People shouting, running and clapping. Fire blazing each time we score points. I fell in love with rugby at the Wellington Hurricanes game. TEAN treated us to dinner and tickets to a rugby game. I was able to see friends that I have met from all over Wellington and learn about a new sport.
Rugby and soccer (football) are major sports in New Zealand, so learning about how rugby is played, and being able to experience the thrill at a game was awesome! I also learned that a hot dog in New Zealand is what we would call a corn dog at home. When we arrived in New Zealand, we were told not to think of anything here as “wrong.” We should accept that things are different from what we are used to, and be open-minded to trying things “the kiwi way.” This is definitely the best advice that I have received since I arrived. Following these words of wisdom has made me so much more willing to try anything. Now, I do not even blink at the differences! My neighbor has lived in Wellington for her entire life, so I sat next to her during the game so that she could explain the rules to me. After a little while, I found myself cheering like a true fan and leaping from my seat whenever the Hurricanes scored. I love going to hockey games with my friends at college, so seeing the cheering fans and bright lights made me feel right at home. I felt like I was really a part of this city!
After the game, we met up with some friends and headed to a local pub to listen to great live music and enjoy some post-game drink specials. Experiences like this make me realize that people from different places are a lot more alike than we often think. We love to cheer for our favorite team; We like to dance all night and celebrate our home team’s victory with our friends. I can’t wait to experience even more of the local culture and see what other adventures await!