Spending a week in New Zealand might sound like a great “last week” before heading to the ice! Problem is, July 31 is when NZ opened their borders, and it didn’t take long for COVID to spread around the city. As such, our week in NZ has been spent cooped up in the hotel rooms prepping for the deployment.

The rules are that we need to be COVID tested within 72-hrs of our flight, so we’ve been PCR tested 3 times to far, and will have one final test before the flight. All of our meals have been takeout, so we’ve gotten a good chance to try out nearly every restaurant on Papanui Road. Yingfei made it his goal to try every Chinese restaurant within a half mile, and I think he accomplished that in only a few days!

Second night in town we grabbed some Indian food from next-door

Early on, we spent one afternoon exploring the city, but later, after the many delays, decided that it was best to isolate as best as possible. Luckily we got to explore during the workday so we were pretty much unbothered by anyone while out and about.

Checking out The Arts Centre near downtown Christchurch

We took some time to explore the botanical gardens, trying to take in as much plant life as possible before heading to a continent with nothing but lichen and mosses!

Arunima sits in front of the third (I believe?) biggest tree in NZ

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