Happy Festivus 2010 – Happy New Decade 2011!
I’ve been working as a locum tenens in the emergency department of a public hospital in New Zealand since April of 2010. The international phase of my EM career is going well. To keep my brain limber, I took and passed the Certified Wound Specialist certification. I took the test at the testing center in The University of Auckland. Now I can take care of your wound on any continent.
My wife, Linda, not finding a position that has the flexibility to take off when I have off, has been volunteering at the SPCA in Rotorua three days a week.
While attending a trauma conference in Queenstown last July, we hit the beautiful slopes of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables every afternoon for my first ski experience. After each lesson, we hit the bunny slope like pros!
In August we flew to Christchurch to see the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team play the Australian Wallabies. We won! The perfect Kiwi experience. 2011 brings the Rugby World Cup to New Zealand.
By September we were sick of winter and went to Tahiti for 10 days for a warm, sunny interlude. We stayed at a resort on Moorea with the bungalarium over the water.
Early October we went to Wellington via Taupo and Wanganui. Wellington is named as the fourth top city in the world to visit in 2011 by Lonely Planet. We had a great time. For Halloween we learned the Thriller dance and participated in the Rotorua Zombie Walk.
In November we were off to visit Nelson & Blenheim. We took the ferry across Cook’s Strait to Picton to visit the region. From home that’s a six-hour drive to Wellington – 3½ hour ferry ride – 1½ hour drive to Nelson. We spent a day at Abel Tasman National Park. Fabulous! Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in NZ; however, we celebrated with turkey and all the trimming with some ex-pat friends from the US, a few Kiwis and a couple from New Caledonia.
This December we spent a week up north in the Coromandel peninsula. The limestone formations at Cathedral Cove were beautiful. It rained like crazy all week. But that didn’t stop us from seeing the sights. I’m pretty sure Linda was trying to kill me driving on that winding, gravel road with a cliff drop off to the ocean on one side and usually rock face on the other. Although she swears she was always on the road — I’m pretty sure a tire hung in mid air a few times!
In January we plan on scuba diving at Poor Knights in the Northlands. It was listed as one of Jacques Cousteau’s top 10 dive sites in the world. Gotta see it!
In February 2011 we are going to Napier for a week at the beach and to see Sting in concert at the Mission Estate winery.
March will bring visitors. First our great friends from North Carolina will be here for 2 weeks. Then Linda’s cousin and her hubby will be next. They like biking so we are working on their route around North Island since they peddled South Island last year.
In between the bigger trips, we enjoyed Rotorua and made a lot of smaller trips to Auckland, Hamilton, and Mt. Maunganui.