just the ordinary…

•May 19, 2008 • 2 Comments

It’s always weird when something completely out of your ordinary life (ie. living in new zealand, working at a ski resort, and living with foreigners) starts to become more routine. I think the reasons I haven’t updated this blog in about a month is because I just haven’t felt like I’ve had anything terribly exciting to write about… I dont really think things are getting boring here or anything like that, but rather just a process into normalcy, where things are becoming more normal. Believe me there are things here that will NEVER feel normal but there are also many things like, coming back to a warm house, going to work every weekday morning and going to the grocery store that make life seem very familiar at times.

Through this process I have realized that traveling is much different than living in another country… I think that boundary is crossed when you do things like: Paying rent, setting up internet and phone lines in your home, buying a car and trying to sustain yourself by finding a job and earning money. After encountering and effectuating these things your travel experience becomes something quite different.

In retrospect however things have been quite good. There is something that is nice about calling a place home even if it is unfamiliar. Theres something about making a place your own that is simply comforting, it has your accents and it has your personality… sometimes I often see my place of residence as a projection of my self through wood, sheet rock and steel.

moving on,

things between Carly and I have been doing really well we’ve had some amazing conversations about life, relationships and experiences. I would be lying if I said there haven’t been difficulties but we really have been growing closer together everyday, despite over 2000 miles of ocean between us. I miss her more than I have ever missed anyone and know that we are going to make it through this time apart. She is just an amazing woman and there isn’t a day that goes by where i don’t think about her or wish she was experiencing the many different sights sounds smells and tastes of new zealand. She’s truly one of a kind

well, i guess to wrap things up I just to give you some bullet points to sum up the past month.

  • Ive spent a lot of time digging in the dirt/mud @ work. Basically making trenches for high pressure water pipes that they use for snow making guns, yea it sucked
  • I helped the park crew finish their permanent wall ride feature by putting the coping on top and painting it (3 coats… almost 10 gallons of paint!)
  • I’ve DJed 2 times in the past month and have an other gig next weekend in queenstown. Its been a lot of fun… totally threw some D’s and made it rain.
  • I went to a really charismatic church under poor leadership (no credentials and not really educated theologically) and felt really awkward when told that I was to speak in tongues. The gist of the message was that if I ever wanted to cast out evil spirits i had to be able to speak in tongues… what I really needed was some encouragement and some prayer for my struggles at work and from traveling, not an introduction in metaphysical warfare. Needless to say I didn’t return the following week.
  • Ive missed a lot of friends and places (mainly ballard) from back home… I think we are all in need of a pub crawl when I get back… I want to see all your lovely faces at the sloop, matador, kings and the lock and keel. (thanks for so many amazing memories)

MY NEW JOB!!! Do Work Son…

•April 19, 2008 • 4 Comments

Ok, so there might be a little wonder of what I am currently doing in New Zealand. Well, hot off the presses here’s the fresh update. A super post of my new place of Work…

So I work at a place called SNOW PARK NEW ZEALAND, It is basically one chairlift but the entire mountain is a Terrain Park. It is the best and most progressive terrain park in the southern hemisphere and is basically where the majority of pros come to train in the summer season. From what I hear, the only time/place you will ever see more pro riders is during the winter X games. Some of the few who are often seen up here: Shauwn White (when he’s not skating), Travis Rice, Heiki Sorsa, JP Solberg, Sammy Carlson, Tanner Hall, Eddie Wall, Jeremy Jones, Gigi Ruf, Romain DeMarchi, Travis Kennedy and BIG BLACK!!! haha do work son!!!  So needless to say I am pretty stoaked.

Right now I am basically a handyman. I am helping the Park Crew get rails ready for the season (Welding, cutting, painting and prepping) Helping with the dirt moving and earth works to get the jumps ready and doing all sorts of random tasks to get the mountain in good operating shape for the season.
During the season I will probably be doing a mix of things. From working in the bar, to DJing on the mountain and in the bar! as well as being a lifty a few days out of the week, where i will be able to shred on my breaks! So I definately will be doing a ton of things that I think I will really enjoy and be getting paid for it. It adding up to be an amazing summer (or winter i guess).

Here are some photos I took to give you a better idea.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little description. Come down and visit!!! shred a little bit and enjoy the best terrain park in the world during the American summertime!

more to come soon…


•April 11, 2008 • 2 Comments

Just when you think life is going to become very easy and there is no doubt in your mind that things are looking up for the better, life throws you a curveball.

At the end of last week I was excited, and even optimistic about the change in time that was about to occur… (daylight savings time occurs a few weeks later than the us) I was so excited because the time difference of four hours that I was currently experiencing with Carly and my family back home would soon change to 3 hours!!! However, little to my surprise I was about to be thrown a curveball.

When I called Carly on Sunday, she seemed a bit tired and when I asked what time it was it was 11PM seattle time. Given that my current time in New Zealand was around 6pm, it meant that the time (completely surprising to me) had CHANGED THE OPPOSITE WAY!!! I was now 5 hours time difference away from Carly and all of the things I call home.

Man what a sucker-punch.

Anyway, I think that as hard as the time difference can be I really think things are good and it is totally working out well… but its just one of those things that is so surprising when it happens it can be hard to regain your footing.

I hope this has been enlightening to all of you. Even though its spring in the northern hemisphere the southern hemisphere still “falls back” making the time difference further apart than it is in the summer time. CRAZY HUH?

well, thanks for nothing GMT… thanks for that curveball.


•April 8, 2008 • 4 Comments

sorry for such a delay in posting, my internet connections have been limited as i do not have any LAN cable or wireless router in my van.

But, the good news is… well, i will get to it shortly.

