10 years later

This post is a special post for me because today (5th December 2007) marks the 10 year anniversary of when we first touched down on New Zealand soil. I don’t remember many birthdays (I barely remember my own) but that day, the 5th of December 1997 is indelibly etched into my memory. We touched down in Auckland International Airport after a 13 hour stopover in Hong Kong and an even longer flight half way around the world. We were dead tired and I had jet lag for something like a week.

Pinero Place Panorama
But still, we had made it. For us New Zealand represented an adventure and the promise of good things to come. We arrived with nothing but the clothes on our backs and started rebuilding our lives from that point. For me, it was a wonderful growing experience. Fresh out of high school I was ready for the University environment and I flourished. Susan took a little longer to settle but came into her own of course, Scot assimilated better than any of us, almost instantaneously he taking on his own unique kiwi accent.
Mt. Ruapehu
So now, ten years on from that day that seems so very long ago, it is my opportunity to look back and reflect on the past decade of life here in New Zealand. I think I can truly say that I have become a New Zealander now. I have never felt such a sense of nationalism and pride for my country as I have felt for New Zealand over these last 10 years. New Zealand has held firm to leftist principles, it has openly denounced the overt acts of aggression by the US, it has instituted social and economic reforms many years before many other countries dared to even conceive of them. We have a long way to go, but I have every faith in the character of the New Zealand people.
Hicks Bay in New Zealand
It also just so happens that today, by some fluke, I received confirmation that I now have New Zealand security clearance. I won’t say what level or anything, but it’s a pretty big deal to me, I can assure you.