First of all, great news! I (Morgan) secured a teaching position starting in September at Tai Tapu School. I will be teaching Year 2 (about 1st grade equivalent) from September 11th through the end of the year for a teacher who will be on maternity leave. Ev and I are so thankful that God  faithfully provided and are excited for this “step in the door”. I’ll be working right outside Christchurch; it’s about a 20 minute drive from where we are currently staying. In the meantime, we are beginning our search for a flat to rent and trying to stick to the east side of the city, as that would be closest to Tai Tapu and Grace Presbyterian church.

Approximate commute (Point A: where we live; Point B: where I'll work)

Also, Evan and I decided to take a day trip out to Arthur’s Pass. We chose a perfectly sunny day and finally experienced the heartbeat of the South island: the Southern Alps. When I think of “authentic” New Zealand, Arthur’s Pass is what I picture in my mind. Here is a little info about it:

Arthur’s Pass National Park is in the heart of the Southern Alps. Its high mountains with large scree slopes, steep gorges and wide braided rivers straddle the main divide – the ‘back bone’ of the South Island – between Canterbury and the West Coast. It is a park of contrasts, with dry beech/tawhai forest in the east, luxuriant rainforest on western slopes, and a historic highway and railway running through the middle. Arthur’s Pass was established in 1929 and was New Zealand’s third national park and the first one in the South Island.

Location of Arthur's Pass in relation to Christchurch

We were so excited to finally get out to the mountains! Although Arthur’s Pass is 140km outside Christchurch, the drive is absolutely beautiful curling through mountains, so we didn’t mind the couple hours in the car.

Here is a quick video of our journey that is definitely worth watching!

On the way to Arthur’s Pass we made a stop at Castle Hill-a collection of limestone boulders that span across the mountain side. This is the filming location for the battle in Narnia (The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe). Evan, of course, felt the need to act out a scene.

So here is a question if any of my previous 3rd grade students are reading: Which of the 3 types of rock is limestone?
Post your answer and I’ll send you a postcard from NZ!

Check out some other pictures from our trip!

Fog rolling in over Castle Hill
Atop Castle Hill
Arthur's Pass
Hiking to see the "Devil's Punchbowl"
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