Monday, June 29, 2009

today yesterday and everything in between.

So one good thing about my host family being away is that I can blowdry my hair at any time of the day or night and not worry about waking them...Now this may seem like a small pleasure to you but to me this is a treat.
And I'm taking full advantage of having baths at 1 in the morning and tidying my room and the house at crazy times..No need to be quiet because no one is home apart from me. The silence is weird though. No 3 year old alfie tearing around the house begging me to play with him or making me watch silly kids television programs (which secretly are quite entertaining). Its been nice being home alone just chilling and doing whatever the heck I want but it will be nice having a populated house again on Thursday...And Ive totally scored in the cooking department..literally have only cooked for myself less than half the nights that theyve been away..oh my! Ive been invited round to peoples for dinner and everything..amazing what pity does for people lol

Today has been such a wonderful day..Like really nice..First of all the weather was amazing!! like so hot..(sorry to all you new zealanders who are having the coldest winter in all records)..
We played football down at the cage in a community with some of the kids that come to our drop ins and live there...and seeing as Dave (our resident football fanatic) was out of action due to a sore shoulder I was encouraged to step up and make my football skills known..or not..theres me with all these young people who play football every day of their lives..All I could do was run after them and occasionally put the odd elbow in to let me get the ball..haha And then there was the issue of me being goalie..let me just tell you a quick story from the last time i was a goalie in football back at school..I literally stood there and cried until half time in goal coz I didnt want to do it..and that was in year 13..oh the shame.. so today I braved my fear and had footballs hurtling at me at all kinds of speed.. literally I have purple bruises all over my legs from using my body to get in the way of the goal..and my knee is seriously got a dent in it..oh my word. But it was so fun and so good to be doing something that the kids love and making an effort.

Then round to Dave and Lauries for dinner..while Dave cooked, me and Laurie did a clubland workout video (after we jibbed off going to the gym coz it was too hot)..This was hilarious..all manner of tight outfits on the video and gyrating to trance music..too funny and we just collapsed in giggles on the floor..I dont know how much toning it did for us..haha And I got introduced to the UK series 'the inbetweeners'..seriously amazing..just so cringy about these kids who are trying to become popular in a high school and its just so funny and awkard in so many places..amazing..the only setback is the swearing and one guy who is literally just so full of hormones and goes after anything that walks haha check it out. funny.

Today has just been lovely. work. friends. football. love it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

oh james.

One of the opening acts. A band from Australia. The bow on her head was epic.

his amazing band.


It was amazing. truly.

Vagabond was an opening act. too cool.

tambourine time.

Kirsty and me. It rained.

these few days.

The past week my attitude has been awful. Complaining all the time, being distant from the kids, just not really caring. And I hated it. I dont want my last 4 weeks at work to be like that. 4 weeks is such a long time and I can totally make a difference in that time, get to know the kids even better and just love them even more. I realised on Friday it was because I think subconciously I know that I'm leaving soon and I know how hard it will be so I think itll just be easier to detach now. But I so dont want that. Because I want to leave the kids with an even better relationship than a few weeks ago. I love them all and I wanna put all my effort into being there for them, getting to know them more and just serving God with all I can. After some much needed Jesus time I realised that right now I need to live for the here and now, not think about coming home, but seeing each day as a new opportunity and making the most of it. And not relying on my own strength but totally relying on God. I'm still learning and growing.
These next weeks are going to be amazing I know it.

Yesterday I had such a wonderful day. I took an amazing young girl I work with for lunch. Mcdonalds it just had to be. Then mooched around the chops in Chatham for a bit.
And then for James Morrison with Kirstie, Ruby and Cheryl. We took the train to canterbury and after a few delays we cued up outside the cricket grounds where it was being held. It was such a nice day. Rainy at times but that was just an excuse for hilarious green ponchos. And the support acts were amazing!! A band called Vagabond played (who I'd walked past earlier on the way to the portaloo and decided they must be in a band coz they looked way too cool) and just made me want to dance. And a girl from australia who had the largest amount of style ive ever seen. Look 'em up on myspace or something. AMAZING. James Morrison played loads of songs and was epic. PERFECT. and the sun even made an appearance. haha

This week holds just the normal for me. But I'm going to try and make the most of each day.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today after work I came home and there was alfie eating a melon. It was too cute.

Alfie is three years old and wakes up really early but is such a joy to live with and tells the most hilarious stories and says the funniest things. The other day he likened his singing voice to that of Joss stone. It was hilarious.

I got to say prayers with him the other night and he taught me a lesson on how to pray. He used the word 'bum' and 'smelly bottom' alot and waved his hands around in some kind of dance move action when he said the word amen. Too cute.

