sarah vs the world

Not a video game, not a comic, not a band, but an amazing adventure continues...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NZ all wrapped already? Crazy person talk...

So I realise I haven't updated the blog for a while. Many things have happened since the last blog update, but sadly I have barely had any time to do anything but work. I did manage to get a weekend away to Rotorua in the mix, plus got myself back to Melbourne for a quick visit. The Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony has been and gone. I am currently sitting in my lovely short term rental in Richmond in Melbourne for Bianca's wedding next weekend. Am off on my next adventure in 9 days time...but let's save that for the end. Gotta give you something to get you to actually read the whole blog! I can tell you that it sadly does not involve a fantastic trip around the South Island of New Zealand because I am no longer there.
Let's start at the beginning with Rotorua. Rotorua is about 3 hours drive from Auckland. It is a very active geothermal area with boiling mud, hot springs and now mostly dormant volcanoes. In 1886, Mt Tarawera erupted leaving quite a few lakes in the craters. It is now a famous spa town and a bit of relaxation was required. I headed down there with PC and another friend of ours for the weekend. We rented a lovely house, cooked some nice meals, went on the duck boat tour and finished up at the Polynesian Spa Resort where I had a Rotorua mud wrap massage. It was brilliant. Here are some photos from that trip.
PC On the Duck Boat

Me with my duck quacker

In the Water on the Duck


All of us with the Duck

Me at the Info Centre - A Sheep

Pano from our Apartment

The View from the Spa Resort Hot Springs

The Hottest Pool at the resort

So from then on it was basically work, work and more work. On the 1st of August, my little Ops Team tripled in size, and we all got down to business. We managed about 10 rehearsal venues, dealt with resource consent, ordered a lot of meal boxes, learned way too much about secret doorways and stairwells in Eden Park, made friends with lots of security guards, built our own little tent city for the cast in the cricket pitch practice nets, counted lots of furniture, broke only a few rules, bought a lot of bollards and safety tape (which defined the Ops Team in the end) and moved about 1000 cast members through the corridors of Eden Park. The 25 minute show on the 9th of September was fabulous followed by the quickest field strike yet at 8 minutes 48 seconds. And my very important job of making sure the sports lights went on and off worked a treat. And to think that at the first meeting I ever attended way back in March the first thing I was told unequivocally was that the sports lights cannot be turned off ever. Lots of negotiating later, we had a show, spaces to work in and a fantastic Ops Team to help me manage it all. Lenny, Nick, Sarah, Steve, Sonya, Alycia (Stanley), Jason, Helen, Octavia and Aydan -- I love you all and never could have done it without you.
Video of the Show

The Challengers

The Call to NZ

The Call goes to the 20 Nations

The Journey

The Gladiators with the Rookie

The Rookie Flies

The World In Union

Web Ellis Cup & Jonah Lomu

City Pyro

IRB Logo

7 months in the making for me. All over in done with in 25 minutes + 8 minutes and 48 seconds. It's the show at the end of day that makes all of that 7 months worth it. I stood at my desk in the control room for the entire time. The emotional connection to what you see on your televisions blows me away every single time I do this. We were all said and done at Eden Park about 5 days later. The tournament continues...the closing will be a sports presentational thing. So DAENZ is out. But not without a bit of wrap party of course!

The Photo Booth...

Leaving Auckland was a bit harder than I thought it would be. It didn't have the difficulties I faced in Delhi, but being in a western country brings its own level of politics. I was so exhausted by it all at the end. But I loved that city. I loved my apartment. I loved the people I met. Leaving these places reminds me of my homelessness, but still the shows make it all worth it each time.
So next...a few days in Melbourne to see Bianca get married to Jeremy. So glad I can be here for it. Then it's off to Guadalajara, Mexico to work with Five Currents & Julie Brooks on the ceremonies of the Pan American Games and Pan Para Games. The Shows are really quick (14 & 30 Oct & 12 & 20 Nov), so it will be pretty hard work. But afterward, I get to see my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The entire family is going to be in the Pacific Northwest for Christmas. My brothers got my tickets to see Jay-Z and Kanye in Vancouver on the 17th December which I cannot wait for. 4 weeks of family catch up then straight to Australia on Boxing Day to head up to Port Douglas for Ian and Zoe's wedding. I can already see Baldy on the BBQ, PC mixing the drinks and me on a lounge floating in that pool at our fab house.
No plans yet workwise for start of next year. But at least I won't miss Australian summer...even if only for a little while.
Sarah vs the World continues into 2012...
Lots of Love,
Sarah xo