|Felt really good to haul these back to the library!|
On the plane ride back from the conference a couple weeks ago, I sat next to a guy doing his PhD in Tourism at Lincoln University, and since they actually put some effort into making international students feel welcome and giving them the chance to meet other people, he works in a kind of international development role and puts on activities for them. Anyway, he invited me to their last get-together for the semester at a Mexican restaurant this past week so D and I went and had a good time meeting other international students from Lincoln. A couple of them even used to go to our university but much prefer Lincoln because it is smaller and has a more welcoming environment. The food was not quite what we expect from Mexican food, but such it is in New Zealand. There was a student from the U.S. there and we were talking presidential politics across the long table -- several of the students from China were just listening intently and after we said we should stop because we were boring them, they said oh no, we weren't boring them; they find it fascinating how Americans get all into political discussions. They were a nice bunch of students, very full of energy and excitement. It's nice to have a break from the normal routine and hear about what other people are doing with their lives.
Despite a week with cold weather, Halloween turned out to be a nice, warm day. We brought a taste of America to New Zealand with our Halloween party, and folks enjoyed the theme, the food, and the carving of pumpkins (first time for most of them). We played some Halloween Pictionary and took the pumpkins outside in the dark to light them up with tea lights. I think this part really amazed some of them -- to see their own carved creation lit up with fire! And we got lots more trick-or-treaters this year -- I believe the balloons and sign on the mailbox helped. Still had to flag down one group that were about to pass us by. Very reluctant over here.
|missing items weren't ready yet: cheesecake, boo cups, and garlic bread|
|forgot to capture pumpkin cheesecake at the beginning|
|boo cups had melted ghosts but were still tasty|
|"feely boxes" with marshmallows, cold noodles, & crushed pineapple|
|got the biggest squash/pumpkins we could|
|they carved up pretty nicely|
|These are ours -- I was going for a round mouth but failed!|
|Some of our friends' happy pumpkins :)|