Friday, July 2, 2010

what's a twinkie?



The cultural exploration continues - and it goes both ways. While new aspects of life in New Zealand continue to mystify these 2 Americans daily, it turns out that there are plenty of riddles of American culture that stump our young Kiwi friends. This week during girls' group, a Very Deep Question was posed to me: "What is a Twinkie?" Apparently abundant references to Twinkies are made in American TV and movies, but nary a Twinkie may be spotted in any of the aforementioned. Trying to describe a Twinkie without ever having actually consumed one was a bit tricky, but fear not, fellow Americans, I think I was able to communicate the essence of twinkie as well as the most patriotic Twinkie eater amongst us.
On a more serious note, the unveiling of the youth library was a smashing success! As mentioned in an earlier blog, we shipped over heaps and heaps of books. This week, we shelved them in the youth room and made them available to the teens. There was a frenzy of literary ecstasy when the announcement was made and many in attendance left with reading materials in hand.
This week begins a longish school break, so Richard and I have our first bit of "down time" since arriving here over a month ago. Our plans are to sketch out the next semester's themes and activities, draft talks and gather supplies. Also, we hope to take at least one day-long excursion - perhaps to Matamata, home of Hobbiton. If a warm day happens upon us, we'd love to finally hike the natural attraction that put the "mount" in Mount Maunganui. Whatever we do, we're sure to learn more about this fascinating country.
Some recent discoveries: There are no pennies in Kiwi currency. Nevertheless, items will be advertised at $9.99 - and your total in a shop can come to $23.67  The letter "Z" is pronounced "Zed" here, as it is in England. The local liquor shop owns a delivery van and boasts, "Call in your order and we'll have it to your house in 30 minutes or less" (sadly, the nearest/only non-Pizza Hut pizzeria offers no such service). One tank of gas costs us $83. A single Hanes man's undershirt costs $19.99, which is of course, really $20 even. There are no "calories" in any food here, only "energy". Potato chips are available in flavor combinations like "lamb and mint". The mall across the street sells Yankees baseball hats (I've not seen any other American sports teams logos for sale there yet and I think that settles the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry once and for all).

So for the next few weeks, Richard and I will be recharging and preparing to charge on. Our hope for this term is to go really deep with the youth - reeeeeaaaaalllllllly deep - so much deeper that we fully expect the youth to start to ponder and comprehend not only the nature of Twinkies, but of Yodels, and maybe even Ding Dongs.

$203 worth of groceries
($1 NZ is about .70 US)

4 comments:

  1. Hi guys! Thanks again for your blog! You sound so great and it is so fun to read!

    love, Catie

    ReplyDelete