So I have been gone from home for one month now and I feel pretty good. When I traveled to Portugal in 2007 I always missed home and felt lonely but on this trip I actually don't miss home that much and so far don't really feel lonely. I guess when you make up your mind to be gone for a certain amount of time you just get used to it. Anyways I am getting off track in the past month I have read seven books and am halfway through and eighth book. So the first five don't really count because I am pretty sure you all have read them. I read the first five books of the Harry Potter series. When I was traveling at the airport I needed a distraction and know that Harry Potter would do the trick. Then after that I couldn't stop. I am saving the last two in case I need another distraction. Ok so after my Harry Potter binge I picked up where I had left off with the Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. It is a book that describes the history of the Israel-Pakistan conflicts while walking through the lives and relationship of a Palestinian man Bashir and a Jewish woman Dalia. I have found that I really enjoy books that are historical but they show you a picture of what the history was like through the eyes of a character. Through reading this book I learned a lot about the history of Israel and Pakistan that honestly I am sort of ashamed to admit I didn't know a lot about. I highly recommend it. (A book I didn't read on this trip but is a similar book in that it is nonfiction but with characters to relate to from North Korea is Nothing to Envy).
After The Lemon Tree I read Poisenwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A few friends had recommended this book before I left so I thought I would give it a read. Poisenwood Bible is the story of a missionary family who moves from Georgia to the Africa, specifically the Congo. They plan to be there for only a year but while they are there the people of the Congo was given their independence from Belgium and the family ends up staying for much longer than they expect. SPOILER ALERT (even though studies show that knowing the end doesn't actually lessen your enjoyment of the movie, book, show etc). During their time in the Congo the youngest daughter of the family unexpectedly dies and after the book describes how the family basically fell apart and all went in different directions. I found that really interesting because the book jumps by telling the story from each persons perspective so you can see how everyone justifies in their own mind the grudge they hold against their family members. I also recommend this book.
So now I am reading the first book of the Game of Thrones series. I have say I am addicted, definitely a page turner. The book also jumps from character to character but then the story is how all of these peoples lives are intertwined. It takes place in the medieval times (ish?) and the characters are human but there are some creatures that don't exist so it might be a little bit fantasy. I don't think I need to describe the plot of these books very much because I would guess a lot of you have watched the show. I thought the books were going to be like LOTR but I actually find them to be quite readable.
That is all the books for now - as for other stuff...I am trying to decide if I want to buy a car. I know I want to eventually but wanted to live for awhile without one. But there is a guy who is working at my farm who is trying to sell his camper van so he goes to a car market and there are tons of cars for sale because everyone is leaving the country after traveling around for the summer so it is a great time to buy. He is selling his van for $3600 but I think I want something more efficient. The way they measure it is how many liters it takes to go 100 km (which is weird), the van takes about 10L to go 100 km and and efficient car takes 4 or 5 so I don't think I want to buy the van - although it is a really good deal. Looking back I wish I had brought my computer, everyone here is traveling with one. I guess i didn't realize how quickly I would want to buy a car so I could stash my things in it and not have to carry them on my back. I am thinking about buying a tablet a cheap laptop or having my mom send me mine. I am not sure yet. Next Wednesday I am heading to another farm in Whangarei - it about 100 km north and I am staying there for two weeks, after that I am heading even further north to the Bay of Islands for a month. Will update again when possible!!