It's a bit weird
I've been in Sweden for almost a week now and I still can't believe it that I've left New Zealand... I think that I'm starting to get that I'm home, but it feels like I'll be going back to Tilly and Tyne soon. It will take a while though...
When I landed in Copenhagen, I was so excited! Tears were falling and I was wearing my very goofiest grin just because I could see my family again. It's funny though, because as son as you see someone here at home you're really happy (which is good), but after a couple of minutes it doesn't fell like you've been away. Not for more than maybe a weeks vacation. 
A couple of friends came and visited me on some days later and it was so relaxed. I had been a little afraid that everything would have changed, but it hadn't. Everyone was basically the same, just a year older.
It's nice to be back, but I'm quite sad that this year is over as well...
Since I'm at home now, I won't write aymore on this blogg... So just a piece of advice if you're thinking about going away as an au pair or just travelling foor a while: DO IT! It's absolutely amazing to see another country and as an au pair get to know a different family. You won't regret it!
Cheers Anna


Seeing the All Blacks in Dunedin
Saturday morning at 5 o'clock I wake up to get ready. I eat breakfeast and I am really excited because we are going to Dunedin!
We arrive in New Zealand's student city around lunch time and find our way to the backpackers without any problem at all. Smooth!
First thing we did was to walk into centrum to explore. But even before we come to the center of Dunedin, we run into one of the biggest celebrities in New Zealand: Richie McCaw, the captain of the All Blacks! Lucky Strike!!
Later on we went to the game and we found that we'd gotten really good places. It was an awesome game! Really exciting, lots of twists and finally the right team won in the end. We even got to see a streaker... (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not though)
On the Sunday we went to the Cadbury (chocolate) factory. They had a short tour that you could do and it was nice. Afterwards we went eating and when we finally got back to our "home" Hilda just fell asleep. I ended up watching a movie with some guys in the hostel. It's always nice to travel around here in New Zealand. Even if you're travelling by yourself, others are doing it as well so you can find someone to hang out with for the night.
Monday was nice and relaxed and at lunch we started making our way back to Nelson. 
Now I've started packing my stuff for going home "home". I'm leaving New Zealand on Sunday and I just can't believe it! The only reason I know I'm going is because I've got the tickets. I always thought that my whole body would be screaming "Sweden" after a year, but I don't really feel any different than I did from the start... It's rather the opposite! I could easily stay here for another couple of months without being more homesick than I usually am....
Don't get me wrong though. I really look forward to come home and see everyone again! I guess it's a feeling that you won't really get until you've experienced it yourself.... It's kind of confusing... 


Almost 20
Time really flies by...
I've got 4 weeks left now and I've already started to say goodbye to people that I won't meet again.
Kyle and Hayley came over to say bye and since I'm turning 20 on Wednesday as well we had some birthday cake. 
It's actually really sad to think that it's the beginning of the end for my journey. I've been away for almost a year, but whn I think back on it, it doesn't feel like more than a couple of weeks. I thought that once you're in the end, when you've been here for a long time, it would feel really different from when you came here. But it doesn't... It still feel like I could go on for another half a year without problem.
At the same time I really do want to go home. I haven't seen my friends and family for a year! Of course I want to go home! 
Well, it's soon enough anyway :)
Next weekend: Felicia is coming to visit me! Looking forward to it!!!
Here's the birthday cake the made me. Carrot and banana cake, yum! Thank you Clare!


Easter holidays
I know that I'm really late with putting this in, but Tilly has finally turned 5! That means that she's finally going to start school! Wihoo! I've been looking forward to it for a while now, but it's hard to understand that it's finally here. We haven't seen much of it either since the holidays started right after her birthday. She will start properly on Monday and that's really exciting!
We've managed to have a great birthday party in the meanwhile. I got to be a clown, Tilly was a princess (obviously), Tyne was a pirate and Clare was a fairy. We had 2 bouncy castles and a great cake. The kids were everywhere and we even managed to have a small easter hunt. In short it was great! Really fun.
Next week term 2 starts and we'll see what me and Tyne will be up to then. Like I said it's holidays now, so we go to different play grounds, visit the library, go swimming and do some crafting. It's a bit calmer now, so we manage to do more "special things", but I like it when it's busy as well.
I was trying to put up a picture of the birthday party, but it doesn't seem to work... I'll come back to it at some point (hopefully)


