Elsemiek was assisted with her travel to New Zealand by the Foundation in August 2013. The purpose of her visit was to bring her considerable hockey skills to a short-term coaching role with the Wellington hockey club, Capital Hockey. Elsemiek has been a delightful addition to the capital and is making the most of her opportunities. With some guidance from the Foundation, Elsemiek has joined two local companies in part-time positions for a three month internship. The completion of her internship will marry nicely with the arrival of her family who will travel through New Zealand with her before they all return to the Netherlands. But who knows... she may be back!
New Zealand.. Where to start?
Last year I visited New Zealand to play in the National Hockey League for 3 weeks. But I was purely in NZ to play hockey for three weeks and didn't see anything of the country.
When Capital Hockey asked me to play for them again, my decision was easy to make. They also asked me if I wanted to stay longer.
I just graduated in May so I thought, you only live once! Why not! I cancelled my rent, left my hockey club back home, packed my bags and went to New Zealand for my adventure! Before I went to NZ I made a stop in Vietnam for 12 days.
After this I arrived in NZ where I met my Dutch friend Carlijn, who I brought to New Zealand to play hockey as well. Together we travelled the first 3 weeks before the start of the NHL. From Mount Maunganui, Rotorua, Napier, a farm near Mastertown, Martinborough, to Queenstown in the South Island.
We enjoyed just driving through the beautiful landscapes the most. We experienced the kindness and hospitality of New Zealand people.
Back in Wellington we went to the World Press Photo event where we met a lot of interesting people. including members of the New Zealand-Netherlands Foundation!
Then the NHL started. It was a good to see how good our team performed! We became 2nd on the tournament! Carlijn unfortunately went home the day after the tournament, so now it was just me. I wanted to find a job or internship in the marketing area. With the help of Theo Muller I found a job at FMG! I've done my masters in Corporate Communication but I wanted to experience the Marketing area. Next to FMG, where I work three days a week, I will start working for Ricoh for 2 days a week. Ricoh is our NHL sponsor and Chris Thornton also helped me a lot.
Since I've arrived I have met a lot of new friends, went to concerts, Sydney, WOW and saw the All Blacks. I hope to see and experience as much as possible of New Zealand! I've been in NZ for quite a while now and every is really falling into place. I noticed the cultural differences between the Netherlands and New Zealand and really had to get used to this. Nothing is better then the other but it is just different. The work-life balance is something New Zealanders put high on their list. Sometimes people have told me to relax and enjoy my free hours. In the beginning I was constantly feeling restless but now I've surrendered myself to this laid-back way of seeing life, and I appreciate it! People in New Zealand integrate me in everything and try to make my NZ experience even better than it already is. My mum is coming in January for 3 weeks and I can't wait to show her the beautiful country and to introduce her to all the interesting people I've met! Thank you to the Foundation for making my trip possible. You've found yourself a new ambassador in the Netherlands, because all I can say is that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world!