Saturday, June 26, 2010

My favo(u)rite photos to date

The Takatimu Mountain Range right outside of Invercargill
My eyes are closed and liam is not even looking at the camera but I still loves this family picture. Too bad Emma and Libby could not be there to make it in this one. This was taken on top of Bald hill in the Longwoods.
Kayla and I in our "flash" Chevy before the Ball.
All Blacks Test Match Versus Wales at Carisbrook's last game.
Cape Reinga, the very northern tip of New Zealand. This is one of the most sacred places for the Maori people.
Crazy sand formation in Naseby, Central Otago.
Milford Sound with Kayla.
Routeburn Track in Fiordland National Park with my Mates Nika and Ingrid.
Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. Too bad you cant quite see it behind the cloud, should have taken the picture the day before. Gutted

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BIG update

Wow I have left myself to a massive update but I will do the best I can to get it all in.

-Joined underwater hockey team
-came in second at southland cross country champs in Te Anau
-got lost during Southland championships orienteering course and came in last by over an hour
-Went night swimming at Oreti beach in 30 F degree weather, -1 degree Celsius 
-Did our three nights of the production Kiss Me Kate
-Went to the ball
-Went to the even better After-Ball
-My american mate came to visit and we 
-explored the takatimu mountain range with some other friends
-took a bus tour to Milford Sound (Iconic NZ destination)
- saw seals
-Nearly Shat ourselves bungee jumping in Queenstown off highest bungee in NZ, The Nevis.  it was 400ft high right into a valley.
-Took a jet boat ride through shot over river
- Drove to Mount Cook with host family (Highest mountain in NZ seeming to be in the middle of nowhere when in reality only 1 hour away from a town) 
- Drove down the east coast of NZ from Mount Cook to see the Moeraki Boulders
-Arrived in Dunedin
-Ran up the Steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street)
-took pictures at a church that is famous to me because it appeared in one of my favorite TV shows called Drive Thru
- All Blacks test match against Wales at the historical last game at the famous Carisbrook stadium
- went into Gardies (pub) with my host dad for its historical last night in business. It was a huge institution in Dunedin
-Saw people playing nude rugby on the news with nothing blurred out. shows what you can put on NZ news and US news.
-And finally, I gave a speech to my whole school today on what its like to be an exchange student. I also thank the school for being so welcoming and told them I would be coming back to visit very soon.

What I can say right at this moment is that I have been in NZ for 5 months now and it is my life. It is not just a place that I feel at home but it is a place where I lived for a portion on my life, had a family, friends, school, sports teams, clubs, productions, Shakespeare?, great times, a few bad times,  and AMAZING memories. I have dreams about NZ and my kiwi friends and family in them. It is definitely a part of me and it will be very hard to leave. That is not to say, though, that I dont want to go back to the US, because I am very excited to go back and see everyone, I miss them so much. Anyways it will be hard to leave and I think will almost feel like a divorce I guess. I mean I can always come back to NZ but itll never be the same as it was when I was here. I wont be able to be the son of my host family, I wont be going to high school and hanging out with my friends everyday, my friends will all be at different universities, I wont be on the sports teams, and well, its just wont be the same. But I know I will always be welcomed back here and I do love this place a lot, so I am sure New Zealand has not seen the last of Trenor Wilkins.


This article came out two days after the ball article came out. Here is something also worthy of note. Everyone in Southland, maybe in all of NZ for that matter, reads the newspaper. NO JOKE> I had literally everyone at school comment on the newspaper articles: My friends, other year 13 students, teachers, other staff, my rugby coaches, whole classes of year 7 and 8 students (I had to look after class as the teacher was gone, who also commented on it), and people I dont even know.

US student praises variety of sports in NZ

By BRENDON EGAN - The Southland Times
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2010
NICOLE GOURLEY/The Southland Times
WORTHWHILE EXCHANGE: American exchange student Trenor Wilkins has had a blast trying out a variety of sports during his time at Southland Boys' High School.

