Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Life in Yei

Hey all I know it has been a long time since my last blog entry. Finding the time to get on the internet is hard, especially since how slow it can be in comparison to NZ and even Kenya. But anyway, here's the details on my last week and a half, have fun reading :)

Friday 20th Jan
I arrived in Juba after a fairly short flight from Nairobi with mum, fortunately our luggage weight wasn't an issue and we boarded the plane and passed through customs with ease. As soon as the plane door opened you could feel the heat. Juba is very hot and from first impressions very arid. It felt like I was stepping out into a slightly green middle east. We had to line up for visa stamping so we could go through and collect our bags, which were rummaged through in front of us to check we weren't bringing in something illegal to the country I guess. We were told by Marie that a man named Stanley would find us and drive us back to the Across base which is about 10 minutes from Juba Airport. Fortunately we didn't have to wait in the sun too long and we arrived at the Across compound by around 10:30am. Here we were met by the Across director Bernard (forgotten the last name) who kindly showed us around and introduced mum and I to some of the staff. After meeting all the staff and having lunch at 1 o clock mum and I had to wait in a hot room for the car to arrive which would take us to Yei. Fortunately it arrived around 3:30pm and we left along the bumpy road to Yei. It is about this point where I would include some photos but the internet is so slow it would take years for them to load, I will upload some to both the blog and Fb around March when mum and I will probably have our first holiday back in Nairobi. Anyway the journey. The road from Juba to Yei is a very interesting one. Full of potholes and large mounds, you have to be a skilled driver to navigate at speed without tipping the vehicle. Our driver was particularly skilled at such, we would reach up to about 100km/h on a pretty awful road. On the way you pass many small villages and locals including kids playing football, a couple of other notables were a burnt out tank on the roadside, a bus that looked like it had recently rolled and a goat tied to the top of a landcruiser, standing up, which was hilarious and I am pained to say I did not take a photo of. 3 hours after leaving Juba we were in Yei (around 6:30 pm). This evening we met many of the Across staff including Manny (who is the head of fly sports) and his wife Grace, and many others, which I do not have the time to go into detail about.

Saturday 21st Jan
Today I found a rat in my room and used the bathing room for the first time. If you think showering at Parachute is bad, try no shower at all, anywhere. The bathing room is a concrete room, quite small with a drainage hole in the corner at one end, the source of my rat problem which has since been resolved. That is literally all the room is, bare. In one corner you have a bucket of water and you use that plus whatever soap you buy to clean yourself. This may not sound very bad except for the fact that it becomes a bit of a mission day in day out when you are used to showering, not only that but the water is slightly dirty already, and when you are trying to clean your feet that look akin to what Jesus' disciples would have looked like then you can understand the inadequacy. You can never really be truly clean in Yei. My room as I found was lacking many things, all it had was two beds, one mosquito net, a chair and a large cupboard, plus some curtains. So in order to make life a bit easier I went out to the market with mum and Rhonda, a nice Dutch? lady who has been living in Yei with her Australian husband Rhys for a long long time. So long that she knows Yei better than many of the locals and can speak Arabic, English, Kakwa and a bit of Moru (The last two are major tribes in South Sudan). She taught mum and I some basic Arabic along the way as mum and I bought many things. We were the subject of much interest in the locals, especially myself, as I was wearing my Liverpool "Suarez" (Footballer) shirt. The kids would often call out "Suarez Suarez!". Football is VERY popular in Yei and almost everyone has a team they support. Life is very slow here which can be both a blessing and a curse to someone from a busy culture like NZ. It is really hot here and is generally in the mid to high 30s at the moment.

Sunday 22nd Jan
Sunday means Church. Except church with a difference, especially compared to the West. We were treated a bit like royalty which is not always nice because you want to just feel a part of them. Mum and I went to Immanuel's church where he preached. The service is supposed to start at around 10:30 but because we run on Africa time it started at at least 11am and ran until about 2pm, so yeah a bit longer than in NZ. We were officially welcomed by the church and leaders and not only that but considered a part of the tribe, like family. The service consisted of much prayer and singing  with the preaching in Moru, translated into both Arabic for the majority of the Moru church who cannot speak their own language (something Immanuel is passionate about) and also into English for mum and I. In the afternoon we had lunch in town and bought a couple more items including a doormat, how lovely.

