"I'm really trying to make it more than what it is
Cause everybody dies but not everybody lives.
Wish I could have this moment for life
Cause in this moment I just feel so alive"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Day at Channel 9 News

Saying Goodbye
Thursday was also my last day at my internship and it was kind of bittersweet. I have formed friendships with most everybody I have worked with over the past 2 months and all of them have been there for me in one way or another... I have learned so much from my internship and am truly blessed to be able to come here and learn from such awesome people! I remember the first story I did and how discouraged I was after it, thinking there was no way I could actually be a TV journalist. But by the end I had improved so much and my stories actually looked and sounded pretty good. I will miss everyone at Channel 9 so much and I hope I will be back to visit often! Thank you all for everything you have done for me and being part of my life!
-Houston, Tutti Fruity, O'Bannonan, O'Bainon, ect.

Photo of the day JULY 21

Meeting Ritchie McCaw, All Blacks Captain
Probably the best thing that has happened to me since I flew into New Zealand was Thursday when Dee and I got to meet the All Blacks Captain Ritchie McCaw! Mark Hathaway, one of the Ch9 reporters, went to school with Ritchie and so Mark was able to schedule a channel 9 exclusive interview with him... and of course Dee and I were ready to come along for that one! The interview was awesome and the story turned out great as well... Dee got to film and I once again took pictures to document the event. After we were done with the interview, without embarrassing Mark too much, Dee got his autograph and we also got to take a picture with him! He is so gorgeous and such a nice guy, not to mention pretty much a hero and celebrity in New Zealand! It was just amazing having the chance to meet him and after we dropped Mark off, Dee and I were as embarrassing as Justin Bieber fans! Best day EVER! :)

Photo of the day JULY 20

Sunrise over Port Chalmers, NZ
On Wednesday I actually got out of bed and made it to work by 7:30 AM so I could go to the All Blacks press conference. The experience was great and it was cool to be that close to all the players and watch them being interviewed. I didn't do any of the interviewing, but I was glad to be able to get the experience of going to the conference and seeing how it works. We were done early by 8:30 AM and so that left us an hour before we had to be at work officially. So, we drove out to Port Chalmers and watched the sun rise over the ocean. It was a gorgeous sunrise and a perfect way to spend an early morning!

Photo of the day JULY 19

All Blacks Training at Carisbrook Stadium
During the last week of my internship, the National New Zealand rugby team was in town and that of course is news. So I got to spend part of my last week going out with the Ch9 News team to their training and press conference. It was an awesome experience to see big time sports reporting in action, considering that is what I want to do eventually. Also the All Blacks' players are so good looking!!! We were very close to the action and I got to just go along for the ride and take lots of pictures! Great experience for my last week at the news station!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Photo of the day JULY 18

Big Beach, Aramoana, New Zealand
Today Dee took me on her weather shot out to Aramoana which is a small town about 25 minutes outside of Dunedin. Dee used to live here for years and raised her kids in the town so she knows all about it. It was also where David Gray, a resident of Aramoana several years ago went insane and started shooting people. He killed 13 people, most of them his neighbors, and was on the loose for a couple of days before authorities caught him. I'm pretty sure it was the deadliest criminal shooting in New Zealand history. There is a movie made about it called "Out of the Blue" which I have seen and driving around and seeing some of the same houses seen on the movie was eerie.... But the town was really cute and I could tell the lifestyle was very relaxed out there. The beaches were gorgeous too, as you can see in this photo. Good way to get out of the office and see something cool!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Photo of the day JULY 17

The Puzzling World, Wanaka
Today we had until 3 before our bus picked us up to go back to Dunedin, so we wandered up the road and found this place. It is basically a museum type place of optical illusions and a giant maze. It took us probably like 45 minutes to do the maze, finding our way back to the start was the hardest part and very frustrating! The maze is huge though, they say the average person walks 3-5 km when they do the maze... crazy! Then there were four optical illusion rooms... The first was a hologram room, several different hologram projections. then there was the following face room. Basically it was a room filled with 3D faces that appeared to look at you and follow you around the room! Then there was a anti gravity room which the floor was so sloped that it made it appear like you were leaning when you were standing up straight and made it look like water runs up hill! That was probably my favorite, although it made me fill a bit nauseous... and the last one was a room that looked normal from the outside, but inside the floor is sloped so if people are standing on opposite sides one looks like a giant and the other looks like a midget. The technique was used in Lord of the Rings apparently! Anyway it was fun and had some really cool stuff to see! Then we caught the bus home, didn't miss it this time! I'm all geared up and ready for my last week at Channel 9 and my parents are coming to visit, they get to Dunedin on Wednesday! :) Cant wait!

