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Happy Birthday Ming

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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Ming » 27 Oct 2016, 03:30

Thank you so much, everybody!!

Nigel informed me by email that everyone is confused by when my birthday actually is. It's most definitely on the 17th, and as Tony also wrote to me, "I just insist on being ahead of everyone else".

I apologize for my delay in getting back to you. My classes ended on 14th October, which was a Friday, and then study week started so we could prepare for exams without being distracted by classes. Do study abroad students ever follow that? :lol: Absolutely not. All my friends were leaving on trips to explore more of the country. So on the night of the 16th, we had a potluck dinner which included a banana cake with chocolate frosting and a pavlova for gluten free friends. :P

Very early on the 17th I took a bus down to Invercargill, one of the southern most cities of New Zealand's South Island. So I spent my birthday on a bus with two friends, but the highlight was sleeping in a tent for the first time in my life! The next day we took a ferry to Stewart Island, which is NZ's southern most (?) island. More kiwis live in Stewart Island than Kiwis. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any kiwis because they are nocturnal. I did meet Kiwis though.

Six other girls and I for the next three days hiked in a rainforest. We were tramping the Rakiura Track, one of New Zealand's highly advertised Great Walks. It was 37km of walking in three days! On the last day we found a cat too, who seemed lost so we tried to get him back to town. Except Frodo (who I named), did not like mud and we couldn't carry him across because to bypass mud (as best as could be done) we had to hang on to trees for dear life!

The girls had also brought along a small cake for me on the hike. So I essentially had a three day long birthday celebration! ^_^ Quite fun. I was off the grid entirely because chargers are heavy and Stewart Island didn't have network coverage anyway.

Not many pictures, unfortunately! It poured throughout and I didn't want to take my camera out in the rain. So it just lay like a dead weight in my backpack that I really could have done without.

And then I came back, finished my research project and took a final. :roll: Two more to go and then I go home after almost a year!
Last edited by Ming on 27 Oct 2016, 03:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Ming » 27 Oct 2016, 03:58

Moonraker wrote:Happy Birthday, old thing. Sorry not to send you a card, but I haven't your latest address! Hope you have a great day. :D


Nigel, return addresses exist on the top left corner of the envelope for a reason. :lol:
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 27 Oct 2016, 09:26

Whew - you have been busy, Ming! Good luck with the rest of your exams!

Ming wrote:More kiwis live in Stewart Island than Kiwis. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any kiwis because they are nocturnal. I did meet Kiwis though.

:lol:

Ming wrote:Six other girls and I for the next three days hiked in a rainforest. We were tramping the Rakiura Track, one of New Zealand's highly advertised Great Walks. It was 37km of walking in three days! On the last day we found a cat too, who seemed lost so we tried to get him back to town. Except Frodo (who I named), did not like mud and we couldn't carry him across because to bypass mud (as best as could be done) we had to hang on to trees for dear life!

The girls had also brought along a small cake for me on the hike. So I essentially had a three day long birthday celebration! ^_^

Quite an experience. :D A few years ago my daughter spent her 17th birthday jungle-trekking in Borneo, sleeping for several nights in a hammock.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Moonraker » 27 Oct 2016, 09:32

Ming wrote:
Moonraker wrote:Happy Birthday, old thing. Sorry not to send you a card, but I haven't your latest address! Hope you have a great day. :D


Nigel, return addresses exist on the top left corner of the envelope for a reason. :lol:


I thought you had moved from here... I can't keep up with your addresses!
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Aurélien » 27 Oct 2016, 10:08

You've just completed more walking, Ming, than I've done over the last 20 years. Bush walking, too, quite possibly with a cliff-face or cliff-top track or two added to strain a few muscles!

And in our NZ Springtime the bush is usually wet and muddy.

Now my walking these days is :wink: a gentle amble around my local shopping mall, plus monthly side-stepping around the book-laden tables at a second-hand book-sale.