I'm going to miss him LOADS when I come home. Maybe not so much the tantrums though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I like countryside.

Today is Sunday..Fathers day in England to be exact..and I'm so hoping its not Fathers day in New Zealand too because I haven't given my dad any special recognition at all..and if it is I shall just blame the time difference for the confusion haha or maybe use the excuse that I don't want to celebrate it while I'm in another country so I'm waiting till I get home to give him a huge fathers day surprise? or tell the truth haha we'll see what happens.

Today has been so lovely though..Helped with a group of young people at my church called 'Pathfinders' (loving the cheesy Christian name)..By helping I don't mean having to do anything that actually involves me putting effort in..The definition of helping in this context involves me sitting on a comfortable chair and generally chatting to the well behaved polite Christian kids and occasionally having to contribute to useful conversation that is happening with the other leaders..haha it's quite nice.

Then I left early (just another definition of how hard I work on this haha) and went for lunch with my host family and marthas stepmum, dad and sister in this quaint little town. The drive there was beautiful. Through little lanes and roads with trees making an archway over them, old houses with fields..oh was such a change from the scenery of Gillingham. And the place we went for lunch (apart from the fact we had to wait like an hour for our food) was so cute..It's a place called Cafe Rouge and its a dinky french restaurant with amazing food and music that makes you feel like youre in paris somewhere..LOVELY..Although its always awkward trying to order things off the menu that are blatantly french..It usually starts with me making a really poor attempt (usually in a low voice so noone can hear what an ass I sound like) at pronouncing the french word then ends with me just stabbing my finger at the menu so the waiter can see what I am ordering..awkward. But such a nice place.
Followed by a trip to Martha's dads house which is the converted stables of an old manor house..which is literally the manor house is on the same property and is literally like an old english manor but so beautiful. Strawberries and cream (very english) and then the drive back home through the amazing countryside. PERFECT.
Such a lovely day and I am SO blessed to have a host family that just include me in their outings and make me feel so at home. yes thankyou.

Another thing I want to do before I come home that I need to add to my list is take a day trip to France. My host family have said we need to book a date in July for us all to go to the French coast..Oh my word I am so blessed. SO FLIPPIN' BLESSED.
Oh and exciting news. My host mum, Martha is pregnant..YAY. so cool. But on Tuesday theyre going away on holiday to cornwall, on the seaside, for like 1o I will have to fend for myself. we'll see how that goes. Miss Independant.

This weekend has been lovely.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Tonight is a Saturday night and I have nothing planned at all.. and Ive realised that blogging is a good constructive way to fill time..I havent done a lot today either which has been SO nice coz my last few weekends have been extreme busy..but doing nothing doesnt come naturally to me..I always feel as if i should be doing SOMETHING no matter what that something is. This is how i came to blog.
MY achievement of the day however is I have been to the GYM..yes I know..the GYM..It is a rather foreign place for me to be..but today I decided it was necessary and seeing as I didnt have anything better to do it was perfect..maybe if more often I didnt have anything to do I would find myself a wee bit skinnier having gone to the gym a bit more..i guess we will never know.
It's just so weird though because my gym is a unisex there's all these guys 'pumping iron' and being all hard while little old me is red faced and sweaty trying my hardest to lift like 5kg..oh my word.

Yesterday was a rather interesting day. Claire (our support person from head office) came down to do my end of year interview..END OF YEAR?! I'm freaking out about having to finish my year here..everything will be okay though I know God has a plan for me and whether its in New Zealand or somewhere else he'll reveal it to me. hopefully soon. I'm just gunna chill for quite awhile when I get home..take up a few hobbies..get back into photography, maybe start alot..and just relax.


  • Go and visit the stonehenge in Salisbury. until I got here I always thought the stonehenge was in Ireland..who knew it was actually in England?!
  • Camden Markets. all things markety, cultural and vintage in Camden. I cannot wait to go and spend the day parousing through all the market stalls and then continue onto other markets and vintage shops throughout the day...
  • Having another day out in London with friends being shown the exciting and little secret places that are cool.
  • Go to somewhere sunny in europe. Me and Bee are hopefully booking our holiday to Greece next week sometime so I'm hoping the tickets are still there. I want some Mediteranian culture and sun.
  • Go on the London eye at night. I would love to look out over London with all the lights and the thames and tower bridge..oh i must do it.
  • Go to see a Westend show in London. I must do this. Everyone keeps telling me I need to but I havent gotten around to it. I will sort it out.
  • Host a New Zealand themed night at drop in. Im thinking pavlovas, the national anthem, kiwifruit carving, flags strung up everywhere and me just in stubbies and a rugby top. Perfect. Any other ideas?
  • Take some of the girls from drop in to a west end show in london. They all so want to go but they just dont really have the money or will maybe never get to see one otherwise. I hope it works out.