Monday 23rd Jan
Today was my first official day with orientation as to what FLY sports has been doing, how it started, etc. there is massive potential but I was a bit downcast about the amount of work that was needed doing (a lot). Played football for the first time in South Sudan and did better than I did in Kenya. The locals here, rather than play a game as such, play what they call 18 yard. Which is essentially just a game of football without goals inside the 18 yd box (goal box) where the objective is to just keep possession of the ball within your team. The Arabic I have been learning has been very useful and I am picking it up fairly quick. Immanuels daughter Naomi who is about 19months old has started calling me Joonana haha rather than the previous Jool. Felt really low in the evening and quite unhappy.

Tuesday 24th Jan
Today I felt as though I was at rock bottom, with a splitting headache and overwhelmed at Fly Sports' situation. Was given the day off by Manny (who is the same person as Immanuel btw if you were wondering). Felt a lot better by midday, I had a good talk with Dane (say hi to Liz if you are reading this Dane ;) ) who was a dude from the States who decided to come to South Sudan to investigate the possibility of coffee growing in the Nuba Mountains? or some mountainous place nearby as coffee is best grown at high altitudes where the temperature never goes below zero all year round. Dane left around 3ish in a car back to Juba. Godwilling he was to end up back in the States Friday, hopefully he got back safe. Planned to go back to work tomorrow. Still missing friends and family quite a lot.

Wednesday 25th Jan
Went back to work today after the previous day of rest. Sorted out my job description today with Manny and Elly who is the top dog for Across in Yei, I think. People's titles get lost on me here, there are so many. People love having titles. Today I also planned for a youth pre-season football tournament that will run off of zero funds (quite literally). This is because Fly sports currently have no funding (part of the reason for the previous day's despair I guess you could call it). So I am in charge of this tournament which starts on Monday the 6th of Feb. Today I used the internet for the second time but did not have the time to do a blog entry which I am now doing. Joined in with the older youth football prac. again. Moses took the youth practice (Moses is a guy slightly older than me who is not only a Man United fan (boo) but has worked with Fly Sports (FS)). Also of note: Liverpool knocked Man City out of the Carling Cup, yay.

Thursday 26th Jan
Not much to do today so I visited a town with Ruman (who also works with FS) and Manny, it was really quite peacefuly with a large steep rock formation to one side, this was of cultural or spiritual significance to locals so no one has ever been up it from what I gathered. Took some photos as I was allowed to do so. They will be on FB when I can put them on without having to wait hours and hours. We got back by lunchtime. On the way back I noticed some amusing signs of both sops and on cars. Such as "Arsenal Fans Conner", which was a shop name, "Jealousness is bad" and "Hang on, God is great Spares supplier". Football again in evening, Manny turned up at the end and explained to everyone about how I am now coaching them. And most of them are around my age or older. Gulp.

Friday 27th Jan
Morning devotions as usual, these start at 8:30am with singing then someone brings a previously prepared devotional, day was fairly uneventful. Evening involved football which I was nervous about as I was coaching for the first time in South Sudan. Most didn't show up until 6- 6:15, quite a while after the usual starting time of around 5:30. Language was a bit of a barrier as although most speak English they generally don't understand me because of my accent. Having Moses there helping out was a great as he is a local (Kakwa) and speaks both Arabic and English well. Taught them a few drills, to which they were reasonably quick to learn, considering the language barrier. There is a possibility that there may be two FS teams in the pre-season tournament although I will need Manny to sort that out. There's a lot of work to do in training still.

Saturday 28th Jan
Did a lot of shopping again today. Throughout the week I have been making a list of things to buy, today I got many of them including an electric fan which = happiness. This was such a good buy and has been great so far. Spent much of the afternoon after shopping playing games on mum's laptop. Ex-pats dinner in the evening, where I met many different people from different countries including Canada, The states, The Netherlands, Germany, The Philipines, England and Poland. Had some Western food which was really really nice. I mean don't get me wrong the local food is nice and all but after a while you start to crave stuff from home,even if it has only been three weeks since we were in NZ. Also worthy of note is that Liverpool knocked Manure out of the FA Cup 2-1 =)

Sunday 29th Jan
Went to Simone from Switzerland's church this week (Who works for Across also) as mum and I believe its important to have a good look around. The worship at first made me laugh as they use this backing track that wouldn't be out of place in some sort of club from the 80s. They had pumped the speakers up really loud so loud that it hurt. There was a very large amount of White Noise (not by Mogwai Jono)
so not cool. My room is looking like a total mess, o and this church service went from 10am til around 12:45. Spent afternoon at mum's and the evening at Simone's where mum normally has dinner. I normally have dinner with Manny and his wife and daughter. Power was very patchy in the evening for the first time. Normally it is on until midnight but lasted only until 10:15pm. Someone was using a bit too much electricity.

