Search This Blog

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Whole New World

Place: I’ve been told there is supposedly a hole in the ozone layer, making the sun extremely powerful causing sunburns in just 15 minutes. Didn’t think an ozone layer would be able to make me so happy. If you know me at all you know I love the summer, the sun, the heat and, the beach therefore I have no choice but to love the New Zealand weather, which meets all criteria to be perfect. When we arrived in Tauranga on the 18th we were taken to have lunch on the beach at The Mount. At that moment I knew I would love the location. No matter what window you look out you will be greeted by palm trees, hills (mountains by Oklahoma standards) unbelievably green grass, and clear blue skies.

I have yet to attempt driving on the left side of the road and I’ve come close to several heart attacks thinking I’m about to be in a car accident before I realize where I am again. Fuel here is over $7 a gallon so remember to be thankful this Thanksgiving for you $3 a gallon gas prices.

People: a few members of the Greerton congregation who made a lovely banner welcoming Natalie and I to the country greeted us at the airport. They were all extremely nice and so excited that we finally arrived after months of delays. Among these people were Rod and Heather Taylor who we will be staying with through January so we can find our own place and get settled into the culture. Mike and Tammy welcomed us with the pleasant surprise of Mike’s American (Texan) accent. Tammy is a Kiwi who moved to the states and met and married Mike. The two moved to New Zealand about a year ago with Tammy’s two kids (Jon and Laura) to work full time with the Greerton congregation. After being here for almost a week I have met a huge number of people which I would love to talk about individually but I’m not in college anymore and don’t feel like writing a 12 page paper EVER again. In general, the people here are laid back, friendly, love to talk, and most of all give you food. Which will be the segue to my next topic…

Food: The food is one of the most interesting/weird/different things about New Zealand and my mom will be shocked to hear about the food I have actually consumed and liked knowing how picky I am. A few of the bizarre New Zealand delicacies that stand out would be toast topped with a poached egg and baked beans. Call me crazy or just really hungry, but I loved it. Yes, Mom…I ate beans…Sorry for being so difficult the last 23 years. Toast, eggs, and, baked beans are all things you can find in America, but you wouldn’t find them put together but then there is Marmite (New Zealand’s original yeast spread…yeah, YEAST. SPREAD.) You will probably NEVER see that the states. The ingredients are as follows: yeast, sugar, salt, mineral salt, wheat maltodextrin, colour (caramel III), herbs, spices, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate B12, mineral iron, barley, wheat, soy. It is eaten on toast with lettuce and cheese and it’s VERY salty. Looks like chocolate, does NOT taste like chocolate. No Worries, there is of course a McDonalds here along with Wendy’s, Burger King and KFC. When I’m feeling homesick I will visit these places and search the town for Dr. Pepper!

Work: We didn’t waste any time. Getting to work. On Friday after we went to get our own cell phones we headed to the church building for “Kids Fun Friday.” KFF is an after school extended to all the kids in the Greerton schools. This past week there for 20 kids, which is the highest number that has ever attended. The children do crafts, make snacks, and then there is a movie and popcorn to help illustrate the days theme. Right now the kids are learning the 10 commandments. After KFF the high school ages kids came to the building for a movie/devo night where we all made our own pizza. There were only three kids that we able to come because most of the older ones are in the middle of school exams, which time a lot to study and prepare for. We will be involved in a number of other activities that I can’t wait to tell you all about when those things start to take place.

I apologize for how long this is, but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. I will try and update as much as possible and will be sending out my News letter at the beginning of every month. Thank you all for you prayers and support. If you would like to help out financially you can do so by clicking the “Donate” button at the top or mail checks to Memorial Road Church of Christ 2221 Memorial Road. Edmond, Ok 73013. In the Memo line put “Becca Smith-HIM”

Love and miss you all!


p.s. This is my address for the next couple of months.

Becca Smith

16 Tom Muir Drive


Tauranga, 3112

New Zealand

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pack it up, pack it in.

Yesterday marked one week till my departure. It's a very strange feeling. I have yet to begin packing because I keep making excuses. My current excuse is that I need caffeine to motivate me/ today is my nephew, Joe's 4th birthday so I should be hanging out with him and buying him the smarties that he asked for.

It seems like every time I try to begin packing, my room becomes an even bigger mess and I somehow keep finding more stuff that I've completely forgotten about. I've become nostalgic lately by going through boxes of old pictures and notes from high school and the early years of college. This of course is making it harder to pack when I'm constantly getting side tracked by old prom pictures (which are pretty embarrassing and hilarious.)

I haven't had a plane crash dream in about a week, so I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Prayers and donations are always welcomed. :)

6 days.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

November 16th

It's official. I have purchased my airline tickets to New Zealand and will be departing on November 16th! Applying for the visa has been more than stressful, so I'm actually going to wait to apply till I get to NZ.

Why didn't I do this in the first place you might ask? GOOD QUESTION, but had ONE THING actually gone the right way, I would have had my visa in August. I didn't anticipate the problems that would arise so I wasn't in a huge hurry 4 months ago. The difference in applying here or there really isn't much different at all. If I already had my visa before I left then I would just buy a one-way ticket and be done with it. Since I'm waiting till I'm there to apply I had to buy a roundtrip ticket (which was actually a better something DID work out in my favor!) I will be flying out of OKC at 10:58 am where I will then go to LAX and have an exciting 9-hour layover before I commence a 14-hour flight to NZ. Sounds like a long day to me!