Last Sunday was one of the most exciting days I've ever had!
We've been talking about it for a long time, but now it finally happened. Me and Hilda did a skydive here in Motueka. 16,500 ft (5 km) above the ground we jumped out of a small airplane to free fall for about 60 seconds in about  speed of 200 km/h. God it was cold! and incredibly windy too.
But I did it and I'm proud of myself. Even though the bungy jump felt a bit worse before, the skydiving felt worse afterwards... Probably because it took a lot longer than my bungy did. The whole thing took about 2 hours with instructions and everything and we were exhausted afterwards. I can check it of my list though :)
There's one thing left: Seeing a rugby game. 
Therefore, we're going down to see All Blacks in Dunedin in June. Exciting!

For you who are keeping count: I've got les than 3 months now. I'll be back soon!


3 months left
This weekend has been absolutely awesome! Me, Hilda and Leo went to Golden Bay together for a horse trip we had planned on the Sunday and I've had so much fun! 
We started of with the Wainui Falls in the middle of nowhere and it was lovely. It's not a very big waterfall but it's still impressive when you stand underneath it and look. I could feel my science personality pop up and think: "I wonder how much water comes down there every second...", but I could still enjoy the moment.
After that we went to Wharariki Holiday Park where we slept. It was very funny, because they didn't have any cutlery or plates that campers could use and we hadn't brought any. We ended up eating pasta cabonara with cooking utensils out of a pan. Except for that we also discovered that the toilets where inside but so called "long-drop" toilets. (Bajamaja typ). It was hilarious!
Sunday morning we finally went to the horse camp where we were going to start and got set up with the horses. My horse was called Chutney and he was the nicest of them. Hilda's was called Scooby, he was lazy and stopped to eat all the time, whilst Leo's was grumpy and tried to start fights every now and then. It was an amazing way to see the Wharariki Beach! We saw seals and we even got to trott and galopp at full speed over the sand. For a first-time-rider I'm really proud of myself!
After 4 hours on horse back, we said  goodbye and continued our journey to Pupu Springs. Pupu Springs is supposed to contain one of the clearest waters in the world, but we never got to try it sadly enough...
After a lot of week ends doing basically nothing, this weekend was really busy. But gosh how enjoyed it!
Otherwise, there's only 3 months left until I'm going home again... I know that I've really wanted to go home for a while now and I still do want to go home. But at the same time I know that this time will never ever come back again, and it makes me a bit sad. Every evening where I'm thinking "nice, another day's passed" I'm also another day closer to go home.
Gosh it will be hard...


It still feels like a dream
I've been here for 8 months and I've got less than 4 months left. I know that I've said it before, but I can't believe how fast the time passes... I've got less than 20 weeks to go until this all ends. It's really weird, because this is my everyday now. 
At the sam time, it feels like the world has stopped. I had that feeling in the beginning of my journey. The real world back in Sweden had stopped, I didn't need to keep up with anything at home because I was so far away. Like a week of vacation where nothing has happened when you come back. I didn't realise that I was going to be here for far longer than a week. Now it feels like I've been here for forever, but at the same time not more than a couple of weeks...
Therefore I have the same feeling like have been away for maybe 2 weeks...
However, Tilly has learned to whistle! She's been trying ever since I came in July and now she finally kows how to do it! (More or less...) She's also having weekly visits in school now. Every Monday is school day until she starts school for real, when she turns 5. 
Tyne acts like always. Breaking things and being cheekier than he should. With the hair of an angel he charms people though. I can't count all the times I've heard some lady whisper to her friend "what gorgeous hair. He's lovely" and I'm  like "Yeah... Right...".
I love them both very much though.
Last couple of days of the summer holidays. Beach, beach and more beach :)
Fun with hairspray! Tyne could fit in "Grease"
Fun with hairspray! Tilly looks like a triangel almost...
Tilly, the Queen on Pens
Tyne at a local music festival. The cool guy


