Of sand and sheep.

With many of the larger arrival decisions made, we’ve transitioned to the process of settling in, really settling in. Being that this is already our fourth move in just 20 months of marriage, we’ve gained experience which helpfully expedites the process. While this move is bigger and more exotic than the others, it still involves some of the usual necessaries, such as cleaning.


However, since this chapter of life in New Zealand is to be our longest yet, we’re more intent to cultivate an environment within which we can really flourish. Exactly how one successfully cultivates such an environment, I don’t know, but for us it means a good amount of intentionality on the front end. We’re working hard to establish a routine that will benefit us both time for growth and time for leisure. Time for labor, time for rest; time for reading, time for walks.

Below is a picture of the new environment which we find ourselves in. Before coming to New Zealand we were told it was a place with beauty that can’t be captured by a camera. Whoever said that is right. From our deck we can see the ocean, with its hourly changing shades of blue, we can watch the inlet fill up and empty out, and we can hear sheep ‘baa-ing’ as they graze on the slopes to our west. We truly are in a place of astounding natural beauty, and I hope we never get over it!

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Part of settling in, and really the reason we are in New Zealand, is my (Luke) beginning my studies. So, on Monday last week I completed the final necessary paperwork and officially became a PhD candidate at the University of Otago. On Tuesday I met with my supervisor for the first of what will be regular meetings every three weeks throughout my time here. I’m very excited to have finally begun this program, as it’s been a very long time in the works. Below is a picture of some of the buildings on the campus, which, for good reason as you can see, was last year listed as one of the 10 prettiest campuses in the world.

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A final part of our settling this week has been getting to know some new people and begin what we hope will be some friendships to help enrich and sustain our time in Dunedin. We’ve already been invited over to dinner by two different couples who too are in NZ for PhD work, and by one of our new neighbors for a BBQ (the people in NZ really are as nice as they’re rumored to be!). Perhaps this, the people, is the most important piece of the puzzle for settling in. After all, part of what it means to be human is to be in relationship.

Below you see some pics from our most recent adventure to Tunnel Beach with our new friends Josh and Anna Hurd. We’re really running out of categories to describe the beauty here!

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And so the weeks ahead will involve establishing a cadence that is not only sustainable for the long term, but nourishing in the here and now. Steph is back to work part-time and I am back to my studies full-time. Beyond those things, we’ll be exploring more beaches and watching the sheep graze on the hills around us.

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9 Responses to Of sand and sheep.

  1. Jeanne says:

    Luke and Steph, just can’t believe the beauty I’m beholding with the mix of lush green hills and the blue backdrop of the ocean. Can’t wait to visit and see it with my own eyes as the Lord wills!

    • lukehoselton says:

      Hey mom,
      It really is astounding. Supposedly there are a couple beaches around the bend that we can walk to when it is low tide that are out of this world.

      • Jeanne says:

        Happy hiking and investigating each new bend AND take some photos of the flowers? My rebirthed pinked amaryllis from 2011 season just opened – 2 huge blossoms!

  2. Elizabeth Madison says:

    Luke & Steph,

    What gorgeous pictures!! So happy for you both. Luke, you are an excellent writer! So is Steph. . . . don’t want you all competing! So fun to picture you in your picturesque setting.

    Mom Gigi

  3. Ramez & Julie Habash says:

    Hi Luke & Steph, we are so excited for you as you start your new adventures in NZ. What a stunningly beautiful place it is from the pictures you posted. Looks like it belongs in some storybook! Anyway, I am still laughing about how you must have looked with your coat and sleeves stuffed in order to meet the luggage weight requirements for your flight. Reminds me of the guy on the news recently who was wearing 20-something layers of clothing because he refused to pay the baggage fees to check his bags. Lol! Anyway, we think of you often. You will continue to be in our prayers. It is so neat to see how God has been so faithful to you as evidenced by all of His provisions thus far in you NZ journey. We just got back from Hawaii two weeks ago for a work conference. It was a fantastic time of education and relaxation. Ramez had never been there so was an extra special experience for him. He would be a fantastic travel agent as a back up job if ever needed :). He read at least an entire travel book on Hawaii several months before we went. We are looking forward to an upcoming trip to Jordan to see Ramez’s family in a couple of months. You don’t have to even leave Hastings to find new experiences. Ramez has never been to an IMAX theater so we hope to attend Les Mis there this weekend. You can’t beat the entertainment for $5!! I would love to figure out how to Skype. R and I both have accounts. We basically just use Ramez’s. I don’t know much about Skype. Do you have a log on name that we couldsearchfor you under? Ok, looking forward to seeing more posts about your adventures! Ramez & Julie

    • lukehoselton says:

      Hey Julie,

      Thanks for this note, it’s great to hear from you. Steph just wrote down your email address and will be connecting with you to set up a Skype time. If we had wine and flatbread and turned the lights down while we were all skyping it would be like we were back at winestyles! Lets do it!

      So glad Hawaii was a great time for you both. After you go to Jordan, Ramez needs to put his travel-planning skills to work on a trip to come see us! Seriously! We’ve got plenty of space.

      Please tell Ramez hello and that I’m not thrilled ManU is running away with the premiere league this year. And expect an email (relatively soon) from Steph with our Skype info.


  4. Sue Parr says:

    Hi Luke and Steph,

    Your mom gave me your web site. What great pictures! How lucky to be having such an adventure. You will never regret your decision to spread your wings. I’ve given your web site address to my co-worker. She is from Oregon and loves to travel. This last year she went to Iceland and mentioned she would love to see NZ. I hope this gives her a sneak peek at the beauty of the country. Luke… yesterday, I found a picture of you from when Scott and I lived next door. How cute!! I had to laugh. Have fun there!!! I’ll be watching for more postings.

    • lukehoselton says:

      Hi Sue! It’s great to hear from you; I’m glad my mom passed along our site. It’s unbelievably beautiful here, the pictures don’t really do it justice! Tell your friend she definitely needs to take a trip to NZ, the people are incredibly friendly. Hopefully we’ll update again soon with a video of the drive up to our place. It’s quite gorgeous.

  5. Ashley says:


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