So the other day I turned 21 in New Zealand. How many people get to say that? :) My day was really great! My only class of the day got cancelled and when I got home there was music playing and Helen (host mom) was putting up decorations. David (host dad) had his birthday on Feb. 26 and Rawiri (host brother) has his on March 3 so we had a combined birthday party for the three of us. Two of their relatives came over and we had pizza, cake, and lollies. We sang "happy birthday" for each of us and Rawiri's song was in Maori. It all was fairly similar to an American celebration, except they sing after you blow out the candles. We exchanged gifts and I got to try the infamous Tui beer.
my host family
My host family got me a really special gift for my 21st. It's a pounamu (greenstone) necklace that comes from the west coast of the South Island. "Greenstone was originally carved and sharpened into weapons and tools as well as decorative ornaments. Greestone is regarded as precious and given as a taonga (gift) it is an honour to receive." (Package description, page 1) The shape of my necklace is called koru, meaning new life or beginning, growth, harmony, and peace. I love it so, so much!
Ka kite rā,