7 months and counting
7 months have passed and so much has changed since I came here. 
Tyne and Tilly have hade their first "real" week at kindy, wich gives me 8 hours / week when I'm all by myself. I get time to clean and prepare things, but I have to say that it feels very empty and quiet in the house. After a short while I look forward to picking them up from kindy. 
Their other activities haven't started yet though. The kids are going to start gymnastics, so that Tyne can do that even when Tilly starts school in about 3 months. That is going to be very intresting too, but it doesn't start until March some time. The school holidays end this week (I think), but all the different things for the kids start at different times (like the one in march). But it doesn't really matter anymore, because I've gotten so used to having the kids all the time and plan trips for us. I think we've been more to the beach this summer than I've ever been before for example. It's nice to be able to plan things by yourself for once. It's going to be nice when everything starts up againg though, especially when the weather's bad... 
But that doesn't happen too often here. Lucky me! :)


201 days
 I was trying to trying to wrap my head around that I've been here for 5 months, when i suddenly realised that I've been here for more than 6 months now. It's unbelievable! I've been here for 201 days now!
I've finally started working againg after a long Christmas break and I'm in the middle of the summer holidays by now. The school actually starts in February, but Tilly and Tyne's kindy starts on the 20th of January. I'm so excited to see how Tyne is going to handle the kindy! I'll be there with him the first couple of weeks, but I wonder how he's going to cope by himself. He's getting so big now!
Otherwise, life continues like usual. The summer hasn't been really good yet. It's been raining a lot apparently, but it's been nice the last couple of days. The opposite of the cold Sweden. Doesn't feel like January!


I have now had the strangest Christmas in my life. Firstly the customs of an English family is a bit different from the costums of a Swedish and secondly the weather is completely wrong. 25 degrees and brilliant sunhine is not what I'm used to in the middle of December. 
The 25 of December started of with lots and lots of Christmas presents. Our living room was just overflowing. After all the presents had been exchanged we had a nice breakfeast together with pancakes and champagne. After that we all went to the beach to relax and enjoy a great sunny day ( I managed to burn my butt -_- ). We ate some sallad and had a great time there together. 
In the evening we finally had the big "Christmas Dinner" with turkey, sausages and beef. It was lush (great)! Afterwards we played some games together. They had a big competion in an "After Eight Race". You put an After Eight on your forehead and then you have to get it down all the way to your mouth without using your hands. 
After a lot of eyebrow-wiggling and nose-scrunging I managed to get the third place. It was hilarious!
I forgot to mention it, but last weekend me Hilda introduced a Swedish tradition down here in Kiwiland. We did "Lucia". 
We were a bit worried that they would think that it was very strange, it's a quite funny tradition after all. Especially if you can't speak Swewdish. But they really enjoyed it and thought it was great. They especially loved the last song, namely "Jingle Bells". Thank you Hilda! (Tilly and Tyne got some glitter too)
Ps. I have been here for more than 6 months now. Isn't that crazy!? Ds.


First advent
It's december here now and it's the first advent. They don't celebrate the advent like we do: the typical 4 candles where you light a new candle every week until christmas, but they've their so called "advent calender" for each day. My kids got some wih chocolate in, so they were quite happy.
We had a big barbecue with friends and family today. The sun was beaming down and I have to say that it's really strange to heara the Christmas carols singing about a white Christmas when there's no chance that there'll be one down here. Their winter is between June and August.
Another thing that's quite strange is how fast it goes to go back to normal. It's only a week since me and Hilda came back from our holidays on the south island, but it feels like we've never been away. Like it was all a big amazing dream. Luckily it wasn't!
This week is actually quite exciting. I think it's the last one before the summer holidays and on Friday I'm supposed to join a "Santa Parade". They have it in the dfferent towns here and kindergardens, music groups and whoever wants can join and march down the street with them. I haven't seen one before, so I'll be participating in my very first Santa Parade. Exciting!


Sometimes I feel that I never ever want to leave!


