Well, the job offer has come through the post, and the acceptance (along with a whole ream of paperwork) signed and sent back. The last hurdle, which I was only told about Thursday afternoon, is that the notice of appointment has to go up on their intranet for five working days in order for anyone internally to challenge if they felt that they were treated unfairly. However, I've not been told that that will be a possibility, so I'm not going to worry about it!
We have a few challenges to sustain us over the coming weeks:
1) Saving money
Whilst the first pay day comes at the right point to stop us running out of money in our NZ bank account, it is only going to be eight days' pay at the most, as I will be starting midway through a pay run. By the end of the next fortnight, we will be ever so slightly in the red... (by less than $100) I would still like to avoid transferring any money over, so we have a challenge to save ourselves that $100 over the next five weeks. It can be done, I'm not stressing about it, and it is going to be interesting to see what we can cut out of our lives without too much trouble!
2) Learning Maori
One of the clauses of the Treaty of Waitangi gives the Maori "exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties." The word on the Maori version for "properties" more properly is translated as "treasures" or "precious things", and this includes language. The upshot for us is that a number of places will offer beginners' Maori courses for free, and my home learning kit (with 20 20 minute lessons on CD and a workbook with nice pretty pictures) arrived in the post on Friday. It is designed to cover over 4 weeks - a lesson a day. I think the first two weeks will be easy, whilst I'm not working, but it will be interesting to see if I can keep it up once I'm at work.
3) Learning the accordion
As it made the sea-voyage without any problems, I am determined to have a good go at playing the accordion. I think the fact that I have a reasonable understanding of music (particularly keyboard) will help, but it is still going to be a challenge to get everything moving correctly (after about 20 minutes' playing, my arms start going numb!) Fortunately, once I start work, I am allowed to join the Wellington library; at the moment, we can join as outside members and pay a fee for every item borrowed, because we aren't living in the Wellington district area. However, having an employer with an address in the Wellington area gets round this rule, and the Wellington library has a number of "learn to play accordion" books.
This last weekend was a very Sci-fi orientated weekend - on Friday, we went into Wellington to meet up with a friend who was introduced to us (through Facebook) by a couple of sci-fi friends in the UK. It turns out that we have a lot in common as well as Sci-fi, and it was a very pleasant evening. I will definitely be looking forward to doing that again!
Then on Saturday, we had our next Board meeting of the Wellington Phoenix Sci-Fi group. As it was actually our side of the Bay, we decided that it wouldn't be too much trouble to walk over (thus saving us bus fare). The first fifty minutes or so were really pleasant, and included the discovery of a walk along the Hutt River, which I will do if the sun ever deigns to show its face again! The last thirty minutes were a bit more interesting - whilst it was only a short distance on the map (and we thought that we were going to be very early), it was almost all uphill! We definitely got our exercise for the day (particularly as we had already done an hour or so walk up and round the market and shops - fortunately, as it was throwing it down, our neighbour was also up at the shops and offered us a lift home), and so didn't feel too bad about snacking on chippies (crisps), chocolate and wine! A very good evening was had - lots of laughter and fun, and very generously were given a lift home as well.
Once again, I was able to reflect on how lucky we are to have the Sci-Fi community - I think that this has helped us to avoid some of the bigger issues that other people have found in emigrating; we have a social group that is instantly welcoming, and who I feel that I have known for years, rather than a matter of months.