All of us awoke on Thursday bracing for a hard day ahead of us which would end on Saturday evening in NZ – they are almost a day ahead in time and space from the USA. Preparations included charging our IPods and laptops for a 13 hour voyage across the world. Hugs and kisses to our beloveds were exchanged with an assurance that we would return with shield in hand or on it. We set sail to the mysterious Kiwi Land as Spartans courageous and weary of the job at hand.
Check in was perhaps the most eventful part of the journey. A young maiden, whose name one of our teammates, Ranveer Kundi, had suspiciously discovered and befriended on facebook, distracted our minds for an hour or so before we boarded our extraordinary craft. The word extraordinary in this case is not at all misplaced or overstated. Almost all of us agreed that the IPad like device that lay in front of every voyagers face was equivalent to an IPod or laptop filled with music, movies, and other appliances that offered a distraction from flight-sickness and even boredom. In addition, the hostesses were extremely hospitable and kind to every passengers’ needs. People, Air New Zealand is the bees’ knees.
Once we landed, we braced ourselves for what our coach said was going to be a thorough search by the New Zealand customs officials. To our relief it was a much more relaxed process and only our unfortunate teammate Mohan Gandhi was moderately tormented by the officials due some banana bread that he could not let go of.
As we travelled from the airport to our motel, we were discouraged to find that our coach Chris Clements was the only Hobbit to be found in the magical land of New Zealand. Nevertheless, the knowledgeable native kiwi guided us through the city to a mall, which we enjoyed for three hours while the staff procured supplies so that we could cook meals on our own. Afterwards, he along with another one of his kiwi friends took us to a historical bomb shelter that all of us thoroughly enjoyed. We felt as if we needed to digress to a younger age and pretend that we were actual soldiers wandering through the tunnels and fighting off enemies, such as those in Call of Duty. Don’t judge us; it was very fun. We were all very relieved when we returned to the motel and were allowed to finally fall asleep. We had arrived in New Zealand at about 7 in the morning and were required to stay awake till at least 10 at night. It was not easy and we jumped at the opportunity to finally rest our poor powerless selves. It’s off to bed with an excitement to explore more of New Zealand tomorrow. Peace.
Liam Walsh and Ajai Dhadwal