I gotta work

I’ve been here in Paraparaumu (“scraps from the earth oven” in Maori) for about a month now, working and learning a kazillion things every day, mostly about money, computers, cars, phones, and systems of health care. Left brain, techy, not my forte! Pretty tiring so I have not been here on my blog. Sorry.

Life is pretty normal here as far as covid. No cases in the community, though one turns up almost daily in isolation. Managed quarantine hotels are booked until June, with an influx of kiwis returning home. Theatres and restaurants are open. I’ve been to the mall at least ten times, probably more than in the past ten years at home.

Kiwis’ success is due to their attitude about working together. There is no real anti- mask movement or politicians promoting conspiracies. Border control is tight with an effective tracer app followed by testing and home quarantine of people possibly exposed. It could be done even in our large country with added information, consequences, testing, and tracing… I was not about to mess with those big young army guys in quarantine, even though they were so polite.

I’m on the beach, which helps with the mental health issues of learning exhaustion and lonliness. There is also a nature reserve where the indigenous forest is returning. Still, I am in the homesick part right now, missing my children, friends, garden, dog, and forests of North Carolina. But as my friend says, “get over yourself!” because I’m safe, able to work here at a much easier pace, and do a little exploring on weekends. I am so lucky to be able to be here.

Psychiatry is different. We are part of a team, not the “leader.” There is a national health service paid by taxes. Outpatient clinics screen who needs services and who can go to the GP. There is a real team approach, and thoughtful discussion of cases daily. The clinicians are superb on my team, very kind, heart-open people. One person lent me a banjo. This could not be better! On the inpatient side it is, well, very different. I will probably be looking for a different job soon.

Other tidbits: The fish and chips are to die for, there is always a breeze, my small apartment needs very little cleaning. I have no dependents– human, plant, or animal. People are very kind and friendly as a rule. Driving is crazy, especially the roundabouts, but I’m going to learn the train and bus system. People wear shorts and flip flops to work. About every 5 blocks there is a “dairy,” where excellent ice cream can be found. I can and will ride a bike to work soon. The sauvignon blanc is excellent, and if you haven’t had pavlova, beware. I ate a large one all by myself, heavenly.

Pictures are on their way. I haven’t figured that out yet! Love to the USA.

Spring is coming.

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