High School - New Zealand, High School Abroad

A Warm Welcome in New Zealand with a Friendly Host Family and Perfect Fall-Like Weather

by Paige Diller, CCI high school abroad student in New Zealand

Paige gets ready to go through security and board her plane for a 12 hour flight to New Zealand.

Though I never thought I would, especially after the 12 hours flight across the pacific, I have arrived. I was so excited to see the searching faces of my host family waiting for me at the gate. I recognized them immediately and we exchanged hugs and smiles.

During my fly time I met many people. The majority were actually New Zealanders returning home; one man was especially helpful, as he helped me find my way around the LAX airport. I also received much encouragement from my traveling companion, Captain America. The plan is for Capt. America and I to journey together during my New Zealand trip, and document our adventures. (Captain America action figure courtesy of Sean Irwin).

I can’t express my happiness right now. I am having a wonderful time with my family. Within minutes of spending time with my family, we immediately clicked and were immersed in conversation. I can tell already that Catherine, Yuna, and I are going to be very close.

Later we went to the market and picked up all the necessities I was lacking. Yuna and I had a time with the self check out line… I have moved all of my suitcases into my room, and am in the process of unpacking and getting settled. We had a nice lunch together as a family (baked beans on toast; something I had never tired before, but concluded that it was very delicious). I have met all the cats, and even Pee Wee seems to like me, and he’s the shyest of all three. I also must comment on the driving here. Not only do they drive on the left side of the road, and make “left on red” turns, New Zealanders tend to drive very fast on small roads, and brake very fast as well… I enjoyed the ride though 🙂

I’m so very grateful for all my host family has done for me thus far. Oh! I almost forgot to comment on the weather. The weather in incredible. It’s close to 50 or 55 degrees Fahrenheit; it’s sunny and breezy. It feels like the perfect fall weather. And since I’m missing fall this year, I’m glad their winter resembles our Autumn.

I have so much excitement built from just the 15 or so hours I’ve been on the ground. I can’t wait to see what this coming week has in store for me. I start school on Monday. Instead of jumping straight into classes, I will have an International student orientation the first day, and have already been assigned a “buddy” who will hopefully help me out my first few days.

I’d really appreciate your prayers for my energy to be restored to me. I think I’ve been running on 4 hours of sleep the past 24 hours. I’d also like to ask for you to pray for my immediate family, who will definitely need some comfort when they start missing me really bad. I’m so irreplaceable. And don’t worry, I’m not conceited….

In conclusion, I have a wonderful family, beautiful weather, and picked a wonderful country. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


10 thoughts on “A Warm Welcome in New Zealand with a Friendly Host Family and Perfect Fall-Like Weather

  1. Wonderful post……………….

    Posted by Tarun Sharma | August 17, 2011, 2:39 am
  2. Hey Pidge! (Don’t know if you remember that nickname, but I do!) Just wanted to say that I FOUND YOUR BLOG. And I’m really glad that you connected instantly with your new roommates/host family. I know you are going to be so busy now that you are there but try to post often with lots of pictures. I’ll be checking. Be safe!

    Posted by Brittany Wheatley | August 15, 2011, 2:38 pm
  3. Fyi: Ottilie was talking about you at summer camp and one of her councelors said “Is your neighbor Paige?” It was so funny. You are quite the celebrity. I think she said his name was Nevis?

    Posted by Donna S | August 11, 2011, 5:27 pm
    • Oh yeah! Nevis is my bud from Calculus class and Cross country!
      It’s great to hear from you! 🙂 Give the whole family my hello’s 🙂 Let Ottlie and Oliva know that I’m looking forward to making snowmen with them when I get back. We’ve experienced a lot of snow here the past few days!

      Posted by Paige | August 17, 2011, 11:48 pm
  4. Sounds so exciting! Can’t wait to see your amazing pictures.

    Posted by Donna S | August 11, 2011, 5:23 pm
  5. Have a great week…..love and miss you (even the pups). We sent the picture with your blog writeup as a little surprise. Looking forward to hearing about how your classes are going, enjoy your long weekend.

    Posted by Dana | August 10, 2011, 12:34 pm
  6. Glad to hear you made it safely and are slowly settling into your new home and host family. Looking forward to reading about your new adventures on your next post. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care!

    Posted by bubba | August 10, 2011, 9:27 am


  1. Pingback: New Classes and Friends on the First Day of School in New Zealand | Greenheart Travel - July 28, 2016

  2. Pingback: New Classes and Friends on the First Day of School in New Zealand « - August 17, 2011

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