WAY Late: Last week in NZ
My life in the past week/weeks has been a whirlwind. It has all bled into one big puddle combining just about every emotion that one person can feel. The last few days in Wanaka were amazing and just about as perfect as they could possibly be. I had amazing time with friends and the perfect amount of time between finishing work and heading out of town. While it was soo sad leaving all my friends, the time that I had with them was wonderfully joyful and lighthearted at the same time as being vulnerable and real. I was also so blessed to be able to have one last big adventure before I left the country. It was great to have this to look forward to and have that excitement take my mind off leaving Wanaka.
After leaving Wanaka I made my way up to the north island to a place called Tutukaka. There I met up with a guiding company and had a 2 day scuba diving cruise! I got to take 6 dives through the Poor Knights Islands. The reef there is the best in NZ and some of the top diving in the world. The beauty was absolutely mind blowing; it was almost incomprehensible. The islands were about an hour boat ride off of shore; it was a reserve area so the beauty was completely untainted. I would have given any thing to be able to trek around the islands, camp and climb. There were several different archways and caves, my palms sweat at the thought of being able to free climb them and go plunging in to the perfect water. And all of that beauty is just above the water! Once we got in and under it was a whole different world of splendor! There were several archways and caves underwater as well. The colors were incredible, deep blues, bright yellows, neon purple and orange. All the dives were amazing but the last two dives that were my favorite. The first was in this Huge cave with 3 different entrances. This cave must have been at least 50 feet tall. Floating in the center of this cave looking at the light shine through two different entrances in the brilliant blue water, with all this magnificent different life swimming around me, made me realize just how insignificant I am, and just how extraordinary our God is too create all of it. The other dive that was my favorite was the last one of the trip. There was a old battle ship that was striped and sunk on purpose for the marine life. It was really eerie to see this thing at the bottom of the ocean that clearly didn’t belong. The dive itself wasn’t as beautiful as some of the others but it was incredible to see two different worlds collide. There was less clarity and it was a bit more difficult to dive it just because I was slightly disoriented. Swimming around and through this enormous ship my mind wandered like crazy. At one point I was swimming by a port hole, I looked over to see light shining through and fish swimming by. It was as if the fish and I looked at each other and I just imagine us thinking the exact same thing. “That’s strange, you don’t normally see a fish (in their case a human) swimming by when you look through a window.” So on the whole the trip was spectacular.
After that trip I made my way back to Auckland and took some time to repack and get ready for going back to the states. I was blessed enough to be able to visit friends on the west coast before returning to Texas. My flight back was entertaining only because I got to watch 3 different movies, but at the same time it wasn’t wonderful. I only was able to sleep for a little over an hour but I recovered from the jet lag relatively fast. The reverse culture shock arriving in LA was not fun. After being in the most beautiful place in the world, and living in a town that is sooo mellow with no traffic lights; busy, crowded, loud, and smoggy LA was a bit of a slap in the face. My time with my friend Jamie was however wonderful. I was also blessed to be able to spend a week with one of my very closest friends ever in the wonderful city of Seattle. My time there was perfect. I was able to have amazing conversations that were both challenging and encouraging, also I had great time to rest and reflect. And on top of all of that Natalie was the perfect person to transition with. She is not only an amazing encouraging friend, but she also knew exactly what I was going through with my transaction since she moved back from Australia not to long ago.
It was so great to be blessed to have time to go see Jamie and Natalie. I am really looking forward to seeing friends up in Denton as well. I know that being back visiting may be a bit strange seeing how things have changed and evolved. I am just looking forward to catching up and having more great conversations.