United States exchange student Trenor Wilkins reckons high schools back home should take a leaf out of New Zealand's book when it comes to sport.

In the US, students were encouraged to stick to their preferred sport and concentrated solely on it, Wilkins said. The Tampa, Florida native – who has been on exchange at Southland Boys' High School since January – admitted New Zealand had been a breath of fresh air with the way it allowed students to try their hand at a multitude of sports.

"In the States, you specialise and become really good at it. You practise every single day. Here, they don't practise every day. Everyone is really naturally good at a lot of sports. It's so cool that everyone does a lot of sport."

Wilkins' chosen sport is cross- country running and the 17-year-old has made his mark in it since arriving in New Zealand. He won the over-16 cross-country title at Southland Boys', then backed that up with a second-place finish at the recent Southland cross-country championships in Te Anau.

Wilkins led after 2km of the 6km distance, but was overtaken by precocious Gore High School talent Aaron Barclay, who won the race by 13sec from the American in a time of 21min 4sec.

While in Southland, Wilkins has tried his hand at a variety of sports. He took up mountainbiking in New Zealand and has competed in the Motatapu, Moonshine and WindFarm Classic events.

The youngster has also dabbled in water polo, underwater hockey, represented the Southland Boys' High first XI football team, and even lined up on the wing for the school's under-18 blue rugby side.

Coming from the gridiron-mad United States, Wilkins confessed it had been an interesting experience playing rugby.

"I didn't even know the rules," he laughed.

"I played a game and almost got a try against James Hargest.

"It was an easy open try and I just missed it."

Wilkins heads back home next month where he will begin his first year at college at the University of Florida.

He hoped to break into the university's cross-country team and said that would involve beating people who were already on the team in a race to gain their spot.

"They have a walk-on race.

"It's pretty hard to walk on (to the team). If I work hard all summer, I can do it."

The 60kg whippet admitted he would love to do the London Marathon and also had a few other running goals he wanted to tick off his list.

I got this article off the Southland Times website and there was even a picture of me and Kayla in the actual newspaper to go along with it.

US pair praise Southland schools' ball

By JARED MORGAN - The Southland Times
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2010
Southland Boys' and Southland Girls' high schools seniors
LET'S DANCE: Southland Boys' and Southland Girls' high schools seniors in their finery at last night's combined ball. About 400 students from both schools donned gowns and tuxedos for the secret garden-themed event.

Southland does it better.

That's the verdict from two United States high school students transplanted at last night's combined Southland Boys' and Southland Girls' high schools ball.

The praise came from Trenor Wilkins and Kayla Kennedy, a pair weaned on the traditional high school prom, an institution as American as mom and apple pie.

The Tampa, Florida, natives who are seniors at HB Plant High School, joined about 400 other southern beaus and belles at the secret garden-themed ball held at Stadium Southland in Invercargill.

Trenor, who has been in Invercargill since January on a student exchange, said the Kiwi-version had impressed him. "I would say this is way better," he said.

His and "good mate" Kayla's ball experience included being driven to the big event in a Chevrolet, the paparazzi treatment from a crowd of envious younger girls at the stadium's entrance, walking a red carpet and being paraded in front of pride-swelled parents, he said.

"Back home we show up, have a dance and go home." Kayla, who arrived in New Zealand on holiday on Thursday, agreed.

"It's definitely a lot more formal – it's nice." For Trenor, last night's ball stood in for his own senior prom, which he missed while on his exchange, which finishes next month.

"I'm here until July 5, which I'm also pretty bummed about – I miss Fourth of July (American Independence Day) celebrations." For both, last night's ball comes close to the end of their schooling.

A series of photos of ball couples will loaded on our website,, in the coming days.

We want to see your snaps, too.

Send your ball pictures to and we'll put them in our online gallery.

Make sure you include the names of everyone in the photo caption details.