As you may have noticed, the frequency of my blog-writing has decreased… which is a good sign I guess, because I have been very busy over the past week. Let’s start with last Sunday, when I went on the Taieri Gorge train ride. It was really beautiful, starting at the train station already. Dunedin has a historic train station, which you can see on the pictures (I have no clue which time period or style, sorry :P ). The train took us on a trip along the Taieri river, which has cut through the mountains over the past centuries, thereby creating a deep gorge. The day started a little cloudy and cold, so I was afraid the sights wouldn’t be as good, but when we left in the afternoon the weather was much better, sunny and hot! It was very hot in de train as well, so I spent most of the time on the platform between the carriages. It was so cool there, you could just stand on an open platform, feel the wind through your hair and take beautiful pictures!
Last Monday was the first day of my internship at the University of Otago. It started with the
normal first-day stuff: settling in (see my office on the picture), connecting my laptop to the network, getting an e-mail address (as a staff member, not a student!) and meeting some people, although many were still on holiday. Then the more fun part: I discussed my research with my supervisor, Deryn (see picture), and we decided which manipulations we would like to do. We ended up with quite a lot of variables, so I will definitely have enough material for my Master’s thesis. I can’t describe my research here, because it’s a public website and I can’t give that information publicly yet (there is some deception involved), but if you’re interested in what exactly I’ll be doing just let me know. What I can tell you is that we will be recruiting 160 participants who all have to come in for two sessions, so there will be enough to do... Over the past week I have mainly been busy with the application for the Ethics Board to get the research approved, which is quite a hassle… I have also written a first draft of my research proposal, so I’ve actually been quite productive for the first week! I’m really happy
with my internship so far, the research is really interesting, having my own office is very useful to get work done and Deryn is great! She is very relaxed, I can decide for myself when I want to come to the office and when I want to stay home, so I’m quite free to make my own planning. Most days I’ve been at the office from 9 to 6 anyway, but that’s just because I like the research so much!
I also did some fun stuff with my flatmates again over the past week. We went to the movie “I am Legend” with Will Smith, which was quite a good movie. Really sad as well though, but I won’t say any more about it in case you still want to go. Yesterday we went to the beach, which was even more fun than last time! It was very sunny but not too hot, so perfect weather for the beach. It is official now by the way: this year is New Zealand’s best summer in 10 years! (see http://stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4364682a6442.html). I’m so lucky… Then Brett, Sam and I went out for cocktails last night, which was fun, and we played “never
have I ever”, so I got to know them a little better as well. I also tasted some new food again: Sam made Thai springrolls which were soo good, and Sayaka made okonomiaki (I’m sure I spell it completely wrong) and Brett niku jaga, which were also very nice. And last night we went out to a Cambodian restaurant where I had chicken noodle soup, with chopsticks! I’m actually getting quite good at eating with chopsticks… Oh and Jayra gave me a piece of “green tea cake”, which her mom sent her, and it was… green! Very strange, but it tasted pretty good. So I’m getting to know more and more of the Asian culture and cooking, and it definitely makes me want to go there!
For next weekend, I booked a scenic horse riding trek of 3 to 4 hours along the Otago harbour, through the mountains, beautiful creeks and forests. I’m really looking forward to that, I haven’t gone horse riding for too long and I particularly like horse riding in nature! I really love that I can combine studying and living here with tourist trips, it still feels like I am on holiday even though I
am working as well. And it is just so beautiful here, seriously, especially the beaches are amazing, there’s just nothing like that in the Netherlands. So, I am indeed having the time of my life here, although I do miss my friends and family back home of course... especially when I received anóther bunch of beautiful flowers and delicious chocolates last Tuesday from my lovely friends! A little late for my birthday, but not appreciated any less for that ;) , I really loved it! Anyway, I’ll see you all again very soon (relatively speaking that is), and I’ll try to keep up with writing my blogs until then!
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