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Ted Wright -- last update 2/19/2006 (& 2/20) (2006FebEmilyNewZealand.html)
Copyright 2006 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma
Emily Wright (& Laura Gillespie)
Feb. 2006
New Zealand Tour
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On Their Way to a Semester in Australia
This was our view from the plane to New Zealand. We were one of the only rows without a window!! The flight was really nice though, we ate good food, watched a movie and went to sleep!
This is me up in the Sky Tower in Auckland, it's the tallest bldg in the southern hemisphere! You can see the city down below me!
On our tour of the North Island of NZ we went from Auckland to Paihia (the Bay of Islands), then south of Auckland to Waitomo (where the caves were) and then to Rotorua.
We went on our first forest hike on the first day with our tour - it was really beautiful. They have these loud locust-type bugs that are deafening when you get into the bush! Here's me and my roomie, Laura hugging a giant kauri tree.
This shot is from the island we stopped off on in the Bay of Islands (in the North part of the North Island). We went sailing around the bay on a catamaran, it was really fun! We saw some dolphins and penguins and other cool ocean birds.
Laura and I went zorbing! We had to run and jump into this big ball with water inside and then they rolled us down the hill! We slid around everywhere, it was so much fun!
This was at the agrodome in Rotorua - they had sheep dog shows and stuff like that. There were tons of sheep every where we went, supposedly there are 6 million in the country of NZ!
This is a shot of lake Rotorua. The lake is really the top of a volcano that blew off and filled in with water over time, and the island in the center proves that the volcano is still somewhat active. It is formed by small amounts of lava rising up from the volcano - it's rebuilding it's top only to explode again someday!
We took a plane from lake Rotorua to see the hot springs and other volcanoes from the air! Here's a shot of the biggest volcano we saw from the plane. It exploded in a big line!
Boiling mud from all of the thermal activity in Rotorua. All over the city you can see steam rising from vents in the streets, people's yards, etc. Much of the power in the city comes from the thermal energy.
Laura and me in front of a big Rotorua geyser!
My daughter Emily (a 2003 CHS Grad) starts classes at James Cook Universiy in Australia (Monday Feb. 20th). She and her University of Miami roommate are both doing an exchange semester there. -- Ted
(Previous Coverage)
Check Back Later For Australia Photos
Email from Sunday (Feb. 19th): Hi dad! I went diving on the reef today!!! Laura and Lindsey and I went together out to Wheeler Reef, and it took about 3 hours to get there! It was a perfect day, so it was really calm on the reef and very sunny. I dove with a man who was also advanced so we could go deeper if we wanted, and he had a great underwater camera. He got my email and said he'll send me some of the pictures, so that's pretty exciting. A reef shark swam right by us, we saw some big groupers.....there were so many corals and fish and sponges and clams....i was scared just thinking about trying to do a scientific survey there. :)

Anyway, just wanted to tell you a little about my big day, I had a great time. Hope the weather has warmed up a little bit and that you're not dealing with driving on ice! -- Emily
Dad's note: The reef above would be the Great Barrier Reef. Emily says her temperatures there are in the 90s. I'm still trying to comprehend the time difference but she was already done with Sunday when the email arrived here 7am this Sunday morning. I did find these clocks to compare (we match Chicago and she matches Sydney).
I'd really like to have news and photos from other CHS grads (any year) to keep the folks in Collinsville posted on what you (or your University, job, or family) are up to. -- Ted Wright

Feb. 20 Email:
Jana Schubert is studying this semester in Manchester England. Not sure what her email is-her sister-in-law, Lexee Schubert, works at American Bank in Collinsville and her brother, Justin Schubert is a coach at the High School.

Glad to hear Emily is doing well and the pictures are great! Is her email the same?

Dana Short

-- Yes, Emily's email is the same but if you call her cell phone before she returns in mid-June, you will reach me instead -- Ted
(Jana & Emily are both 2003 CHS Grads)