It’s a chocolate fish kind of day

Marry a beautiful girl and steal her away to an exotic island. Check.

By God’s grace we’ve arrived and are settling into life in Dunedin. The following is a quick overview of what life has looked like this week as we’ve worked very hard to get settled.

On Tuesday we arrived in Dunedin after three smooth and on-time flights. The only real scare was on the final leg of our journey, from Auckland to Dunedin, where we realized that they were going to enforce the 16lb weight limit policy for carry-on luggage even though they hadn’t on any other leg of the trip. What do you do when you have between 17 and 23 pounds of stuff in your bag but can only board the plane with 16 pounds? You improvise.

In the end, our suitcases only weighed 16lbs. However, the coat Stephanie was wearing had pockets stuffed with products and shirts and socks stuffed down both sleeves. I had at least 25 dvds in my coat pockets, a book snugged into the back of my belt, and was literally wearing Stephanie’s purse while keeping it hidden under my coat as I smiled and handed my boarding pass to the check-in lady. You improvise.


Descending on Dunedin was beautiful as you can see. We were very fortunate to be welcomed at the airport by friendly familiar faces we know from Denver. In addition to picking us up, our friends, the Heims, put us up in their lovely home for 3 nights and took us around the city to get a feel for it. (This is also in addition to tons of helpful advice on how to prepare for our move)

Tuesday we opened a bank account and met some other students in the theology department at the university. I (Luke)  was also able to pop in and say hello to my supervisor, Paul Trebilco. Wednesday was a holiday here in New Zealand, which limited what we could accomplish, but we were still able to buy a pay-as-you-go cellphone, get another tour of the city’s different suburbs, and begin calling rental listings to set up viewings.

Thursday was the day we needed to get some wheels. Peter took us down to a place in Dunedin called the Kaikorai Valley in which there are a number of used car dealers and dropped us off with a warm ‘good luck’. Thankfully the process didn’t take long and after only a couple test drives (with a few minor curb-checks to get used to driving on the other side of the car and road) we drove away the proud owners of our little Nissan Pulsar.  Within 20 minutes we even had insurance purchased for the year on the car!


It’s amazing how getting the car gave us a sense of ownership and belonging here in Dunedin. Before the car, we were visitors, people at the mercy of anyone who would give us a ride. After the car, we had a place to put our stuff, we had the means to go and to make things happen and get settled. And since the car, it’s been off to the races.

We’ll spare you the details of our house hunting process. Let’s just say we are extremely happy and thankful to have found, after probably 8-10 showings and countless hours of looking at houses online, the place we’re going to call home in New Zealand. We’ll post pictures of the house another time.

It suffices here to say that God has been extremely gracious to us. Every step of the way he has met our need and seen that we are provided for through family, friends and even strangers. With this house, we are more than provided for. We have found what will be our home.

So with that said, it’s a chocolate fish kind of day. You see, here in Dunedin there is one of the Cadbury chocolate plants which produces the many candy yummies that are exported around the world. One product is a chocolate covered, marshmallow fish. A very New Zealand practice, we’re told, is to give someone who has achieved something a chocolate fish. And so we, the proud owners of new bank accounts, a phone, a car, and now the renters of a great house, have bought and given ourselves a chocolate fish for getting settled so quickly here in Dunedin.

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5 Responses to It’s a chocolate fish kind of day

  1. Kara says:

    Love the update! I can’t believe how much you guys have already gotten done! Thankful you are getting settled so easily and I can’t wait to see pictures of your house. 🙂

  2. Randy (d says:

    Luke and Steph,

    Great to read your “Chocolate Fish” post this afternoon after church. Off to pray for a woman in the church who is having surgery for a reoccurrence of melanoma cancer. We had a great “Gathering” combined worship service with our Spanish speaking congregation today. Jaime Blondon, in from Nicaragua for the week, preached a great message from John 12.

    So good to see a picture of Steph with the new car. It is wonderful to see and hear of the Lord’s provision and watch care. Great post and information! Luke you have a gift for writing.

    Dad (Randy)

  3. Jeanne says:

    Hi Luke and Steph,
    I am prayerfully writing as we have so much to thank the Lord for – which was well summarized in your post. May you continue to petition him in ALL your needs as you work through getting settled, knowing the Lord delights in hearing from his children and is gracious in his provisions.

    So loved to hear your sweet voices Friday but must admit dad and I were very exhausted. We had just finalized 3 hours of ESL training with a full day ahead Saturday and assignments to complete before our return and I volunteered to lead our music worship. Oops, I felt stretched but God was glorified as he provided that and so much more as we continued to prepare for our upcoming trip to the land of Belgium “chocolates”!

    Will continue to look forward to the future posts and getting to know more about life in your new homeland as you get settled in into your beautiful home in the hills:)

    Love you much,
    Mom Hoselton

  4. Micah says:

    Put a smile on my face…and I mean that in the least cheesy way possible.

  5. Jennifer Henry says:

    I love it! What a good writer you are, Luke, and we are thrilled with the speediness of God’s provision in your life. 🙂 Praying and thinking of you both!

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