I walk to school. So do the majority of my students. Because most schools here use zoning, only those who live within the designated zone or surrounding area of the school are able to attend. This does wonders for cutting down traffic within the city, including the number of accidents and incidents within school zones.
This also means that I live on the same block as many of my students, but luckily, none of them know this yet. This is because I am very sneaky, and leave for school before they eat their morning Weet-Bix.
I greatly enjoy the morning stroll to school. The streets are quiet as the gentle light of dawn emerges from behind large palm trees, hills, and houses.
Most mornings, the air is very fresh and fragrant, as well as moist, because it is often raining, has just rained, or is going to rain. With how quickly the weather changes around here, walking to school could be potentially tragic without an umbrella.
The morning walk to school is a full sensory experince.
The sounds of about 50 birds having grand conversations up in this gigantic Phoenix palm tree is quite shockingly loud from below.
A hooting owl up in this tree, which has yet to be spotted, but frequently heard, is a mysterious delight.
So many textures,
and many sweet fragrances from a variety of tropical flowers and plants.
I love how in the middle of winter, things are still so lush. Citrus trees are looking especially lovely this time of year. I want one.
I tend to crave a glass of fresh orange juice right about… now.
I walk by many mailboxes, most of them wooden and full with soggy mail. I want to put a sign on our mailbox that says: If it’s going to get soggy, we don’t want it. I’m tired of pulling out sopping flyers that are too wet to read, yet alone bring into the house. You would think in a climate like this one, they would have invented a more practically-designed mailbox by now.
Along the way, there are many prime photo spots. If only my number one photo-taking companions were here…
I walk to school. But unlike many of my students, I wear shoes. A large number of students come to school, and spend the whole day in school, wearing no shoes at all. Such a Kiwi thing it is. It is usually the kids without shoes that are also covered in dirt. You just can’t keep Kiwi kids out of the mud, I have learned. It is not just kids who love bare feet, it’s adults too, primarily males. It is not uncommon to see grown men and children walking around in the mall or the grocery store in bare feet. Although it was a shocking sight at first, we are quite used to seeing this now.
This is all to say that I greatly enjoy my morning walks to school. The refreshing 11-minute jaunt or 14-minute stroll is a peaceful way to start the day. Though I walk the same route most days, the sights, sounds, smells, and textures I routinely encounter continue to delight my senses and have yet to grow old.