Kia Ora

Trip Start Jan 17, 2009
Trip End Sep 11, 2009

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Where I stayed
BK hostel

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Monday, March 2, 2009

Kia Ora, Kei te pehea koe?
(Hello, How are you?)

So I've now been in Auckland for 3 weeks and have really been enjoying my placement as a volunteer Occupational Therapist.  Although this working monday to friday lark is hard to get used to, especially as there is so much to do here so the weekends are pretty packed too!

My weekday starts with a rather early and long bus ride from the hostel into Waitekere (a suburb of Auckland), which is a good oppotunity for a catch up on sleep or sip a Starbucks from opposite the hostel.  Walking into the Inclusion Support Centre at Waitekere College involves a lot of hellos with the students and staff.  At 8.30am its time for stretches with the students for 15 minutes before school starts, they might need a lot of encouragement but they have a laugh as well.

Then the school day starts and each day is different.  I might have to work one to one with students to help them achieve their goals, such as scissor control, pencil skills and sequencing events; teach life skills such as road crossing, cleaning, self care (such as nail painting!!) and cooking; help transition students plan and work towards their goals; help students with school work and act as a teacher aide in main stream classes; help run brunch group with the students so planning what to buy, going shopping and finally making toasted sandwiches (those are good days!); go out to visits to the library and work experience placements; take children to appointments such as othortic clinics and to try new mobility solutions; go out on visits to primary schools to help certain children with problems such as fine motor control and you may get the chance to be involved in physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speach and language therapy and music therapy sessions.

I've also been assessing the new students and writing the Initial OT Reports for some of them, which involves evaluating lots of different areas of function and designing goals for the staff and student to work on.

The school day finishes at 15.05pm and then there is another bus ride home, which often involves napping!  In the evenings there are oppotunities so go to the cinema, go out to dinner (Mt Fuji on Queen Street is very nice!), go for a wander around the harbour or up to the sky tower (very impressive at sunset!) or just hang around at the hostel catching up with friends and watching TV or films.

My weekends have been really full as well - I've visited Kelly Tarltons Aquarium, Auckland Museum (with a Maori cultural show), Auckland Zoo (where I saw real live Kiwi's!!), Devonport (a pretty suburb of Auckland with great sky line views), Mission bay (a lovely beach with great fish a chips), several craft markets, and still got the Waitekere ranges/rainforest, black sand beaches and Waiheke Island on my list!

There is also a lot going on in Auckland, like the Starlight Symphony last weekend, the Jazz Festival this weekend, the Cultural Music Concert next weekend and the Auckland Festival starts this week so I'll be going to some events from there as well!

I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone, I've only got about 10 days left and then I'm back travelling around New Zealand for a month!

Best wishes,
E noho ra (Goodbye)

Tess x
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