Monday has finally come and gone, far exceeding my expectations for a first day of school. With 9 am, another orientation; this time, I was to meet all the people in my specific college and later, the environmental studies program. After sitting down to read the sweetest news article I've read in a very long time, (http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6521912/Proposal-to-wedding-in-six-hours)
a fair skinned freckle faced guy sits down beside me, red faced and huffing. He says “I so underestimated those hills.” Me too friend, meeee too. Excited that I’m not the only one who looks like a hot mess traipsing around Wellington, I decided to befriend this gentleman. We discussed the normal things – name, where are you from, what are you studying. Michael, Petroleum Geology, New Zealand, Germany, and Ghana. That is the great thing about this city. You never know who will drop right into your life at any given second. Further, you certainly cannot even begin to imagine all the wonderful things that have been a part of their life, and how they may influence yours in the process. As divine humor would have it, a climate change major and an oil exploration major are paired together at the start! Michael and I waited in line for our postgraduate pictures then ventured out for coffee on the sunny porch of Milk & Honey. En route, we swooped up three more new friends in our program. Tagan, Mark, and Aidan. Tagan, a lovely girl from New Zealand, invited us out on her boat for a sail. Tagan and her partner decided that it was a better idea to just buy a boat and live in the harbor than pay rent. These are people after my own heart. Around five a clock, a group of us met at the harbor to set sail. Scrumpy’s in hand, we were off.
Our able sailors raised the canopy into the sky as we watched Wellington Harbor drift away behind us. Michael donned a captain’s hat and took the helm, which probably should have scared me more than it did. Fishing poles out, it was game time. Johann, a former commercial fisherman from Wellington (and a popular man with the ladies), caught the first and only fish that we saved. This red cod was an easy five pounds with a mouth the size of a grapefruit. Next catch, a small shark. The reef tipped shark was wrapped up in a towel and released. Poles were all in use, so I picked up a hand roll and put some squid on the end. After a few minutes of sailing along, I felt a pull.
“Is that a bite? Yes, that’s a bite. Shit, that’s a pull. I need a real pole. How do I do this? Roll up the string. Aaand we’re rolling. Roll roll roll. I see a fin. I see a dorsal fin. Um, that’s a shark! How do I reel in a shark with my hands?! I’m not putting my hand in that mouth for the hook. Oh, he’s prettyyyyyy.”
The thought process pretty much went like that. Never fear, he was taken off the hook and sent back home with his family. Total catch – 4 sharks, one cod, one eel, and a rather large barracuda.
As night fell, the sunset wrapped around us. It formed a sort of arc towards the south and made way for the stars that were slowly becoming visible in the night sky. On this rare clear night, the southern sky of stars blanketed the ceiling above us, and the moon reflected in the ripples below us. On the walk home, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for all that has led me to this point in life. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.