Monday 30th Jan
Today I got Manny to share what he shared with me about FS with mum so that she can help with funding applications since she did it in NZ. Mum was very inspired as was I about the prospect of FS and what it can accomplish. We worked on the budget for FS until around lunchtime. Had nothing to do until coaching in evening so watched a bit of TV at Manny's. He has some sport channels which has been great and I am welcome to come any time which is a bonus. Football training in the evening where I saw Moses and obviously gave him a bit of grief about Liverpool's Triumph over United. There are a few players with a lot of talent that I am coaching. They just need to put in more effort in training. I badly want a mini fridge because things go off very quickly and nothing satisfies here quite like a cup of cold water.

Tuesday 31st Jan
Last day of Jan, 1 month down, 10 and a half to go. Still a long way to go yet. This morning after getting a photo with Manny and his family for our newsletter I went with him (Manny) to meet the Bishop of Yei. The Bishop is highly respected and somewhat a position of power, anyway this has taken me about 2 hours to type up and I'm late for the 1 o clock lunch.Today its really hot, blue skies outside and I badly need to get home and get a drink, drinking lots is essentially, anyway I hope life in NZ or wherever you are in the world is going good. Good luck for the following school/ Uni year guys and gals in NZ. Also feel free to ask some questions about Yei if you want. JoelNZ Out. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kenya days 5, 6, 7 and 8

Kenya Day 5 - Monday
Monday felt pretty uneventful. We had some training at Across to prepare mum and I for Yei. A mix up in communication meant mum and I were waiting at the Across compound for 2 hours for Christine for the training, so it felt like time wasted. However patience is often required in Africa as things can move quite slowly. This in itself was preparation I guess for Yei. Monday evening brought with it the chance to finally play football in Africa with some locals, it went pretty badly for me. By badly I mean I was terrible, this was for a number of reasons. Firstly I should have worn my football boots and instead wore some flat soled shoes as I thought the ground would be too hard. Well without the grip boots provide it was impossible to get any traction on the dusty, bumpy ground. Also since Nairobi is about 1 mile above sea level your blood becomes a lot thicker meaning the oxygen doesn't travel to your muscles as fast making you feel quite weak. So needless to say I was less than a helpful teammate to have. Also they play well into the dark, to the point where you can't see the ball and the only thing that is visible to anyone is me. Good to get some football in and start working on my fitness before I get to Yei where the temp is around the high 30s into the 40s. Apparently one of the pitches there has a drainage system running through the middle of it.

Day 6
Tuesday brought our initiation into Across which was mainly just training for what we will encounter in Yei, also some basic protocols, etc. Nothing really exciting other than the fact getting to South Sudan is not far away at all. We had the neighbors visit for dinner. An American family that have been living in Kenya for about 5 months so far. Had a good discussion with the dad about football and sport in general and with the son about Movies and music. It was tough trying to name a band he hadn't heard of. I must say he had a good taste in music, from Arcade Fire to Modest Mouse, etc. both very cool bands (check them out on Youtube). They also had a daughter about a year younger than me who was fairly quiet but seemed nice, who also had quite a good taste in music (muse, etc.). And finally a younger daughter who was around 11 (I'm guessing). Hopefully I can get some more music off the son (who was around 18/19) so as to fill up my iPod before I leave for SS as I'm not going to be able to get any music there for my iPod really.

