I have already been blessed again with trail magic and I have not even started walking yet. I met a lovely Samoan lady on my flight from LAX (an absolute nightmare there, by the way) to Fiji. She has 7 children and 16 grand kids, all over the place. She lives alone in Seattle now but is on her way to her son's graduation from seminary in Fiji. (Gee, that was an option for school? A paradise island?) When she found out I was hiking in New Zealand alone she gave me her phone number and she gave me her other son's number. He lives in Auckland, not far from the airport. She said to call him if anything happened while I was in New Zealand or if I just needed a ride or anything. He would understand if I told him his mother sent me (she must do it a lot). After we landed in Fiji we split up. But she said if I ever wanted to go to her homeland Samoa to give her a call and she would come too. She said we could stay with her family so I would have no need for a hotel or food, just the money for the flight. And I genuinely believe Iva meant it! What generosity from a stranger on a plane!
I made it to Auckland finally. My dad was right; they talk funny here. (Jokes!) So I am in a hostel, paying for wifi, chatting with a nice gal from Dublin, wondering why there are 2 buttons to flush the toilet, and ready to get my bus pass and food tomorrow so I can be on my way shortly.
I can already feel that this trip is going to change me. And with the kindness I have experienced from multiple people before I have even begun, I suspect that the changes will be for the better.