February 4. This morning was particularly uneventful. After waking up at 6am, we drove 6 hours to a desolate farm hostel near the ocean. The hostel was surprisingly comfortable. It possessed many luxuries that most of our group would have taken for granted in U.S. All we had time to do, however, was throw down our stuff and drive to the ocean to surf. In the car Elise asked us if any of us had surfed before. Only a handful of us had, and only 3 of us (including myself) were experienced.
Upon arriving at the beach, we were greeted by 5 local children. They yelled, jumped on us, and enjoyed our expressions as they picked and poked our unfamiliar faces. What Elise didn’t tell us was that the 3 experienced surfers would be teaching the local children to surf and the rest would be receiving surf lessons. Brian, Ben, and I put on wetsuits, grabbed longboards, and threw the local kids in the water. We played and laughed as we rode the whitewash, appreciating more and more how the children cherish moments like these. Only after 3 hours did we realize that it was dusk, so with no other option, we said our goodbyes and drove home.
The dinner at home was a really enjoyable affair. The awkward boundaries between the group members seemed to have been washed away by the surf. We acted more like a family than ever before. Ben and I tried to fix the hostel’s wifi (with no success) while the girls made rice and stir-fry in the kitchen. The rest of the boys were cooking chicken on the “barbie” and we joined them after an hour of frustrating results with the wifi. After dinner was wolfed down, we sat around the TV and watched Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which was totally sick because the movie was actually filmed in New Zealand (hope we see the location). Afterwards, we crawled into our comfortable beds, with nothing but the call of the Kiwi birds to fall asleep to.