Day 7 (yesterday)
Yesterday was a very busy and thoroughly enjoyable day. We were picked up around 1030 by Stu and Marie's taxi driver who took us into downtown Nairobi so that we could purchase a guitar (or two) to take into SS for my guitar teaching. It took a long time to try and find a park as traffic in downtown Nairobi is insane and people use the road for walking almost as much as cars do, for the driver its like an obstacle course. After eventually finding a carpark we went searching for the guitar store. It didn't take us long to find two however they wouldn't accept Visa so we had to go searching for a bank where we could draw Kenyan Shillings (KSH) out in order to pay for the guitar. The shop assistant came with us, as did the taxi driver with mum and myself lugging along the guitar in its case. The first two banks' ATMs declined to give us anything but an error print out. Finally at the third bank and much worry we managed to draw out enough cash to pay for the guitar and some extra for another guitar. After going back to the shop to sort out payment of the guitar I decided to not buy another as there was not another hard case readily available (needed for when the guitar is on the plane so it survives the journey) and I felt as though there would be another opportunity to get a second guitar in SS (South Sudan) whether with money or through borrowing it from someone. On the way back to the car John (the taxi driver) asked us whether we wanted to get any souvenirs. So mum and I went along with him as he found us an indoor market of sorts obviously targeted towards tourists. I was wanting to get an African/Kenyan style necklace and mum ended up getting some earrings both for herself and as presents for friends back in NZ. John found us a stall where the owners proceeded to treat us a royalty in the hope we would spend a lot, after having been accosted by almost every other stall owner in the marketplace in the hope we would spend our money at their stall. After deciding on what we wanted we reached the bartering phase, which I absolutely love. The store owner did his math and came up with the astronomical figure of over 17000KSH for the necklace and 4 pairs of earrings. This translates into about $250+ NZ. I told him that the guitar was cheaper, which it was and that we would pay him 1000KSH for the lot. This began much arguing until he was willing to sell for 3000KSH. I told him no more than 2500, so he went down to 2600 saying that he was hardly making a profit, which was complete rubbish. I continued to insist upon 2500 until he finally agreed. Even upon handing over the money he tried to get an extra 50 KSH out of us for a "soda". Something he could easily afford anyway with the fairly sizable profit he made from the sale. We then visited Christine Perkins at her home for lunch, which involved a few more last details about Yei that we might not have been already told before we went to Toi Market, a fairly large marketplace with lots of people trying to sell you their goods and rip off the "tourists" (who are basically just any mzungus that are interested in their products). Both mum and I bought a hat after much bartering and discussion for 150 KSH (myself) after the initial price being 400 KSH and mums for 280 KSH. The man selling the hat tried in vain to keep the 20 KSH change but I wouldn't have a bar of it. It was really quite enjoyable. We shook hands afterwards and he said to mum that I was a stubborn customer haha. By the time we got back home (our apricot house) I was pretty exhausted as a lot of arguing and bartering can have that effect. Despite my tiredness I walked to the local Christian college where the football games take place every weeknight (this time with my boots). I played a lot better, but I still find getting the hang of the bounce of the ball off the uneven ground tough.

Day 8 (Today)
Well tomorrow morning mum and I leave for Yei and say goodbye to Kenya until later in the year when we have the first of our few breaks. We have to get up around 4am as our flight is at 7:20am (about 5:20pm NZ time). Today has consisted so far of typing up this latest blog entry and having breakfast, not that exciting I know. Both mum and I have a lot of packing to do and some final reading of certain books in order to prepare ourselves best we can for Yei. It is yet again another nice day, the weather has been brilliant with only about 5 mins of sparse rain on Monday before the football. That's about all I have to say for now, I think I've covered everything hopefully without going into to much detail (I've gotta save some stories for NZ). Peace.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Days 2, 3 and 4 in Kenya

Alright well its been a while since I updated the blog. So Kenya day two. Well mum and I had to drop Stu and Marie off at work (the Across base 4 mins down the road) so that we could have the car for the day if we needed it. We eventually decided to go to the local shopping mall which mainly consists of something called nakumart. A concept very similar to the American walmart, with everything from groceries to phones and top ups, to clothes and manchester, etc. Behind this mall was also a few banks, etc. and a smaller grocery store where we got some lunch items. We also exchanged some US dollars into Kenyan Shillings. $15NZ equals about 1000 Kenyan Shillings (KSH). We then bought an internet top up for the usb modem stu and marie were no longer using (they have two) so we could use the internet and also bought a sim card for myself plus topped up that sim with 50mins of call time, costing a whopping total of 400 KSH (less than $7 NZ). However upon returning to the house we could not figure out how to top up the modem and went back only to have the same problem until we eventually bought a larger and third top up which solved our problem (Lack of communication with Safaricom, the provider). So now we have unlimited data usage for a week, of which I am taking full advantage. 

Day 3 in Kenya was my birthday! 18th birthday in Kenya, not a usual place for a NZ teenager to have their birthday I guess. The day was rather dull as mum was still getting over jetlag and was a bit under the weather. However we did go out for dinner with both Stu and Marie and also Christine Perkins (Area Leader for Pioneers East Africa) who had brought with her a guy called Dane (I think that's how it's spelled) who had just flown in from the states and was on his way into South Sudan to check out the coffee industry there, briefly stopping by in Kenuya for a couple of days. Anyway for dinner we went to a famous restaurant called Carnivore. This restaurant is the most well known restaurant in all of Kenya, the name pretty much explains it all. Just about any type of meat they have or have previously had on the menu before, it's quite an experience. Basically they give you a starter of soup, etc. (not very carnivorous I know) presumably to hinder you from eating too much meat, then comes the main and most interesting part of the meal. They place a big centerpiece on the table with many sauces and salads on it to go with the meat. The meat is brought around by waiters dressed in awesome African style uniforms on big metal skewers (below is a photo of the cooking pit, I guess you would call it and the menu).

