and makes such a difference in connecting with the fellow doctors at the practice and working together.
I’ll miss watching Luke jump his little heart out with his friends on the neighborhood trampolines.
I’ll miss sitting on the deck in our front yard, soaking up the sunshine and the view of the mountains, watching Jake and Luke play with their scooters.
I’ll miss the people.
The friends that I have made. There are some special kiwis here. –> specifically my co-workers, there are some amazing people at Puhi Kaiti Clinic doing wonderful things for the whanau (family) and the local community.
I’ll miss wearing yoga pants to work.
The Indian food. It’s on point. Mango chicken + onion and cheese naan makes everything better in Gisborne.
The word “keen.” As in, I’m keen to try that new smoothie place in town. Or, are you keen to keep taking the medication? Try it, it’s a fun word.
I’ll miss hiking up Kaiti Hill at lunchtime. Those views never get old.
It will be so nice to get back to MN, to be in our own house, sleep in our bed, put kids to bed in their own bedrooms, see friends and family, to resume our “normal” life, but this experience has changed me. I will always miss New Zealand and our life here. While Minnesota is our home, somehow New Zealand has managed to feel like our home too.
We will be back New Zealand.
I’m not sure when and for how long, but we will be back.
Thanks for the memories.