So many things to do, so little time. I'm praying that it will all come together and I can do all these things. yes please.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

soon i will say goodbye.

So I'm starting to freak out a little bit..I know its 9 weeks until I leave..
BUT there was me in my room earlier stuffing everything into my suitcase..trying to get a rough idea of how much over weight my bag will be on the 16th of August at Gatwick airport..and how I will explain to the lady at the desk that i cant take anymore luggage out..because I dont want to..I hope she understands..
Ive already given a load of clothes away to some of the young girls I work with to try and lighten the load..But its still like 10kg over..oh dear..and that's without my underwear and things in the bag (which are quite important I would say) and if I don't buy one more thing until I leave..
oh dear.
I need to find a cheap removal company that will sail my stuff across the sea without much charge. I am praying for this.

Also I'm getting so excited. Before I leave I want to sort out a few projects with the kids. We've got a wall out the back of drop in that was graffitied on ages ago..and I want the kids to do some kind of amazing artwork over it so it makes it look nice..Although the flip side is that the paint will just get all over just coming back to new zealand stained neon green from an unfortunate graffiti accident lol And we're gunna put photos and artwork on the walls of drop in so it doesnt look so dull...It may sound sad that I'm getting excited. But this place needs to be nice for these kids.

Also and this is the icing on the virtual cake..I'm gunna do a New Zealand drop in one night before i leave. This will be everything New Zealand. I am bringing NZ to Gillingham for one night only.
Im thinking the national anthem playing..maybe skip the feature of 'once were warriors'..but have NZ food and drink..and carving new zealand things out of kiwifruits..and loads of other things. Any ideas from you New Zealand kids for this?! I want to make it cool. yes?

yes another post.

So Ive just been reading over a few of the blogs that I wrote when I first arrived here...
Lets just put a few things straight for those of you who have been following this from day one..In an earlier post I claim that because I have a gym membership I will look like a supermodel when I get back..Let me just put a disclaimer with that : will only work if I actually went to the gym..So for all of you who were waiting for some kind of Kate Moss look alike to arrive at the airport in my place I'm afraid this won't happen.
Also I did earlier state that I will get better at football as I am in a country that's main sport is football...disclaimer: that would be only if I had a natural talent for it. which I dont. So don't go joining me up to play for the NZ team just yet.
I also stated that I have my tea with milk and one sugar. I no longer take sugar. Now this is important information if when I get home you want to invite me around for a drink.
Also no matter how long I've been here for I can't get over the fact that all the shops are ENORMOUS..seriously no matter what you want to buy (unless you go to Gillingham High street which has a 97p store, a 99p store and a few other equally rundown shops) you have to walk through a myriad of things you dont want to buy to get it..The clothes shops literally are enough to get lost go into buy one come out with something completely different because its such a confusing experience..but would be an amazing experience if I actually got paid. haha not bitter at all.

Which leads me to my next point. I have been promoted. Not an ordinary promotion where you get lifted up into a position that truly has advantages. But a GYFC promotion where I no longer am a volunteer but am now considered to be a STAFF member. Yeah get me. STAFF.
What does this mean for me you ask? It means I still don't get paid, I still do exactly the same thing, EXCEPT (heres the big one) I have to come into work an hour earlier on a Friday morning for STAFF meeting..hahahah But I do like to think I'm held in higher esteem in my colleagues (lol) minds...haha

Also another big change..The other volunteer that was based in Gillingham has had to finish his year we are a team member down..which is why we've been so crazy busy the last few weeks..but thats okay..the new staff member will surely be able to take things on lol

Anything else I want to leave you with? Oh yeah I'm trying to figure out how to bring all my luggage home. Not only did my mum send over a whole bunch of stuff that didnt fit in my suitcase when I first came over. But I have also somehow accumulated loads of stuff in the 10 months Ive been here. And Ive looked into shipping it home and its gunna cost at least £130 ..which could basically buy me everything I would send home and more when I got home..So for the past few nights Ive been trying to cull my wardrobe and many other bits that I want to come home..and trying to decide what the best way to do this is..sell on ebay? give away? or just strap it to someones back and get them to swim it over? Sheesh. who knew?!
Oh and I got to tell the boy who nicked that phone in drop in last year about Jesus last night and no matter what he does he'll still be loved. AMAZING. So God. Thankyou. He just stood outside all night with the cutest puppy that he is planning on training to be a weapon. So I just cuddled it and told it not to let him turn it mean hahaha hopefully it will remember that.

