Friday, August 31, 2012

A New Home

Otago University Quadrangle - Geology Department on left
I finally arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand on Tuesday 28th August. In my multi-stage journey I flew from Portland (2 hrs) to San Francisco, where I somehow killed 10 hours waiting for the 12-hour overnight flight to Auckland - which passed uneventfully. My boots failed the Agricultural Inspection (encrusted with dried Decorah Shale that I had tried to scrape off just before leaving), and I had to wait while they were cleaned. Then the flight to Christchurch - which went over NW Nelson (my PhD field area). That was followed by the short hop to Dunedin. I was struck by the whiff of cow manure permeating the air as I walked from the plane to the terminal at the Dunedin Airport. My bags all arrived safely. I had completely forgotten how miserably cold and damp Dunedin houses (uninsulated, no central heating) are at this time of year. Right now it is 9 - 13 degrees celsius inside - cooler than outside. It is now Saturday, and I have been able to get myself set up at the University with an office, internet connection, keys, and printer access. I have also been able to get a New Zealand cell phone and a bank account. I have found myself a place to live (will be moving in on 9th September). I went out for a beer with Faculty and students at the University Staff Club at the end of the day Friday - good to see that some traditions remained unchanged.  Right now (Saturday afternoon) I am getting this blog set up and planning next week's work. I am going to aim to complete a draft of my Eyre Creek Manuscript (minus photos). I will need to go into the field to get decent pictures - that will be a challenge. I am also looking forward to setting up online journal access on Monday - they have a complete suite of journals available online - I'm really excited about that!