By Sophie HowdenFree Press Staff
At a staggering 11,700 kilometres away, it would be an understatement to say I am a long way from home. Canada (particularly B.C.) and New Zealand certainly look similar, but on a grander scale, they are worlds apart. Hailing from Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand, we enjoy a moderate climate ranging from 10 degrees Celsius in the winter to highs of 25 degrees in the summer. Our wildlife consists mostly of native birds, insects and possums, although being nocturnal the possums are often observed as road kill. Of course there’s the sheep … so many in fact that they eclipse the human population seven times over. The language is at times very colloquial, New Zealanders are referred to as Kiwi’s (a reference to our national flightless bird) and we have some special terms for the following: swimwear is togs, cooler is a chilly bin, flip flops are jandals, a car trunk is a boot, thank you is cheers, great is choice.
A New Zealander sentence would read, “Can you pack my jandals and togs and put them in the boot next to the chilly bin … Cheers mate!”
Thinking of Canada, and my new home of Fernie; it really is a place of extremes. Extreme weather (anyone have an AC system I can borrow?), extreme wildlife, and the most impressive so far … extreme kindness. I have been overwhelmed by the Elk Valley community and beyond who have supported me during this big transition. Now feeling more settled, I’m keen to get more involved in the many events around Fernie and am looking forward to working with the many faces of this town.
With a background in advertising back home, including print, outdoor, digital and social media – I’m here and ready to showcase your local business. Whether it’s promoting your start-up, refreshing an existing campaign or providing more information on the Kiwi language, please stop by The Free Press for a cuppa and a chat!