After her wonderful time in Japan, the group moved on to New Zealand. She says now that though Japan was one of her favorite parts because of the home stay, she really loved New Zealand and Australia. She was surrounded by so much beauty there, and it was so good to hear English spoken again.
In NZ they began their time with a few days in a Marae, sleeping on the floor and experiencing life as the original peoples of New Zealand would have.
From there, they moved on to a family's home on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Eating gluten- and dairy free in NZ was relatively easy. The mom where they stayed first kept her spoiled with gluten-free pancakes each morning--
And she had no problem finding cafes and restaurants with gf offerings!
|GF Pasta on Waiheke Island|
|GF Cappacino Muffin|
|Her first pizza in months!|
|Notice the Gluten-Free sticker on the mid-right of the box|
|In the harbor near the Sydney Opera House|
|On the beach, but not swimming because of the rain!|
|Seeing a kangaroo at the zoo!|
|And eating a kangaroo burger for Thanksgiving Dinner.|
She easily found gluten-free/dairy free food,
|A cafe near her youth hostel in Sydney.|
while she explored the beautiful countryside.
I think it may have been easier for her there than it is here at home. My sweet girl has always been a teensy thing, and in the earlier posts I told you how she lost weight in China but began to gain in Japan. By the time she came home, she had gained over 20 (needed) pounds! Never in my wildest dreams did I hope that she would gain weight on this trip, but she did--thanks to the great care of the wonderful people in other countries. And, I think, because it is, in fact, probably easier to eat gluten free in New Zealand and Australia where people are more health conscious, and there are more options.
She finished up her trip with a couple of days in Hawaii before coming home just in time to help get ready for Christmas. Finally she got some time on the beach in the sun!
|On the beach on Hawaii|
I'll end, again, with my girl's own words from her statement of learning about the semester. I am so proud of her! She is so glad she went. She felt really well the whole time she was gone. Can travel to difficult places be done on a restricted diet? It sure can! She learned a lot and so did we. And she's already talking about going back.
Looking back over the semester, I do not even begin to know where to start. Do I start in Beijing, the logical place, where it all began? In Japan, where I fell in love with the people? In New Zealand, where I was surrounded by some of God’s most glorious creation? Or in Australia, where I was surrounded by the familiar and unfamiliar simultaneously?
In each place, I struggled to find God there, and in each place, there He was, right there with me.
Also in this series China, At Last! My Traveler. . .An Update More from Travelin' Girl! Japan