The Katmah Experience

living and learning one day at a time.

Rodeos, tan lines, and decisions

I realise last week that I said I’d write, and that it is now this week.. Nevertheless here we are.

As I mentioned before, we moved last week to a new place near Kaukapakapa, outside of North Shore, Auckland. I will only be here for a week or so before I move onto new adventures. On the 25th I’m going south ish to Cambridge to see my good friend Jenaya, and volunteer at a music festival in that area. I’ll hang out there until the 30th and then zoom down (I’m really not zooming, it’s an 8 hour bus trip) to Wellington at the bottom of the North and meet Niamh and Hannah, my Irish friends who I worked with at LC. From there a grand adventure to the South Island commences. I plan on spending the month of February seeing everything I can, so when I fly home in MARCH (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I have lots of great memories to share.

What have I been up to the past few weeks (when I haven’t been writing) you ask? Well let me fill you in.

I spent the week after Christmas on the rodeo circuit, started in Gisbourne (a 10 ish hour drive with a trailer) and worked our way back through Opotiki and then Taupo. Notable experiences from that week are:
1. Being fed raw cray fish, raw snapper, raw oysters (fresh from the sea off the shell), and some other form of raw bottom feeder. I was a source of great entertainment for all the Maori cowboys feeding me these things. Great sense of humour they have! Atleast now I can say I’ve tried it, right?
2. Riding briefly along the beach outside Opotiki- even though it was for like 5 minutes max.
3. Swimming in the gorge on our way from Opotiki to Taupo. Cold as Portage Avenue on a windy day in February, but worth it. The fact that the water was crystal clear and it was a river amazed me.
4. Having my second official driving lesson…. While dd-ing for a truck full of drunk cowboys in Taupo. We only told them it was my third time driving on the left and standard after we were moving.

We came home for a night that Friday, where I managed to get a stomach flu and was out for the weekend. So what did I do for new years? Fell asleep at 10:20pm and slept for 13 hours straight. But I stayed up for Canada’s new year! It was really weird being in 2012 before everyone else!

I spent the first week of January hanging around the house on Gumtown Road, while Ali and Dallas continued on with rodeos. I didn’t mind, though, as the weather was pretty wet anyway. Atleast I was dry! Unfortunately I managed to pass some of what I had onto the rodeo crew. Oops.

On Wednesday the 11th, I had my last appointment with Dr. Charles and reached the 2 month mark of no pain! My avoidance of riding for the past 3.5 months is paying off. Now we just have to cross our fingers and toes that it keeps up when I start riding again. Charles explained his diagnoses again, that the alignment (or disalignment) of my left shoulder/clavicle is what causes issues with my hips and lower back. Still wonder why nobody was able to figure that out till now, but now I know!

That pretty much brings us to now. I went back to Whangarei for the big Mid Northern rodeo this past weekend. Watched Dallas kick some serious ass, winning both her barrel races, and having the second best time (17.2) of the whole weekend for all divisions- including the big guns in the first division! On Saturday I found out how difficult it is to say goodbye to friends I’ve made, knowing I probably won’t see them again. Since I’m leaving for some new adventures soon and they aren’t coming to the rodeo in Hastings area this weekend- this was my last weekend with those crazy Maori cowboys. But I won’t likely forget them anytime soon! And hopefully they won’t forget “Meow” anytime soon either.

As for my decision to come home 2 months early, I’ve given it lots of thought. Although it’s great being here and seeing the things I’m seeing, not only will my funds run out soon- I’m more than ready to get home, get riding, and get working on my goals. This working holiday turned into a holiday pretty fast, and I’m not someone who can do nothing for long periods of time. I’ve almost reached my limit for that and am getting pretty anxious to be at home where I can be working towards my goals seriously again! I plan on taking one or two spring courses in may/June. The main one being Anatomy. Also having the extra two months at home will allow me to get mr Willard back into shape and more prepared for the 2012 season- same for my bank account. I hate to give up on my Bali plans.. But hey- that’s a trip for another time. Gives me something to plan for! Cause as my mom likes to say, I’m always atleast 6 months ahead of myself.

As much as nothing about the past 5/6 months has gone to plan.. I feel like things are working out how they should. Finally. Knowing life, it won’t feel like that for long- but I’m enjoying it right now, so that’s what matters. As it sits now, I have about 6 weeks left in this beautiful country and I plan on making the most of it! Very excited to be on the South Island again!


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