Christmas at the beach! #KiwiChristmas #Christmas2015 #eastAuckland


My Christmas #OOTD ! Got my top from a thrift shop for only $8.00 and love the leafy prints. Unfortunately, I realized it should be worth less than that because I noticed there were some holes at the bottom part of the blouse, and it kinda looked like bite marks made by rats. Eww.. its just a good thing it wasn’t so visible. Shot taken by Saj, we attended Aimee’s church down at Pakuranga called Hope Manukau Church. Just a one hour service of praising God, singing Carols and celebrating this beautiful day that Jesus was born. Loved their worship band too!

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The church service ended at about 10:15am, and we went to Aimee’s place to just chill and hang out before our next program for the day. Saj was just too tired and so he spent that hour at Aimee’s place taking a nap while I had coffee talk with Aimee. Learned a lot about her today, I guess it was God’s divine appointment really that got us together, and here I am asking her a simple, why don’t you just buy a house? question and I got the exclusive access to the story of her life. Wow, feeling very honored that she trusts me with her story and also pressured at the same time but guess I just have to leave it to God to help me deal with that knowledge now.

We got to Nelson & Bati’s place at about 12:30pm, the Zimbabwe-an couple’s home is about 10 minutes drive from Aimee’s place and it’s a lovely home really. Nicely tucked outside of the busy main roads, double story home with a nice backyard to have a barbeque party and a little garden bed. This couple from Zimbabwe is Aimee’s church friend and I was really glad that Aimee invited us to crash their Christmas lunch party because it’s cool to know people from all over the world with different cultures and hang around them and getting to know them.

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Coming to this party, I learned something new about their Zimbabwe-an culture. Before meals are served, the ladies would go around with a bowl and water to serve the guests and let them was their hands and wipe them off. Aimee went around doing this for the guests and I really admire her servant leadership.

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Now the food, although there wasn’t anything specifically “cultural” or Zimbabwe-an about the food, I guess it was typical western food. Aside for the rice though, Aimee brought that rice cooked in Coconut milk. There was also salad, potatoes, barbequed lamb steak, turkey roulade, chicken wings and some sausages. There’s too much food really for just a small group of people over for lunch. I didn’t have quite a large appetite at the time because I had such a lack of sleep and that usually makes me eat less than I want to. But I tried anyway, to stuff myself with as much good stuff as I can.

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Group photo with the company! With Nelson, Bati, Charles, Saj, Sean, Karla, Yolanda and Aimee, outside at the backyard having our meal.

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Switch! Thanks to Aimee for offering to give the photographer a break hehehehe

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And my oh my the dessert. Like, how do we eat all that just right after having such a heavy lunch?!

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If there was one thing I will remember about this year’s Christmas, would definitely be the weather. Two days before this Christmas beach outing was planned, I messaged the other classmates from our MYOB/Xero class who were also Aimee’s students and invited them to come join us at the beach. Sergii was quick to mention that the week’s weather forecast was not looking too good. It was raining all day on Christmas Eve really so I guess they were worried the thing might not happen. And I was praying and claiming that God will grant us a good weather so we can all fellowship together at the beach and celebrate Jesus’s day!

And when I mentioned it over lunch as well, while we were eating outside and the skies were looking all cloudy, Yolanda commented that with Auckland’s weather, you can get 4 seasons in one day so its rather unlikely that our beach trip was gonna happen. In my mind I was thinking, Lord, You have got to show them! And boy was He so faithful!

Despite the hesitations of the adults, who were quite happy to just stay indoors for the rest of the afternoon, I was quite persistent and encouraged them all to just head out to the beach, and God is soooo goood!!! Clear blue skies!!

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We arrived at the Eastern Beach around 4pm, after picking up Khaleed and Sergii from Panmure’s train station. Saj went off to take a nap again at Nelson’s son’s room so Aimee and I left him with the couple’s family to catch up on us as we made our way to the beach.

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Khaleed and Sergii with Aimee behind them making funny bunny ears!

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And look at sleeping beauty who finally woke up and joined the party!

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Selfie with Aimee at the beach! Aimee is one adventurous lady! She suggested we walk all the way to that little cave behind us and initially I was not up for such a long walk, but then the boys were game so off we went! Even Bati and her two young kids tagged along!

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We had to walk through a rocky path heading towards the cave, and frankly speaking I didn’t think it was suitable for the toddler and kid to come along but the boys were being very good gentlemen and taking good care of the kids and even ladies, helping them walk through the rough patches and rocks.

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I think it must have been about a good 10 to 15 minutes before we finally managed to get to the cave! There was more area to cover past that cave but we thought it was best to head back while the tide was not so high.

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More photo taking sessions and groufie while on our way walking back to the beach side.

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After heading back to the beach, we took the opportunity to give Aimee her little Christmas gift that the class got for her. Well, at least part of the class if not all. It was really Saj’s idea to get her a Christmas gift to thank her for her kindness and effort to help us all out on our Xero and MYOB assignments. I figured she likes wearing dangling earrings so we got her two!

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Next up, a little bit of Cricket before we end the day! It was my first time to play cricket and all I wanted to do was take lots of pictures on that day so I wasn’t playing it very seriously, unlike Saj and Khaleed whose life and passion is all about Cricket!

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Nelson and Bati also invited us back to their place for dinner again to continue the party at their place and help them finish off all the food. Of course there is only so much tummy space for Aimee, Saj and myself. Sergii and Khaleed both had other plans so they didn’t come with.

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Saj proudly showing off his newly acquired mad baking skills with the Zucchini and Potato frittata he made yesterday with Aimee’s help of course.

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By the time we finished eating and helped Aimee clean up and left Nelson and Bati’s home, it was well after 9pm. Aimee dropped both Saj and I back to the city around 10pm.

It was a memorable Christmas indeed. I am firstly so thankful that God heard and answered our prayers for a good weather! Also thankful that I got to meet new people and even learned new cultures. And despite initially not wanting to do the walk to the cave, I was so glad I did! It was like a mini adventure! What a way to spend Christmas and God even strengthened me physically to be able to endure and persevere and enjoy the day despite the lack of sleep. Hallelujah!

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