And on the 27th of June. I am going to see James Morrison perform live in Canterbury. I am so excited. I am so blessed to have been able to do things like this while Ive been over here.
If only I could have gone to Glastonbury. ah well. We can only do so much :)

The next few weeks will be so exciting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

oh my word.

I have such mixed feelings at the moment. In 9 weeks I'll be coming home. AMAZING for the fact that I get to see everyone i know and love. TRAGIC for the fact that I am leaving a years worth of friends, relationships with the young people, and most possibly luggage (if i dont manage to eliminate enough to fit into 20kg of suitcase) across the other side of the world. It's just plain weird (or maybe God?!) that I have come to love Gillingham, known for its 'chavs,' pregnant teenagers, less than perfect football team, chewing gum covered footpaths and large use of the words 'innit bruv'...But I have..and I have fallen in love with the kids..and built relationships with them that I'm going to have to try and carry on from New Zealand..and met such an awesome team..a second family almost..So many blessings. So very mixed feelings at the moment..and just trusting that God knows what he's doing and if Im meant to be back in Gillingham or England then when the time is right I will come back. Please soon.

Seriously, I love the kids I work with. They are truly amazing. The things theyve had to grow up with, put up with and figure out are way too much for any kid to handle...and sure they get in trouble with the police, tell me their birthday is in a few days so I will make them a cake and then find out its not, get angry, get annoying, lash out, smoke..But all they want is people to love them and take them for who they are..and they have taught me such a HUGE lesson in love this year..But we've seen so much change..A girl that I absolutely adore has totally softened up since shes started coming in to drop ins..Kids at the youth alpha session tonight asked us and other kids to tell their stories, tell them what God has done in our lives..and they just sat in awe and listened...God is working..and I so expect more before I go home..I cant wait to come back in a few years and see them grown up a bit..will be amazing. Oh my word the things Ive learnt. I dont know what I'm gunna do with myself when i get home.

So many things are all lined up though for before I go..YFC end of year retreat at the beginning of July..I finish work on the 26th July..Hopefully sometime in July I will have a weekend in London with some new friends..and try to get on a diet to get down to my pre-england size haha too many chips.
And before then I'm hoping to take some of the girls to a show in london..get a project going so they can spraypaint the back wall of drop in to make it look amazing..this may need censoring otherwise there may be cussing and swearing spread across the concrete...loads of end of year stuff..saying goodbye to the kids..I will cry...
Then my friend Bee and I will fly out to Corfu in Greece for a weeks holiday..ahh sun and beaches and hopefully tanning..
Then to do a camp with some of the kids..which will be interesting as some of the young people who are coming may make some trouble..and theyve been put in my dorm to look after lol
Then fly out of England on the 16th. to arrive home on the 19th.
Oh my word its going to take some time to adjust and process the crazy year.

Monday, June 15, 2009

oh sweet weekend.

The sun was shining. The people were lovely.

I almost wanted to go swimming.

Brighton I love you. lovely Saturday with lovely people.

Monday, June 8, 2009

perfect day.

Today has been perfect. Just what I have needed after a hugely massive few weeks and a small stint of being ill..a Monday to do what I please with. And what did I please? London most definitely.

I mooched about South Kensington. Had a coffee and read a book. Did a bit of shopping in the extensive and large shops of Oxford Circus. Met my friend Mike and went to Covent Garden. Had another coffee and nearly got attacked by pigeons. Mooched about a bit more. Danced around a CD store to Black Eyed Peas. We then met my friend Jordan and a lovely girl called Sarah at an amazingly cute tea place on Bond street called Tea Orient. Devised a plan for the evening. Went to an amazing asian place called Wagamamas for dinner and tried my best to eat with chopsticks and talked deep about God and forgiveness. amazing. Then went to a part of the city filled with culture and drank mint tea over more hilarious conversation. Truly a day dreams are made of. So sad to have to say goodbye to it at Victoria station in the late hours of the night.

But tomorrow is work. and youth alpha. and getting to see the kids I work with. Which are all good things. Youth Alpha has been going amazingly. A guy last week that Ive been praying for heaps and that I know God has really put on my heart totally surprised us and said that God had spoken to him. Flipping heck. And we doubt God because..? totally blew me away.

The last few days have been full of pretty places. Possibly the most peaceful place Ive ever been. Saturday was a youth event at Ealesford priory which is a place that is still used for monks to live in. Just old buildings and amazingly beautiful gardens and monks sauntering about in their brown robes. perfect.

Next weekend may be a visit to Brighton. Have always wanted to go and Sarah invited me to go with her. exciting. we'll see.