Holidays again... And it's december!
I had a vacation about 5 weeks ago and last week I had another one with another au pair in Motueka called Hilda. We travelled around most of the south island in one week and when I ook back, I wonder how we managed. But we did!
We started of going all the way down to Fox Glacier during the first day and it took about 7 hours to drive. We slept there at a holidaypark and the day after we had our first bi thing. We wandered on the glacier.
We had wonderful weather when we woke up so we were quite optimistic, and we did have awesome weather until lunch. After that the heavens just opened up and it poured down like crazy! I got so wet and that made the wind freezing cold. 
The day after our near-drowning-experience we drove down to Queenstown, the adrenaline capital. We went to Doubtful Sound and did White Water Rafting there. 
Doubtful Sound was just amazing! It's so beautiful. The only sad part was that I got a bit seasick, but I didn't realise it then...
And the White Water Rafting was great too. If I could repeat one thing on our journey, that would be it.
After Queenstown we went to a town called Oamaru. We had only heard that it was supposed to be a nice small town with a couple of older buildings, but when we got there our hostel mum told us that you could see penguins on the streets in the night. So we went out on a treasure hunt for penguins that night. It was exciting and we did see some penguins. But it was dark so the pictures we took weren't very good...
After Oamaru was Christchurch, the biggest town on the south island. There we visited "Willowbank Reserve" were you could see different kinds of birds and animals that now live in New Zealand. We finally saw the famous kiwibird. After 5 months I finally saw it. But it's not so strange, because there aren't many kiwibirds left living in the wild and they're nocturnal, so you don't have a big chance to see the, but at the reserv you could and it was really good!
The last thing on out trip was Kaikoura, where "whale watching" is a big thing. We went out of course but since I didn't realise that I got seasick at Doubtful Sound I went out without some kind of preperation. It ended up with me throwing up dureing the whole trip (2 ½ approximately). But I did have a short glimpse of the whale we saw, so I'm content.
That was basically all we did in a about a week and I have to say that this trip was as awesome as the first one. Travelling with a friend makes a huge difference though! Here's my nice comrade:
Thank you Hilda! I had a great time!
When I came back it hit me that I've been away for 5 months now. Isn't incredible how fast time passes by? I can't believe that it's only a month until Christmas and to me being hafway through my year already. I'll be back in Sweden before I know it! 


Sorry guys! I came back last week, but I forgot to right anything...
Now i'm back though! I've been on holiday for about two weeks and i saw a lot on the north island. I travelled through both Wellington and Auckland, visited Hobbiton (around Matamata) and "Hot Water Beach" on the Coromandel Peninsula. I did some black water rafting and bungy jumped. In short, it's been two busy weeks!
I'm finally back though  and I never thought that it would happen, but i missed the kids! It was lovely to be away and have some time for myself, but I missed seein people that I recognised. It's actually very nice to be back in routines...
But after only two days of work it felt like I've never left. Everything was back to normal and I thought that nothing new will happen now. But like every time I think that, something major changes. This week she starts going to kindergarden instead of playcenter, where we've been going before. This is so that she can get more prepared for school and meet more kids that are in her age. I big reason for the change is also that she is supposed to get ri of me. Since I'm bringing the kids everywhere and stay with them there, they get used to me being there. When school starts though, she'll be by herself during the day. 
That means that she'll be dropped off at the kindergarden while me and Tyne go do something else. It wll be exciting and strange to not have both of the kids all the time. It will be even more strange once Tyne starts kindergarden to, but it's a couple of months until then luckily!


After 3 months of constant work, my first holidays finally arrived! I'm currently in Nelson, travelling to Wellington tomorrow and I'm soooo excited!
But luck doesn't seem to be on my side yet... I was looking for a backpacker called: "The Green Monkey" and I looked and looked and looked for ages. Finally I found it. Only to find out that there wasn't a backpacker anymore... It had stopped existing ages ago, as the person I met there expressed it... 
Well, tough luck. But know I'm at another backpacker called "Almondhouse" and I've still got my spirit!
I'm sharing a room with three german girls tonight, they seem very nice and they are travelling together. I have to say that I'm a bit jealous... I would have wanted to travel with someone too, but well. It can't be helped...
I'll be away for about 2 weeks and I don't know how much I'll write... But you'll have to bear with it!


