Just a quick update to our readers: If you haven’t noticed in the top right corner of our site is a new link, TUB Shirts. If you are interested in what we are making, click there. Also, let us know if you would like to purchase one and we’ll give you all the information you need!

Taking off from Auckland and landing in Wellington felt like it was only a 10 minute flight for the birds, but it just enhanced the excitement! Rushing off the plane and thankful that there wasn’t another customs to go through, Jaime and Kelley collected their luggage for the last time and met up with the Victoria University’s representatives. Welcomed with a little souvenir, this time VNTRbirds gratefully accepted a weaved tote with a bunch of useful (and some useless) information of their new University.

After waiting for a shuttle to come pick them and the rest of the TEAN group up, TUB was zipped through the city and plopped on the sidewalk to seek out their new flat (apartment). Jaime set off first so Kelley could watch the bags. Of course the flat is up a million concrete steps followed by a million more. Lugging up each 50 pound (23kg for you New Zealanders) bag was a strenuous workout, but worth it in the end. The two birds turned around at their door and soaked in the beautiful view of Wellington. The flat is seriously at the very top of the hill that looks straight down onto the ocean, the city center, and the fields and of course the glorious mountains.  VNTRbirds will be returning home with thighs and buns of steel from walking up to the apartment at least four times a day.


Moving into their rooms, Kelley being up stairs and Jaime down, the girls finally separated, but then quickly came back together to compare. Both of the rooms are huge, with a desk with great table space, a book shelf, a single bed and a closet. Jaime, the lucky duck ended up getting a walk in closet, but Kelley came out not complaining with the perfect view of the city from her window. This all seems very small though when the girls’ flat also includes a back yard and a balcony overlooking Wellington.



Unpacking and settling in felt good for VNTRbirds since for the past few weeks they were living out of their suitcases. No one was home to welcome them in, but an awful smell coming from the fridge. Jaime investigated right away, and concluded that a piece of raw chicken had gone bad by a whole month. The birds were planning on making this place theirs too and tossed it right out (after a little chat with YingYing the roommate, but let’s not get into that). Needing to get some food for themselves, the birds met up with Sumi and Megan, their two friends from TEAN and went out to hit the town.  This resulted in getting lost in the dark for about 45 minutes, because well, no one in New Zealand knows where Fairlie Terrace is.  Fairlie Terrace is the street that TUB lives on. It is extremely windy and so steep that if you trip you will roll all the way to the ocean! This narrow, unlit, strip of pavement is also a two way street. These kiwis are crazy.


On the fourth of July, Jaime and Kelley decided to celebrate America’s birthday by going into town and walking all of Cuba Street. Cuba is the main street of the city of Wellington. There are street performers and musicians, along with great boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Part of it is all brick and no cars are allowed entrance. Spending the beautiful day looking through shops and walking down to the waterfront, life is good for VNTRbirds.
When the birds returned home, they gathered in Jaime’s room and sat right down on the floor. Of course the heater was turned way up, because the whole flat is freezing! Sitting Indian-style on the floor, suddenly there was a rapid shake of the house. Looking up, the light fixture was seizuring and casting shadows all around. Only lasting about 4 seconds total, Kelley just dismissed it as someone running around upstairs, they soon found out that they just experienced their first earthquake. This could be said as the only scary feature of New Zealand, being right smack dab on a fault. Soon afterwards, the birds consulted some of the “useless” information received from the school on emergency situations.

Orientation soon snuck up on the birds. Frantically getting ready in the morning, TUB enjoyed their cold cereal breakfast together in their new kitchen. Orientation consisted of sitting in a lecture room with all the international students starting their abroad experience this semester. About 7 hours of random information later, TUB scheduled for their courses. This was a big deal to the girls. VNTRbirds are now students of Victoria University of Wellington!


The following night meant that the birds had to celebrate. Getting ready for a night on the town, the birds took a little longer than usual. Pouring each a glass of wine for dinner, the girls enjoyed the 18 year drinking age as classy as possible (while drinking their wine out of mugs). Soon some friends joined in at their flat and then they were off! This night would be filled with meeting new people and enjoying the friends that have already been made.

The next morning, TUB woke up to rain and a hell of a lot of wind. Windy Welly is what the city is called, and boy does it live up to its name. The rain ended up coming in sideways! Kelley was able to stay indoors and hide away from the awful weather, but Jaime had to trek out for a meeting. When she arrived back, Kelley snickered at her sopping attire and water spattered glasses. Enjoying the rest of the night watching a movie with friends was the perfect way to complete the surreal week.

Wellington, be prepared for these birds!