Departure and arrival:
After frantically doing my last minute packing and storage of everything I own at the new condo, we left for the airport. Everything proceeded without problems even with four large pieces of luggage. ( The extra two cost me $5oo to take, but this was cheaper than shipping.) My bike was in two with all of my biking clothes and gear.
The good bye was hard. With my heart broken and cheeks wet with tears I left Cincinnati for the first leg of my flight to San Francisco. It was a pleasant 5 hour flight, reading half of a Dean Koontz book.
I had a little over one hour to cross two terminals and checkin at Air New Zealand. On arrival at the gate the plane was boarding. I worried about my luggage making it. The flight--14hours--was not bad. Dinner with wine(New Zealand of coarse), a movie(Sex in the City), and sleep. I slept through breakfast with the help of medication. But got a cup of coffee before arrival in Auckland.
I arrived without a problem, but one of my bags was left in San Francisco (the one with my clothes!) But my bike and biking gear made it! So I was in the same jeans and top for three days, luckily I packed extra underwear in my carryon.
I was able to freshen up in the bathroom at the airport before taking a shuttle to meet the representative of the New Zealand Board of Medicine. The interview was more of a formality than anything. I had completed all the paperwork previously. The Rep was a very nice lady in her 50's with a great story. She had survived breast cancer, primary and recurrent, and during it all took up competitive rowing (outrigger canoe solo and team). She is an amazing athlete!!
The flight into Palmerston North was on a small prop plane. But the views were great. As green as Ireland and just as beautiful!
I was met by three ladies from the hospital. Christine the physician recruitment person with whom I had worked and communicated with for three months. Robin from OB. And Caron one of the physicians with whom I will be working. She just completed her residency in Orlando Florida and has only been here for 4 weeks. She is with her husband Scott (ER doc) and their two year old son, Owen--fun and full of energy! I guess I will be a grandma for a year.
After a quick introduction to my new home, I was left to collapse and await a new day for the unpacking.
The first week:
It took me three days to get over the jet lag and get my days and nights in order! But the weather has been cold and rainy with major wind.
Each day has been full of business--applying for tax number (first priority), electricity, gas, telephone, Internet, TV (still waiting), bank account, and the list goes on...Finally got my luggage and my shipment from home. Now just trying to unpack and organize.
I found the bike shops in town. Crank It Cycles is a wonderful shop. The owners are a fantastic couple--tandem riders. They loved my Serrota. They are trying to find a company in NZ that can couple their tandem or make a new one for them.
I decided (on good advice) to buy a cheap hybrid commuter type bike that I would not mind leaving outside shopping centers and work.
I have actually put several miles on it going to and from the shopping center for groceries and the town center for tools, house supplies, etc.
I am getting used to looking over my right shoulder and riding on the left. I love the roundabouts! And they have wonderful wide bike lanes--painted green--lights and signs for bikers everywhere. I had my first good ride today along the river in the rain but it felt great.
Tomorrow starts my first day at work. The first week has passed too quickly.