They then tell you what the meat is and slice you off a bit, not all the meat is skewered however as some is presented in smaller pieces. For example the Ostrich meatballs, which were so amazingly good, they are probably the best meatballs you will ever have, no kidding. There is no limit to the amount of meats you can try so it is essentially a buffet served to your plate. I am pretty sure Dane and I had almost everything on the menu that night, this included lamb, beef, pork ribs, chicken, crocodile, ostrich meatballs, chicken gizzards (google that one), chicken liver, ox testicle , pork sausage, pork and a couple of others I can't remember. The worst was probably the chicken liver and ox testicle. The chicken liver just tasted plain horrible and its the thought of what you are eating that makes the ox testicle hard to stomach. Overall it was a very enjoyable evening, at a price that would not be too uncommon in NZ. An amazing experience definitely worth having if you go to Kenya ever.

Kenya day 4 (today) meant Sunday and along with that, going to church. Mum and I went along to Stu and Marie's local church the Karen Community Church (KCC). The KCC was predominantly black Kenyan, with a few white Kenyan's and short termers alike. They got anyone that was new to stand up and share who they were and where they were from. Naturally as soon as I started talking everyone in the building turned to look at where the odd accent was coming from. The service was not too dissimilar to one you would find in NZ, not necessarily something I was expecting. Immediately after the service a local black Kenyan lady came over to my mum and I. As we discovered in July she is moving NZ to gain her PHD and coincidently in Wellington at Vic University. So she and mum exchanged contact details and mum is probably going to meet her when she gets back to NZ, also possibly help her with acclimatising to both the cooler weather and culture. After church there were a few local Pioneers friends over for lunch, including both Dane and Christine, also a couple of other kiwis, Greg and Lisa, and a couple of Americans with four kids. Nothing much of note but some good and interesting discussion. However as the American couple, Ben and Christie were leaving Ben told me of a regular local football (soccer) session that happens every weeknight, not far from his house in the early evening, so tomorrow I am going to have my first game of football (albeit friendly, supposedly) in Africa, something I have been very much looking forward to. That's about everything of note, I have much tidying of my room to do and photos to upload to Facebook, peace.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flights and Kenya Day One

Ok well, the flight from Hong Kong to Jo'burg was a pretty long and boring one (13 or so hours), mum mostly slept but I don't sleep well on flights so maybe got about 2-3 hours sleep total. Because Johannesburg is 6 hours behind Hong Kong we arrived at about 6 30am, despite leaving Hong Kong at around 12am (or after). On the flight we took a few photos, firstly of the truly spectacular and beautiful sunrise we saw out the plane window. Never have I seen one quite like it, it was literally a rainbow of color, Below is a few photos of the progression of the sunrise over the couple of hours it lasted. The photos really don't do it justice and its times like these I wish we had a high quality camera.

We also few over a couple of islands and then Madagascar, which, like the movie, seems to be a mass of jungle and rivers. Finally we landed in Jo'burg and just sat at the airport waiting for our flight to Nairobi, Kenya, which was about 3 hours after we landed.  On this flight there were very few people, and most were going on holiday to the Masai Mara, a very popular safari destination. Going through customs as usual was very quick and painless and thankfully our bags were all there (mum was a little worried as we had checked them in from HK all the way to Kenya). In the terminal lobby a driver was waiting for us who then took us to the Across base. The trip was very eventful, it included roads riddled with potholes, terrible driving (by NZ standards) people walking out onto the road, cars honking, crowds of people walking alongside the road along the very red colored dirt and also a call from a Kenyan kid of "Mzungu" (meaning white person). Hearing the term Mzungu isn't actually very common in Kenya as there are a lot of white people already residing here. After a fairly long trip from the airport (around 30-40 minutes) we reached the Across base which has very beautiful surroundings and consists of some very nice buildings (we will take some photos of it in the next couple of days). Here we met Stuart and Marie Houghton who we are staying with in their lovely apricot colored house :). Both mum and I were very jet lagged so we didn't stay for long or meet much of the team (this was yesterday (the 12th of Jan)). Back at our home (for the next week) we had dinner, were shown our rooms and the shower and ate some amazingly good mangoes. I also meet Rev. Elly briefly over dinner, who is in charge of Across in Yei, but since I was almost falling asleep at the table after dinner I did not get much of a chance to discuss anything much. Anyway that covers yesterday, a bit more about today will follow shortly. We have to now pick up Stuart and Marie from the Across base, peace.