'Aurélien Arkadiusz' 8)
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Lucky Star » 27 Oct 2016, 12:40

Sounds like a terrific birthday Ming. A pity it poured rain on your trek but that will probably actually make it more memorable in future years. I'm guessing you will be sorry to leave New Zealand as you seem to have really enjoyed your time there.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Ming » 27 Oct 2016, 13:18

Anita, the jungle trek sounds fun! Were there any wild animals at all? All we had were birds.. And Frodo.

Nigel, unfortunately my addresses are indeed every changing. Tony usually has the most current one! :)

Aurelien, it was a lot of walking indeed and I did find it very challenging. I almost gave up halfway through but my friends convinced me to complete it. My muscles ached throughout, though! A gentle amble does sound nice indeed! You're going to have to show me your regular spots when I'm in Auckland next month.

John, I will indeed miss New Zealand. I think I have done more things out of my comfort zone here, tried new activities and discovered that I REALLY like photography. I guess the size of the country helps - you've got pretty much all kinds of environments (except deserts) in a small nation. And it's so much safer than America too. So travelling alone doesn't feel scary, everyone is super laid back. This has indeed been a time for personal growth and I am very very glad to have been able to be here for almost six months!

Up next: I don't know. We'll see.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby floragord » 27 Oct 2016, 14:54

Belated warm best wishes for a happy birthday Ming, I enjoyed reading of your travels, the walk in the rain forest must have been awe-inspiring! Good luck with the exams, and safe journey home.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Courtenay » 27 Oct 2016, 15:40

Great to hear about your travels and adventures, Ming — it all must have been pretty strenuous, but well worth it! :D

Ming wrote:Up next: I don't know. We'll see.


How about Australia?? :mrgreen:
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 27 Oct 2016, 21:16

Ming wrote:Anita, the jungle trek sounds fun! Were there any wild animals at all? All we had were birds.. And Frodo.

My daughter also saw a lot of birds - and butterflies, and occasionally monkeys. Various bugs and snakes too, though not all of those were so welcome! She saw orangutans as well, but in a nature sanctuary rather than in the jungle!

Ming wrote:Aurelien, it was a lot of walking indeed and I did find it very challenging. I almost gave up halfway through but my friends convinced me to complete it. My muscles ached throughout, though! A gentle amble does sound nice indeed! You're going to have to show me your regular spots when I'm in Auckland next month.

Are you planning to meet up, Ming and Aurélien? Have fun if you do! Have you met any other forumites in New Zealand, Ming?
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Ming » 28 Oct 2016, 04:58

Yes we are planning on meeting in Auckland next month!

I was in Wellington in mid August and hoped the meet up with Rowan. Unfortunately of the three days I was there Rowan was free for only one of them and it rained cats and dogs so we had to cancel. I was planning on returning to Wellington sometime in October but that never really happened.

I met Carol, who is one of Jo's friends from her Europe Forum. She lives in Christchurch and we went to see the Ernest Rutherford's Den exhibition put up by the Canterbury Museum.

Anita, it sounds like your daughter had a really amazing time! The snakes do sound rather terrifying though. But butterflies sound great.

Courtenay, Australia sounds fun! I'll have to find a reason to return to the Southern Hemisphere. Many of my friends went to Australia during long breaks - the privilege of having a Western passport! - but I wouldn't be able to unless I applied for a visa months in advance and paid ridiculous fees. But someday I would like to.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Bannerman65 » 28 Oct 2016, 05:52

If I had the money, Ming, I'd gladly pay it.
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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 28 Oct 2016, 09:09

Sorry you and Rowan missed meeting up, Ming. Enjoy the rest of your time in New Zealand!
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 17 Oct 2017, 13:29

In the hope that you'll look in at some point, Ming, I just wanted to wish you a

VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

All the best to you with studying, travelling, etc. :D
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


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Re: Happy Birthday Ming

Postby Courtenay » 17 Oct 2017, 13:31

Happy Birthday, Ming! :D :D :D Have a fantastic day and I hope we see you here again some time.
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