Thursday, February 25, 2010
Kia Ora (hello) from New Zealand
We arrived to New Zealand exhausted. Our flight was late at night and when we arrived at the Auckland airport, we could barely keep our eyes open. New Zealand is in the same time zone as Fiji but it is farther south. We had to go through customs which is normal when you enter a country to make sure that you are not bringing in anything that you are not supposed to. Meat, fruit, and vegetables are things not usually allowed. In New Zealand, you also cannot bring in honey, shells, sand, flowers, or mud. They even check your shoes and they have dogs that sniff around for other things. The dog started barking at the lady in front of us and when they checked her bag, she had 3 flowers from Fiji. They made her throw them away! We stayed in Auckland for a couple of days which is the biggest city in New Zealand. That doesn't mean much though...the entire country of New Zealand only has 4 million people living on it. We have that many people living in Colorado which is only one state of our entire country! Auckland is called the City of Sails because of all of the sailboats there. They even have a big sailing tournament every year called the America's Cup. It has been going on for a long time but New Zealand didn't win it until 2002 (the USA wins a lot!) The other interesting think about New Zealand is that is is part of the Commonwealth (the British Empire). That means that they still follow certain guidelines set forth by the queen (or king) of England. They are an independent country and have their own leader (a prime minister named John Key)but they also follow some rules of England. Those of you who were in my class know that we fought a war...the Revolutionary War...to become independent from England and after that war we said that we would no longer follow any of their rules so we are not part of the Commonwealth!