I woke up in the morning with a sore throat and knew I was in for a rough day. I had to power through though as the island of Rangitoto was much to alluring. After a brief dash for parking, it quickly occurred to me that in order to get to said island I would need to take a ferry. I can power through a cold but motion sickness is different kind of beast. Nervously, I headed into the ship only thinking that if I got this far I have to keep going.
Keep in mind this is all with my team whom I’ve only spent a total of just under a week with. Surprisingly, I realized how strong connection can be even over text chat as I wasn’t afraid to admit that I end up leaning over the edge of the boat as soon as the waves started coming. Fortunately, the ride was quiet pleasant and was actually an awesome way to see more of New Zealand.
We got to the island and quickly set our sights on heading to both the summit and the lava caves. For most of the walk, we were walking right past lava rocks which was, at first, pretty neat but after a while became a sight I took for granted.
I’m convinced we must not have gone far enough on the trial to the lava caves as they were less than impressive (at least the ones we saw). Nevertheless, the hike was a blast and ended with a STUNNING view.
By this point, I was feeling pretty terrible and we soon were headed back down the path. Along the way, stories and laughs were shared that wouldn’t otherwise have happened had we only been chatting on slack. The longer I’m here the more I understand the importance of these team meetups.
As soon as I got back, I fell right to sleep on the couch. As I woke up in a daze, food options were being thrown around. Indian food was finally chosen and, man, was that a damn good choice:
The evening wrapped up with a great conversation along the stroll back to the other house.
Technically, today was my New Zealand birthday. I woke up still feeling not so great and headed to the coffee shop to try to wake up more. I ran into some team members there and realized how cool it was we were all doing a morning ritual together when the majority of the time we’re apart.
Today was day one of our project days. My groups task is to basically make VaultPress easier to use. It’s been a fun creative challenge and one that I think has been hard to narrow in on. Midway through my morning work grind, a package arrived for me:
Mackenzie sent this to me in collaboration with my team lead. I almost teared up over how thoughtful the whole thing was. Beyond that, this cake was actually delicious. I may or may not have had two slices. The structure was basically three giant cookies glued together with chocolate fudge. Ugh. So good.
The rest of the day we cranked out our projects and enjoyed each other’s company with little stories told here and there. To end the day, we went and got some amazing Italian food downtown near the water.
While it wasn’t technically my birthday (more on being 22 and this past year), I have to say it felt amazing to experience a day like this during a milestone. Here I am losing track of time working on something I genuinely enjoy surrounded by amazing coworkers and in an incredible place. Another day coming to a close…