Whew! Made it.
As I write this, I am 10 days into my semester-long stay at Lincoln University, New Zealand. I’ve flown across the globe in search of warmer weather (for the time being, at least), new people and, as a lecturer put it to a group of us, the meaning of life and where to find the best coffee. Exciting and challenging, bearing its moments of loneliness yet utter joy and excitement, here my feet stand, welcoming the unknown and adventures to come. Whew! What a whirlwind.
For my first blog post, I would like to highlight a lesson shared with me from a fellow student. The student – Christopher, 44-years-old, married, with a 3-year-old child – came from Colorado State University to study agriculture at Lincoln University. Sitting underneath a willow tree, we started sharing our stories with one another. He told me of his journeys all around the world, how he would like to use his experience studying abroad to better small-scale agricultural production in Colorado, and the hopes he has for his family. He held such a wonderful attitude towards education and life; his words transparent, simple, honest and consistently positive.
I did not say much during our chat – mostly just listened. I did end up telling him a little of my background and reasons for coming but was much more interested in hearing another of his stories. Lunchtime was passing so quickly it seemed the sun had moved its position, having to pause our conversation until the next time. Walking away from the spot underneath the willows, headed for my next class, I finally realized the meaning of our conversation. Throughout it all, we kept coming back to the idea that we were here in this specific place for a reason, so we must do with it what we can. Whether that is traveling or growing emotionally as a person, serving the local area, or becoming invested in a worthy cause. All his stories were rooted in the concept of doing good in the space we have chosen because we never know where it could lead to next.
This is just one stone along this path we must each travel. So far, I am finding my way and liking this Kiwi-marked slab very much!