NZA Group C begin their adventure!

Touchdown in Australia! I think I can speak for us all when I say we were all pretty anxious to arrive to begin our adventures with the completely charming and winsome “land down under .” As we slowly begin to learn culture and the lingo, we are yet to see a dingo! The long plane put me in the mindset of ancient voyagers. The flight was long and intense at times but it ‘twas the start of our journey. We were greeted with the most cheerful and wonderful attitudes. Everyo… Read more

Plunging into permaculture

Today at 10am, our group of thirteen packed up our bags from our final project site. Our past week at The Crossing was one of the most influential of the program. The Crossing is a non-profit organization started by two wonderful, kind-hearted individuals named Annette and Dean. Their dream was to "provide conservation education experiences that develop young people's capacity to live more sustainably". They wholeheartedly believe that these experiences foster health an… Read more

Hello from Aus!

Hello from Aus! After a few mishaps which may or may not have involved lost luggage and a passport misplaced several hundred miles away, it is a true miracle that I am drafting this blog post from a van carrying the full crew. We said goodbye to New Zealand with heavy hearts, but it has been difficult to dwell on missing the Kiwis because the first week in country #2 of this insane experience has been a whirlwind of adventures launching us headfirst into life in 'straya.… Read more

High Tides & Good Vibes

The week we were waiting for had finally arrived: surf camp! The morning of our travel day, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and passion fruit courtesy of Jess. After stuffing our bellies, we packed up our bags, piled into the van, and headed off to Crescent Head. We were all pretty excited; the place was definitely a step up from what we were used to (generally camping in the wilderness) and the idea of a pool, volleyball court, and the three meals a… Read more

Our first week down under!

Immediately after landing in Australia, we drove a couple hours north to the Noosa Everglades where we would start our second canoe trip of the program. We had a casual first night: swimming in the lake, having barbequed kangaroo, and watching at least 25 roos hopping around our campsite. We only saw a couple of joey's poking out of their mama's pouches. Yep, we're well and truly in the land down under, complete with Steve Irwin, shaggy blonde surfers, fluff ball koalas… Read more

Glacier Hiking in Franz Josef

7am: My alarm clock rang, and I lept out of my cozy bed and ran into the hallway and quickly ran to the kitchen.  After breakfast, I threw on the warmest clothes I could find: thermal gear, a fleece sweater, and comfortable woolen socks. With a small group of fellow students, we walked to the glacier tours building. There, they outfitted us with even warmer clothing, but replaced my beloved socks with a more glacier-approved version. As we got ready, the guides briefed u… Read more

The Arapawa Dolphins

Our group spent two days in New Zealand volunteering in the Marlborough Sounds.  We helped create a paththrough the bush for the Department of Conservation to use during a biodiversity operation.  Clearing the path was hard work but very rewarding.  In addition to strenuous work, the island provided breathtaking vistas, lots of wind, and close encounters with spectacular wildlife. We saw stingrays andhad our first encounters with the devious and unrelenting assault of t… Read more

Friends, Family, & Fun

The first sight as I stepped into the Auckland airport was a tan, bearded man in a PD shirt, bathing suit and shoeless feet. That's Andy, our instructor . He's a local here in New Zealand. Have we seen him wear shoes? Only once. The next face we would meet is a small blonde running at us for a hug and calling us by name. Yes, we were a bit scared of this enthusiasm, but that's Laurel for you. Laurel is our other instructor from the States who has yet to let a smile fall… Read more

The Kahurangi Experience

Following our adventures tracking the possum on Arapawa island, our group loaded up the van and drove to Nelson. After spending a couple of days relaxing, including an amazing dinner hosted by Pacific Discovery's founders Scott and Rachel Sanson, it came time to prepare for our backpacking trip. On the surface, packing for the trip seemed simple enough: buy some light food at the supermarket, throw your clothes into a backpack, grab a trangia (cooking stove) and a tent … Read more

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