It has been a long 3 weeks, but basically heres how its gone down.

Chris and I arrived in wanaka for easter weekend and stayed with an amazingly ridiculous family, the parents were both chain smokers and cussed like sailors, extremely educated and brought about some really funny and really akward moments. Overall though they were extremely hospitable. After easter chris and I began to search for work instead of continuing to travel throughout the south island. We chose to do this because from what EVERYONE in wanaka had told us finding a job in about 1-2 months will be close to impossible, and finding accomodation will be even more difficult. So with that advice we parked our van anddecided to stay.

We began looking for jobs and had become extremely discouraged during the process. Not only was nobody hiring, it seemed as if people thought of us as just another number. It was so humbling at times Chris and i felt almost completely defeated… we felt so unoriginal and if that we were just like 1000 other American or brit tourists who had come to the area for jobs and a fun winter.

During this time we were also looking for accommodation, and coming up short too. Everything was either extremely far away or extremely expensive and unfurnished (not a good combo for 2 guys who’s entire life possessions fit into a 1989 Toyota hiACE van) but regardless… not even knowing where we would sleep at night we kept on living and trying to explore more options.

Late one night after a long day of searching for both housing and jobs, chris and I kinda broke down… we simply didn’t know what to do. We felt just like one of one thousand other applicants, but at heart we knew how different we were, how qualified we were, and how much passion we had for the things we were applying for. However, to the employers we were simply another number. this was the most discouraging moment I’ve had while in NZ but somewhere deep down I was reminded of my faith.

I have been thinking a lot while I have been in NZ and I think like many of you I don’t know what I believe, because I have been questioning and doubting every bit of what I have learned. I live in a very different place now both physically, mentally and spiritually. If there is one thing I have realized its that the community at SPU is extremely different than that of the “real” world… now to a snowboarder like me in a mountain town, i have realized that it still isn’t what some may call the “real” world but it’s about as far away from the SPU community as you can get. There are many things I have seen and experienced here that would send a P.A. into epileptic shock (maybe not my sister because shes a badass) but I am realizing that faith is not what you do everyday that makes you seem christian. Things like speaking in theological terms, praying before meals or reading your bible every day are not what make you a christian (at least in pauline terms… maybe otherwise if you tend to side with the catholic epistles. haha sorry couldn’t help it.) Sometimes, it is just realizing that god IS providing for you, and that he is taking care of you. Understanding that you are apart of a bigger plan, a plan that doesn’t have black and white lines but a plan that is about the redemption of humanity and will be done in so many different and crazy ways. I think if theres one thing I have learned on this trip, it’s that faith is sometimes simply living and adjusting to the things that come your way… because you cant control them and god is giving you provisions for them.

Gods faith is unlike anything else, and because of his faith I now live in a house. YES A HOUSE!!! its not permanent but its not a freezing cold van at 430 in the morning. Because of his faith i now have a permanent job YES A JOB!!!!… exactly where i wanted to be. (to be explained in the next post)

He is always providing, and whether your worries are housing, jobs, friends, money, food, purpose or fulfillment, he will give you all you need not only to be satisfied but to live and share life with abundance.

Thanks for reading… i hope this all makes sense and I promise (now that I have permanent wi-fi) i will be blogging at least a few times a week.

10 Items Off the New Zealand Checklist

•March 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The past few weeks have been incredible here in NZ. Chris and I have been driving all over the North Island and seeing basically everything there is to see. We arrived on the south Island about a week ago and have been looking for jobs and apartments in the ski-town of WANAKA. We plan on living here during the season. Our game plan is to find some jobs (before all the guys like us who havent shown up yet do), travel the South Island a little bit more and then settle down and start work.

But here’s a bit of what we have been doing in the meantime.

1) Building a Hot Tub in the sand (some may call it a puddle) and proceeding to lay in it as we watched the waves crash on the beach @ hot water beach, coromandel.

1 a.) Bathing in Kerosene Creek river of hot water (about 101 degrees)

2) Zorbing… (this video is kinda weak, its actually a lot faster when we did it) basically as it looks, jumping into a huge plastic bubble, adding water and being rolled down a huge hill.

3) Alpine Luging… go carts that go almost 40 mph down hills on small windy tracks.

4) Catching a duck… check christopher erleys facebook photos.

5) Blackwater Rafting… jumping in an intertube and floating through a LONG series of caves.

6) Witnessing Gloworms in the waitomo caves.

7) Being apart of a drinking bender with a bunch of Locals in Waitomo… no tourists allowed haha.

8 ) Doing the Tongariro Crossing, See Chris’s pictures for more detail.

9) Driving through Mt. Taranaki National Park. Filming location of the Last Samurai

10) Taking the Ferry across Cook Strait… and looking at all the different views along the way.

well, that about sums up the past few weeks… sorry the blogging hasn’t been more regular. As soon as we get a place we will have a regular internet connection and wont have to poach or use cafes. So, with that said my blog entries will become pretty regular.

Much love to all my readers.

In case you haven’t seen this you NEED to check it out

•March 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

most amazing blog site I have ever seen. Couldn’t be more true.

NZ update!

•March 7, 2008 • 5 Comments

Ok …

This will be short but quite necessary, we got a 1989 Toyota HiAce Van…. This thing has a Fridge, Stove, Camp table, chairs, Ipod adapter, cd player, laptop and cell phone charger, Ac Power outlet, tool kit, battery jumper and most importantly a bed in the back…

chris and I have been camping out at the coast and have been having a great time.  We are now heading up north to an area called the bay of islands

anyway.. more updates will soon follow. heres a pic of where we were camping, and the back half of  our new home.