Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu
View of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fun week!!

     We are having a wonderful mission. It is a great feeling to know we are doing the Lord's work everyday. The image capturing in the archives is going along nicely. We are becoming more efficient every day. The week seems to pass by very quickly. We have gotten into a routine of taking our lunch Monday thru Thursday and eating in the lunchroom at the archives with the staff. On Friday, we treat ourselves to lunch out at one of the small cafes on George Street.

     One of the special things we get to do on our mission is share some time with the Elder and Sister Missionaries. We love it when they stop by our flat. They are so dedicated and inspiring to be around. We will remember each of them forever.

Sister Tavelea, left, is from Tonga, Sister Shaw is from Utah.

Elder Daniel, left, is originally from Pleasant Grove, Utah but his family moved to Wyoming. Elder Berryhill is from Tennessee.

     Saturday is our day to get things done and, if we have some time, to see some of the sights. Yesterday the Relief Society had a special program for the sisters at the church. When Debbie was through, we went for a late afternoon drive. We drove along a coastal highway on the inside peninsula out to the Royal Albatross Centre at Harington Point. We were on a penguin and albatross quest, but we were a little late for the sanctuary tours. We will do it another day. We still saw some amazing scenery and wanted to share some photos of our adventure..... enjoy!!

These modern art teeth give new meaning to the mouth of the harbor.

This plaque is on the ground by the molars.

Dunedin does a lot of art projects around town. These giant molars at the "mouth" of the harbor are just a hint to the special sense of humor here.

Looking into Otago Harbour, and yes, Dunedin does have a dental school at the University of Otago. This place has a fairytale feeling about it, maybe this is from Jack in the Bean stock.

Looking southwest towards Dunedin.

Sun setting in the west.

Photo of a really fun travel companion.

Another view of far-off Dunedin. Love how the sheep dot the country side.

The Royal Albatross Centre does guided tours for both the Albatross and Blue Penguins. The Alabtross chicks have hatched and are getting big. That tour was closed so we will be back soon.

The red-billed gull is a native of New Zealand striking a pose. No need for the red-eye feature on the camera with this little beauty.

Which way should we go?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Our New World

We would like to share some information about our new world today. We are living in a two bedroom flat in South Dunedin. It is an older fourplex with newer features and is very cozy, with easy access to stores. The ocean is about a mile down the road at St Clair beach. We’ve already seen what a calm ocean looks like….  and what a not-so-calm ocean looks like. 

We live on the bottom level in the front unit. The silver Corolla is what we drive.

Dunedin is big on recycling. The small blue bins out front are for glass. There are two big bins out back..... one for recycling plastic and paper, the other for rubbish.
Apartments in Dunedin are called flats. Our flat has a smaller kitchen, but it has all the appliances including a washer & dryer. The kitchen table is in the front room. We actually enjoy sitting by the window as we eat and watch the new day dawn.

The furniture is very comfortable. We also have a TV with a few free channels. The room is heated by what they call a heat pump installed on the wall. It does a great job of keeping the place warm. The tile floors in the bathroom and kitchen are also heated.

We have already seen some amazing sunrises out the front window.
Debbie made a quilt and coordinating pillow cases for our New Zealand bed before we left home. The colors of the NZ flag are the same as the American flag. It sure brightens up the room.
We wear two different badges on our mission. When we are in the archives we wear our Family Search badge and refer to ourselves by our given names. We are there representing Family Search as we process the New Zealand probate records. When we leave the archives we put on our Missionary badges that show we represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in everything else we do.

It is still the cool time of the year down here. We had to scrape ice off the car windows a few times last week. We have a Toyota Corolla to drive. It looks to be a little bigger than the Corollas back home. Before we came here Bart joked about foreigners having the cleanest windshields in New Zealand. Now here’s the truth….. that is 100% correct. If Bart has time to plan his turns, he will use the turn signal control located on the right side of the steering wheel. But If he reacts quickly to use the turn signal control, he pretty much hits the windshield wipers located on the left side of the steering column every time.... Soooo frustrating!!  But we do get a good laugh out of it sometimes.