As you might have noticed, I've added a paypal link to the upper right portion of my blog for a more convenient method of contribution! No Pressure's just your soul. (I'm kidding, obviously.)

Speaking of fundraising....It's beginning to pick up, and just in time! Prayer really does work!!! I have enough money now for the first year and I hope year-two funds will start to come in soon!

Over this past weekend I got to spend a lot of time with my family. Everyone (except one brother-in-law ) came to Duncan for my family going away party. Considering there are 26 people in my immediate family I would say we did pretty good getting 25 out of 26 in the same place at the same time. I loved getting to spend the time with all my siblings and the kids playing whiffle ball and watching movies! I got a few going away gifts like a cookbook compiled of family recipes but I think the best thing would have to be a ticket to the World Series game 5 from my brother, Ryan.

As much fun as I have with my friends and family, I'm really excited to see what God has in store for me in the beautiful Tauranga, New Zealand!!!

Yep, that is an active volcano in the town where I will be living. I think those are Great Whites swimming around it too......

*disclaimer: It's 12:55 am and I have no intention of proof reading my blog for errors tonight. SORRY!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's here!


What does this mean? I can FINALLY send off for my Visa, which if all goes smoothly will return in 20 days!

As a surprise to some people, I DO NOT have an arrest you can clearly see! (Well, maybe not so clearly since the picture is backwards and I can't figure out how to fix that...)

Keep praying for things to go smoothly! Natalie is having problems with insurance and lab work for the visa, so hopefully that will get taken care of in time for us to leave the beginning of November!

New Zealand, I can't wait to meet you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Just in: November 1st

I promised myself I would update my blog more than once a month.....and I also promised I wouldn't blog until I could answer my favorite question (not) "When are you leaving?"

The reason I thought the two promises were doable was because I didn't think it would be over a month til I had the answer!

When am I leaving? November 1st.

My background check was finally processed which means I can now send in my Visa Application which will take 20 days to be processed....that is, unless they find something wrong with it and "it gets out in a pile and takes forever" Immigrations words.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this ONE thing go smoothly for me!

Now that things are actually coming together this means a few things:
1. I have to start packing.

2. I have to raise $10, if anyone has a rich uncle looking for a tax write off, let me know.

3. I have to find the perfect halloween costume for my last family Halloween party for two years. (I'll take suggestions)

4. Say my good byes :(
Keep me and Natalie (my teammate) in your prayers for everything to go smoothly!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"So...When Are You Leaving?"

The title of this post is inspired by the question I get asked AT LEAST four times a day. (12 times is the current record...don't try to beat it)

As of right now, I can't answer that question because I don't know. No....that doesn't mean I'm having second thoughts or backing out.

There are a few reasons my departure has been delayed.

1. I've never tried to immigrate to another country I don't exactly know what I'm doing.
I sent off for a background check back in May. I thought I was so on top of things until I found out I sent off for the wrong one. So, I'm in the process of waiting for the NEW back ground check. The big set back with this, is that once I finally do get my background check back I still have to send in my visa and wait for THAT to be processed. I have a source that says he can get my visa back in 3 days for a few extra, and totally worth it bucks. I'm also awaiting the arrival of my lab work for my medical certificate, but I am confident I will have that in about three days from now.

2. FUNdraising (ironic that word is in there.)
I have been EXTREMELY blessed by MRCC, friends, and family for all the support. I only need about $1o,000 more to have my full amount of financial support. I've been told that most of the HIM workers don't have the full amount when they leave so I'm confident that I will be able to raise those funds while I'm gone and in this short (hopefully) time that I am still here.

On a lighter more cheerful note.....

I talked to Caleb Vanbuskirk (the HIM worker currently in NZ) and he was telling me about some of the work that Natalie and I would be involved in over the next two years and I'm very excited about it....
*Most of the youth we will be working with are girls so we will have a lot of responsibility in teaching classes.
*There are various after school programs in the public schools we will be volunteering for a few days a week.
*We will be encouraged to go out into the community and meet people through our hobbies.....I am told that New Zealand has the most golf courses in the world per capita :)
*Visit members of the congregation. This will be important and exciting in the beginning to get to know everyone!!

That is all I have for now. I promise it wont be another month before I update again and as soon as I know when I'm leaving I will let facebook, twitter, and my blog readers know!

*disclaimer: If you comment on this blog post and ask when I'm leaving there will be consequences!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blogging self esteem issues.

There are a few things I must address before I can actually start blogging...

1. I'm not sure how I feel about the title of my blog.
If you have a better suggestion, let me know. The reason I am somewhat self-conscious about my blog title is because I used to make fun of everyone else's. So yeah, if you're reading this and you have a blog....I might have made fun of your title so feel free to judge me and I apologize because I now know it is a very difficult thing to come up with...for me anyway. Also, if you are wondering what my title even means, let me explain. I'm going to New Zealand, and the people there are called "Kiwi's" so the lovely Katy Gustafson so cleverly called me a Kiwi Seed. moving on.

2. I have blogger anxiety.
Although everyone loves to hear everything I have to say... (sarcasm, obviously) ....ACTUALLY I have the anxiety that nobody really cares and that my blogs will be boring and worst of all....NOT FUNNY. (Not being funny = my biggest fear) To help me with my blogging anxiety, I encourage comments from all of my readers (....if i have any)

3. I just want to say that I will try my hardest to have an entertaining blog to keep readers from getting bored and coming back for more. I promise that if i don't have a good story to tell I will either, not blog or I will make a really good one up.