Here's what we ended up doing this fine November weekend.
After an intense week of teaching for both students and staff we woke up to a cool Saturday morning and jumped in our vans and drove off to Wairere Falls, a waterfall on the other side of the Kaimai hills. There we went on a 1,5 hour hike up to the summit, counquering steep slopes, roots, rocks and mud, to finally reach the top of the waterfall. The wind was blowing like crazy and we got drenched in the spray as it literally rained upwards. Haha! We we're having a blast. Totally soaked we hiked back down through the jungle (how I would describe New Zealand forest) and celebrated together at the bottom with our packed lunches of wraps and cookies and attempts to dry our clothes. I was reminded of how much I love hiking and being out in uncomfortable situations where I need to push through. It's the life. Simple and joyful.
Oh, and on our way down some of our students met a 19 year-old chinese girl that was hiking by herself. It was actually her birthday today, and she was spending it all alone so she had walked all the way to the waterfall for three hours, then up and down, and was now on her way back to town. She was soo so happy to meet people to talk to and we ended up driving her back to town, celebrating her birthday by buying her chocolate and chips and singing for her. We also had really awesome conversations about God and we got to pray for her. Cooool.
When we got home to our apartment I jumped straight into the shower and turned the heat up to almost as hot as possible. Isn't that just the best after a cold day outdoors? I was reminded of something Clara Lidström wrote on her blog a few weeks ago about taking really, really hot baths, but how some people find that stressful, getting restless. If I translate her words to english: “The trick is to endure and stay a little bit longer. After a while the stress goes away and you end up almost in trance. THAT'S when the bathing starts. For real.“ I agree! A few months back, when we were at a natural hot pool here in NZ, I went straight over to where the outlet of boiling water was and sat as close as possible. It's something about the combination of cold air and hot water that balances it out and makes it super enjoyable.
It's now evening and I've had an incredibly restful day. With the rain dripping and darknes falling, Niklas and I have had dinner and coffee and read some good books and really rested. I went and found my stash of christmas decorations from home, and started putting them up to the sound of my christmas playlist on Spotify. I even got so inspired that I started writing this blog post. That's what rest does to me. (Here is the link to the playlist if anyone is interested.)