We have a really nice work environment in the New Zealand Archives. We have a large room that is exclusively ours. The capturing process goes something like this….. the archive staff will bring us in a box of probates. We prep them, photograph them, and put them back in the box the way we found them. The staff at the archives are wonderful. We feel very blessed to be accepted and made to feel at home in their environment.

Parking in Dunedin is expensive. Luckily we get to park free behind the archives in the car park.
The staff office end of the archives has lots of windows. The entry opens into a warm and inviting lobby area.
Several large display cases welcome visitors to the archives. In the back area are the receptionist's desk, computers provided for research to the public and a large research room which our area connects to.

Our work area is just the perfect size for what we do. We are able to close a door to keep the lighting environment the same while we take the photos.

The camera we use is a Nikon D800E. The apparatus that holds it and the lighting brackets are all built from scratch by the Family Search team back in SLC.

Each Friday we ship a hard drive to Family Search in Salt Lake with all of the images that we have captured for the week. We ship it in a big black case that has spy intrigue written all over it. They download the results and audit them. If we did good, no further action is necessary. If they find any problems with the images, they will request that we recapture them. 

Left to Right: Elder Rob Dickey, Sharon, Sister Brenda Dickey, Amy, Andrew and Vivian. Rob & Brenda are the amazing missionaries we replaced. The others are some of the warm and friendly archive staff we get to work with. This photo was taken in the lunch room at the rear of the archives on Rob & Brenda's last day.

The archives is located on George Street, the main street through Dunedin. The center of town is called the Octagon. It is amazing.... the architecture is Scottish influenced. The archive is right next to Otago University….. students are everywhere. They have a medical school, dental school, pretty much everything.  The streets are alive with people all day long. On a corner next to the archive is Rob Roy Dairy. It reminds us a lot of Farr’s Ice Cream in Ogden.  So far Bart’s favorite flavor is Lime Swirl and Debbie’s is Hoky Poky…. she has no idea what’s in it, but it’s NZs favorite ice cream. There are lots of little restaurants to eat at along George Street but we mainly take our lunch to the archive each day. 

Looking towards the center of town. Dunedin is just starting out of it's cold time of year. You can see by the tree that the leaves are gone for the winter. But what is unusual is there are flowers and plants everywhere that actually grow in the winter.

The drivers in Dunedin are for the most part extremely polite. They stop when the lights turn yellow….. they are very good to yield to the vehicle on the right at round-a-bouts, and when you turn on your blinker they will let you in..... radical concept!!

Welcome to Port Chalmers

Port Chalmers is a short drive up the inland shore of Otago Harbor. Our cover photo for this blog was taken on this lookout above Port Chalmers. 

Hilltop view of Port Chalmers showing the containers stacked up on the dock and the quaint village in the background.

Love the architecture of the buildings in Dunedin and surrounding areas.

This photo is looking towards the entrance to the harbor where arriving ships come in. As we were leaving later this day we saw a gigantic container ship making its way into port.

This is the docking facility in Port Chalmers where the big ships load and unload.

The water in Otago Harbor is too shallow for the large cruise ships and container ships to navigate to Dunedin so they offload at Port Chalmers. We hear it gets kinda crazy when the cruise ships come in. They load all the tourists who want to go into Dunedin into shuttle buses and drop them off at the Octagon (center of town). Some of the ships carry as many as 2500 people. That's a lot of busloads. 

Don't know where they come from or where they are going, but there are a lot of logs laying around the port.
We had a wonderful drive up the coast to Port Chalmers and have included some more pictures below. We had lunch in a little hotel cafe on main street.
On a day like today it's hard to take a boring photo!!
Some of the homes along the coast are so picturesque.
You never know when you might see a gigantic headless statue sticking out of the ground feet up. That's why you always carry the camera!!

Looks like someone familiar hiding in the trees!!

Close-up of an earlier picture. So peaceful and serene!!

There is so much to see and do in and around Dunedin. We have been told by our leaders to take the time to enjoy the culture and sights on our mission. This little adventure only took us about four hours. We are glad we have 18 months to take it all in. Dunedin even has an excursion train and the most amazing train depot ever. Wonder if Bart will find that interesting?