Almost 25%
Next Tuesday is a special day. On Tuesday, I will have spent 25 % of my year here. I know that I'm saying it all the time, but time passes by so fast!
I'm having such a great time that I don't want to go home and thinking that I've already done a fourth makes me a bit sad. At the same time there's nothing I'd rather do than to go home and see my family and my friends. It's kind of strange... I would like to combine these two different worlds. 
Otherwise, I'm having holidays soon. My family is going over to Australia for their vacation with the kids, so I get 2 weeks of too. I'm going to travel around on the north island a little, and even though I'm going by myself I hope that I'll have a good time (which I probably will).
Except from that there's not been anything special... And writing about everyday things like washing and vacuuming aren't very intresting. So, so long! 


What I'll miss the most
It's incredible how fast time passes! My host mother works as a midwife and has started to take up bookings for June already! I'm a pregnancy away from coming home again! 
I'm excited to go home and show everyone what I've been doing down here, but at the same time I really feel like I don't want to leave here. I feel more and more that being an au pair is not a job. It becomes more of a lifestyle after a while. 
I'm sure that not everyone agrees with me and it may seem strange, but that's the way I'm feeling now. I enjoy it so much to see how much the kids have developed during the time I've been here and I have only been here for about 3 months.Tyne has started talking for real and Tilly has found an interest in both reading and writing.You can really see the difference when you look back at how it was in the beginning.
Like I said, I often think of how it'll be when it's time for me to go home and when I think about I realise that I don't think I want to go home (not yet at least). Except for the wonderful host family that I've got, I'll miss the wonderful nice kiwi people that is here. 
Sweden is a country where people are known to be quite cold to strangers and when I compare the Swedes to the kiwis that I meet here, I have to agree. They are so much friendlier to strangers! I don't know if it's because I live in a region where a lot of tourists come in the summer, but I think that the kiwis in general are extremely friendly. 
Everytime we (me and the other au pairs here in Motueka) go out to eat or take a coffee the employees ask abou where we're from and what we're doing here. For how long we're going to stay and if we like New Zealand. And they actually seem interested in what you have to say
I know that i thought it was very weird in the beginning, when everybody asked how you were, but I wish that the Swedish people was a bit friendlier. I will miss it!


Time passes by
I can't understand where the time went! I woke up this Friday still thiking that it was Tuesday and it feels like it was yesterday that I finished my first month!
Now I've been working for 9 weeks and I've almost done 20 % of my whole year here! It's going soo fast! 
First I only counted the days to know how many days I'd got left until I could get back home. Now I'm counting them to know how much time I've got left until I have to go home. I realized that even if it's hard now, I'll never do the same thing again. This year will be the time I've got. When it's over it's never coming back!
I know that this happens all the time, but when you're at home moments that have passed can be recreated and be almost the same as they were. Once I've gotten back to Sweden though, it's over.
I'm going to try my very very best to enjoy all of my time here!


I haven't thought much about it before, even though we went through it on the introduction course in Auckland, but earthquakes can be quite scary when you're not used to it. 
We apparently had this massive earthquake in the area where I live and even though I felt it, it wasn't very big. I'm fine but it's strange to think that I'm in the country that actually had this kind of natural disaster... It's a different matter to see it on the news. 
Well, there's nothing to do about it anyway. I'll probably get used to it eventually...


Ordinary Sunday
Sunday is one of the days were I can do whatever I want. I use it to go to church mostly, I tried to so in Sweden to so I just wanted to give you guys a tip:
If you went to a church close to the swedish so called "pingstkyrkan", then "Church of Christ" down here is an awesome alternative!
Anyway, I've only been there about 3 times, but the people there are really friendly. Even though I'm not fully feeling like a natural part in yet, I'm sure I will in the future sometime. 
But enough about that, I actually wanted to tell you about what happened when we youths went out to eat pizza. We went out after church and on our way home the driver decided to be a bit mischievious. He drove the van through some water. The vehicle stopped working for a while there and it was raining outside...
It was very funny, even though it may not sound like it! We laughed a lot!
After a while we got the car to work after all, so that we could get back to Motueka.
In short: It was a great day!