Our arrival in Auckland on Thursday was a reversed culture shock. Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, and reminds us of a mix of San Francisco, Toronto, and New York in many ways. We are treating ourselves to a stay at the Hilton on Princes Wharf, right on the waterfront. On Friday morning, we took a one-and-a-half hour small-bus tour around the city to get oriented, and ended at the Auckland Museum which features Maori exhibits and a cultural show. The performance was wonderful! That evening we had a wonderful dinner in the Hilton waterfront restaurant. Yesterday, we walked around and shopped a bit, acquainting ourselves with the products available at the drug store and food stores. Today we are resting up in preparation for our departure to the Cook Islands early tomorrow morning. We will be in the Cook Islands for almost a month, spending the first few days on an outer island, Mauke, and then joining our Global Volunteer group on Roratonga for the following three weeks. Any updates to this web journal will probably not be posted until we return to New Zealand in November.
P.S. For those of you who want to know: we researched how the water drains out of our sink here in the Southern Hemisphere - we observed it to be clockwise. For more information on this topic (Coriolis effect), here is an article on the web: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_161