The final route of our South Island Road trip was not quite as we had originally planned. The changes that were made largely reflected the fact there was going to be too much moving to the next place rather than enjoying the moment and relaxing in the current place. Hence, we added a few nights here and their to our stops, and cut the top half of the South Island from our trip.
We started in Dunedin, headed down to Invercargill for the night via The Catlins. From there we headed up to Te Anau taking the western most route, which is apparently also the most scenic, via Riverton, and this neat little place called Cosy Nook.
We took a LOT of photos along the way, and those who are friends with me on Facebook have most likely already seen them. But, for everyone else, here is the first part of our journey. 🙂
Once again I find myself in a conundrum of trying to work out what to post. Here are some photos from a recent trip to the South Island. The first is of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to the Milford Sound. It was taken at dusk, about 9.30/9.45 at night on a 30 second exposure. The lightness of the photo makes you think it was a lot lighter than it actually was.
Shutter 30s, f/11, ISO 200, 10mm
The second photo is a photo of Lake Pukaki. The bluest lake ever… apparently it is from glaciers feeding the lake that grind up rocks into ‘rock flour’ and that is where it’s colour comes from. A polarising filter goes a long way eliminating non-polar light in the shot as well.
Shutter 1/100, f/11, ISO 100, 10mm with polarising filter.
The final photo is from Mt Roy, near Wanaka. The view is over Lake Wanaka, with the city to the left off the photo. We got a helicopter tour of the area which was nice, cos climbing to this hight probably would have killed me 🙂
Shutter 1/400, f/10, ISO 200, 19mm with polarising filter.
In the continuing theme of reaching milestones in my life over a short period of time, on Sunday the 21st of November, I turned 30. In celebration of this, on Saturday evening, I had a bit of a shindig.
Turning 30 is significant for the main reason my 30th birthday was never a guarantee 2 years ago. In fact, any birthday from now on is not a guarantee. So I’d like to celebrate each as they come along by the mere point that they represent the fact that I am still alive.
The day of the party was ironically on the 2 year anniversary of my original diagnosis. With it came shock, disbelief, and a realisation that I am as mortal as the patients I deal with every day. The prognosis has evolved, from a survivable one to a non-survivable one. The emphasis has shifted from fighting to beat the diagnosis, to one of making the most of what time I have left.
How do I do that?
I serve, I engage in my passions, I celebrate milestones, and most of all.. I do that which God has asked me to do, to Love without condition, to have my heart broken by those in need and suffering, and to do my best to show them the grace that I have been shown. I might not have many years in me left, but I will live them to the best of my ability, and I do my very best to change the part of the world that I have been placed in.
The theme was ‘It used to be cool’, and it seemed to work well. Full credit to Al Ronberg for the photos, he did a top job on them. Credit also goes to all the people who help made it happen, you know who you are. I was responsible for about 3% of the organisation, with the other 97% lying with Hannah. Special mentions must also go to those who travelled from out of town to make the night. Toni from the Hawkes Bay, Nick and Caro from Palmerston North, Matt, Neelam and Yasmin from the Naki, Mike, Kristen and Simon from Wellington, Mike T from shakey Christchurch, and Francis, Sandy, Anna and Andrew from Dunedin town. Of course, Paul from Whangarei as well, but that’s really just like travelling from West Auckland…
The evening was epic, the venue a treat, and the company awesome.
Enjoy the photos….
On November 15th, 2010, I finally became a Doctor.
..And what a journey it has been. This time last year I sat through the qualification ceremony of my class, and resolved that I would return to medical school and qualify. It has been long and it has been difficult. It has also been punctuated by 20 rounds of chemotherapy, and 9 CT scans. It has involved at times losing my life to study, and at other times losing my sanity to stress. Questions have been made, and with certainty, answered. I have finally run the gauntlet to its completion and survived to tell the tale.
For me, Medicine is more than a vocation, it is an intellectual challenge, it is a passion, but above all, it is the chance to serve humanity when they are at their most weak, their most frail, and their most mortal. The privilege to input into people’s lives during these moments cannot be understated, and with it comes responsibility, respect, and reverence for the human condition.
It was by the Grace of God that I was admitted into medical school, so it is not insignificant that it is by the Grace of God that I get to finish it. Credit lies with God, with Hannah, and with family and friends as I have embarked and endured the journey over the last 6 years.
Having cancer has made the journey more challenging, that goes without saying.
…but also, having cancer has made the journey more rewarding.
It should not be forgotten that it is in light of our suffering, our brokeness, and our trials and tribulations that our accomplishments, our joy and our celebrations become all the more colourful. Life is a vivid theatre of ups and downs, each up is only as monumental as the down that precedes it. It is in light of cancer that I can celebrate this achievement with so much more vigour.
It is in the light of my suffering that my joy shines.
Enjoy the photos of the evening.
This was taken on the shore at Hokitika, around 8pm at night. I love that time of night for working with water shots, it helps when I don’t really own a proper neutral density filter system. I have gone with black and white with a blue filter for this, as it was too blue when taken in colour.
Shutter 1.3s, f/10, ISO 400, 27mm.
The reason why I liked this photo is because it is a good example of the rule of thirds, both vertically and horizontally. The subject matter is cliche, but the composition works well. In this case, it was perhaps more fluke that skill, as you know, sheep aren’t all that compliant.
Shutter 1/160, f/9, ISO 200, 45mm, CPL used.
This is a little late in the posting, and also late at night, so it will be brief.
Chemo round 20 has come and gone, not to dissimilar to other rounds. I am more or less in a regular routine with it now.
Perhaps, what is probably more significant is the fact that I get a break now for 4 weeks as Hannah and I are about to hit the South Island for 2 weeks. The break from chemo, and from Auckland will both be appreciated greatly. We have both been hanging out for this for sometime, and are just both tired from the business of life. It will be nice to refresh ourselves in some of the best parts of New Zealand.
Posting may be slower over the next few weeks, but there are some significant life events that will get coverage in due course, namely: Finishing medical school, Qualifying as a Doctor, Turning 30, and Starting a job at ADHB at the end of the month.
I will keep you all posted…