“Landscape affects you.”
There is no amount of words that can describe the thirty-hour travel time that it took us to get to our final destination. However, there are also not enough words that can describe the feeling of shock and awe you feel as you watch through window-seats on either side of the plane the landing road below nestled between two massive walls of mountains. What a sight! Once our plane touched ground in Queenstown, New Zealand, we were met by Esther and Lena Dupu-our new host family who eagerly waited for us to arrive. The scenery is something you would normally see in a travel magazine. Everywhere you turn there’s beauty!
We arrived at the campground where we would stay for the next three days and there, we met Pastor Eugen Dupu and fifty youngsters for the ski trip camp of a lifetime. The teens were excited and from the moment they arrived, there was laughter mixed with shouts of excitement and silliness all the way until departure. The kiwis (New Zealand natives) are friendly, jolly, and warmer than we had expected for a culture located right above Antarctica. The climate was perfect for skiing, selfies and being silly. Here we discovered a new way to stay warm; Mochaccino coffees! It is a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate. Trust us, it is delicious! The context was gorgeous, no doubt, but the main reason we were there was to provide support to the leadership as they served and ministered to the teens during the camp. We cooked, cleaned, led games, helped with music, and participalted in other activities. However, our main reason for being there was to engage the young people. We listened to their stories, and shared ours as well, and I have to say that by the end of the three day camp, we felt like we could relate well with everyone.
As we prepare to work with the Legacy Youth and Legacy Youngsters with the Papakaio Community, this was wihtout a doubt, a great way to get to know the leaders, the teens and their heart for their community. Colleague Taylor Haff said, “From the moment that the plane touched down, I was in total awe of the landscape. Since then I’ve met so many wonderful people and learned heaps of kiwi slang... life is good! I love my new temporary home here in New Zealand.”