Daily Ramblings - Monday, December 8th through Saturday, December 13th

Ren Suen Bedell graduates from Otago University!

Departing Noumea we flew to Dunedin, New Zealand to celebrate Ren’s graduation – Bachelor of Science – Zoology from Otago University.

Ren loved his 3 ½ years in Dunedin.  He made countless friends from countries all over the world.  Almost one half the student body at Otago are international students.

A soulful, vegetarian, Ren is a beautiful person…generous in every way, loving all living things for who and what they are and wish to be.  What will be next in Ren’s fascinating life?  We are curious to watch and anxious to be supportive.  After spending the Holidays with us on Major Wager, Ren will be returning to Iowa to play uncle to Sami and Kelly’s baby Elinor.  (Yes, on Saturday, December 13th, Sami delivered Elinor Sun Mulhern – our first grandbaby!)

Ren’s step brothers RA and Ben Beattie and their friends Whitney McDowell and Ciara Bloomfield also joined us in Dunedin for the celebration.

The graduation ceremony began with a parade of graduates and their families walking from campus to the Town Hall.  And then the formal ceremony took place with over 1,000 graduates walking across the stage – receiving their diplomas.  It was inspiring watching the family faces of the Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan – every nationality…the pride and joy with the accomplishment – not just of the graduates, but the entire family effort to get to this day!

We celebrated Wednesday evening at a Scottish restaurant in the famous Dunedin Railway Station with several of Ren’s classmates. The following day journeying out on the peninsula we observed the Yellow Eyed Penguins and the beautiful New Zealand countryside.  Ren’s last dinner on the South Island was a feast at Fleur’s Seafood Restaurant – the most incredible seafood we have ever experienced.

So Friday our adventure turned toward flights to Auckland and the following day onto Madang, Papua New Guinea.