Second and Last Day in Hong Kong

Well it's been an awesome time in Hong Kong with Ivan, he has been a superb tour guide. Ivan we can't thank you enough you truly are a legend. We started our last day in Hong Kong by visiting the Australia dairy Company (below) where we had a very good breakfast. Here you will be seated wherever there is room due to the place's popularity even if it means sitting next to a group of complete strangers. We also tried what is known in Hong Kong as "Milky Tea". A drink consisting of a mix of coffee and tea, which was peculiar but quite nice.

During the day we also visited the longest succession of elevators in the world. I don't know the exact details of the length, etc. but it climbs pretty high and far (photo of it will be on Facebook). We also visited the Peak of Hong Kong via the cable car, below is a photo taken from inside the cable car and also a photo of the cable car. We then searched around Hong Kong for a midi-keyboard (google it) but could not find one that was light enough for travel and also good enough. We also visited McDonalds in the evening, which is so much better than NZ Maccas in the range and pricing of the food. Finally we went back to the hotel and got our luggage and left on the shuttle to the airport, not before saying goodbye to Ivan and getting a photo of the three of us outside the hotel. This all took place on 11th of Jan, I had actually been typing all this at HK airport as I was boarding the plane because they have free unlimited wifi, not like NZ Maccas 50mb offering. Unfortunately I got cut off from the wifi just before I could post this blog entry, and have not had the time or energy to do it before today, currently I am typing this sitting in Nairobi, Kenya. More about that in the next post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hong Kong - First full day

Wow, what a day. Firstly I would like to make the point that Ivan Kwok is a great tour guide and very generous. Anyway heres the outline of our day. Firstly we met him and Evonye in our hotel lobby around 915. Ivan had brought mum and I some breakfast which was this really nice sweet bread roll with a sort of almond paste in it. We then went to a Yum Cha via the clinical and very quick MTR Underground railway system for our proper breakfast our whatever. Basically its a sort of restaurant where you can choose from an assortment of savory foods and sweet, pastry like "entrees" for lack of a better word. People commonly go there for breakfast and lunch but not usually dinner, which is quite different to Kiwi dining. Mum and I were the only white people in the Yum Cha haha. We then went on the bus to Stanley Market where we bought a lot of cheap clothing (which could often be bartered for) plus all sorts of other bits and pieces. We then left Stanley market to go to Mong Kok which, according to Ivan, is probably the busiest part of Hong Kong, people everywhere, lots of neon signs and bright lights. Hong Kong is so lit up that you barely notice when the sun goes down and day becomes night. Anyway in Mong Kok we but up with Evonye's boyf and also Ivan's older brother, briefly meeting Ivan's bro's gf. In Mong Kok we did some more shopping at local stalls, including much bartering and ending in two satisfied Kiwis in regards to the day's shopping. Also found some hilariously bad translations on some magnets which had mum crying in laughter (over tiredness) which we also bought. Lastly we found a place to have dinner which was also really good, despite my eating a chill and taking half the table's drinks to try and put out the fire in my mouth. Thoroughly enjoyable day, its been brilliant touring HK with Ivan and Evonye. Tried many things and had a ton of different types of meat/seafood including Octopus, Oyster, Shark Fin, Prawn, Shrimp, Chicken, Beef, Pork and Crab to name a few. Pictures will be on Facebook while I will also post some on my blog. Good Evening from HK

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hong Kong

So mum and I have just arrived safe and sound in Hong Kong at our hotel in the heart of Kowloon (we are at the BP International Hotel for those that want to google maps it). The flight from Auckland was rather uneventful, filled with a load of movies. Anyway we were lucky enough to have a nice local lady ring our hotel for us and find the best bus stop for us to get off at, she then went and told the bus driver to stop for us at the right stop. Awesome. Tomorrow we are meeting up with Ivan and also Eheng's sister Evonye (for those of you who know Eheng) who just so happens to be in Hong Kong atm. Ivans kindly offered to take us around Hong Kong to the different markets, etc. So mint. Some photos will be following shortly (very few) will get quite a few more tomorrow.