Photo of the day JULY 16

Snowboarding Cardrona, New Zealand
FINALLY!!! After waiting on the snow for two months here in NZ I got to shred some New Zealand powder, which is one of the main things that drew me to come here in the first place! I was so excited the night before I could hardly sleep! Sarah and I got up at 6:15 AM (yes that time is correct, I actually was awake before the sun rose!) in order to get everything organized to go up to the mountain. We had to figure out which mountain to go to, where to rent boards and how to get a bus ticket for transportation to the mountain... But everything ended up working perfectly! We found a cheap rental shop right away, it only cost me 25 NZDs! Then we headed to the bus stop. At first the guy told us the bus was full, but we lucked out and it wasn't, so that meant we didn't have to hitch a ride up the mountain! ;) Once we got to Cardrona, our bus driver offered sarah and I to buy lift passes off him for only 50 dollars, which is half of what it costs at the resort!!! Such a great start to the day! Snowboarding Saturday was really cold and the wind was out of this world, plus a huge fog cloud was sitting right over the mountain for most of the day, but the day was still epic and awesome! I taught Sarah how to board, and now she has snow stoke! haha We had some scary moments where we literally could not see a foot in front of us, but we made it and had a lot of fun! I cant wait to go shred in New Zealand some more before I leave! :)

Photo of the day JULY 15

Wanaka, New Zealand
This weekend Sarah and I headed to Wanaka to do a little snowboarding! Wanaka, like Queenstown, is a mountain town located about four hours from Dunedin. It is a lot smaller and less touristy than Queenstown though which I liked because it was so peaceful. We got into town in the evening and checked in at our hostel, The Purple Cow. This was an awesome place to stay, cheap, friendly, chill, nice and this go around we stayed in a female only dorm which was a fantastic decision! We went to bed pretty early to save our energy for snowboarding on Saturday! This picture is taken of the sun setting over Lake Wanaka with snow capped mountains in the background. I am so glad it snowed finally, the white mountains are absolutely breathtaking. One of my favorite scenes and exactly how I had imagined New Zealand looking!

Photo of the day JULY 13

Behind the Scenes, Channel 9 News
I realized the other day that I don't have any pictures of my actual internship at all.. So I briefly snapped a few. Hopefully I can get some better ones before I leave. This is me working on a track in the editing suite. Channel 9 news is all linear editing, which means it is all done by recording different parts of tapes onto a news edit tape using these machines. I use the big remote to fast forward and find the clips I want as well as paste them all together. All the editing I do back home at college is done on computers using the Final Cut program, so it is cool to learn how to do it the more "old school" way! Only one week left of working at Channel 9! It went by so fast!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Stories!

Rugby World Cup Roadshow Story

Rural Internet Story

Netball Story

RoboCup Story

These are the stories I have done on my own in the past couple weeks. I am still really liking working at Channel 9 and am learning a lot! The whole editing process is becoming a lot easier for me, however I am still working on finding my news voice!
-Houston Signing off

Photo of the day JULY 11

Sunrise over Castle Street
How lucky am I to be woken up by this??? I took this photo of the sunrise this morning when my first alarm went off and I realized the entire sky was red/pink. It was amazing! I'm glad I took the picture then too because five minutes later it was gone and grey clouds had taken over the sky.

Photo of the day JULY 9

Cadbury World

Saturday Sarah and I went on the Cadbury Factory Tour and got lots of chocolates! The tour itself was a wee bit lame because the weekend tours are shortened and you don't get to actually see chocolate being made. However we got to eat liquid chocolate (soooo good!) and were given some more free chocolate so I was happy. Sarah also bought a butt-load of stuff from the store to give to her friends, my friends wont be that lucky though.. haha I have become addicted to Cadbury Chocolate since I came here, so this tour was a definite must!
-Houston Signing off (for my Ch9 followers)

Photo of the day JULY 8

Dunedin Ice Hockey Game
Sarah met one of the hockey players from the Dunedin Thunder who play in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League and he invited her to a game. So of course, me being a huge fan of hockey, went with her! The game was awesome! Dunedin won 6-5 in overtime so it was a very exciting game and it was fun to go see what ice hockey is like in New Zealand. Plus we got to go out for half price dinner at a really fancy restaurant with the whole team after the game!

Photo of the day JULY 7

Evening Tea (dinner) at Jitsu

Sarah, Luke and I (aka team America dubbed by Dee!) went out for a nice Japanese dinner at a place called Jitsu near the center of Dunedin. We were surprised when we got to sit at the chabudai which is a low table where you sit on the floor to eat. It was so fun, I have always wanted to sit in a room like this! Also, I love SUSHI now! haha its amazing.. I have tried so hard to like sushi but I just find it disgusting usually! However, New Zealand has this awesome thing called Chicken Sushi! Seriously I hope I can find it in the States... I got crispy chicken sushi and it is to die for!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Photo of the day JULY 3

Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown
We had a fun night out Saturday and then had to get up early Sunday morning to catch our bus back to Dunedin. We got up on time and thought we were responsible by asking someone where the bus stop was and we even got there 20 minutes early... but as the story goes, we found out we were waiting at the wrong bus stop and by the time we realized this, it had been already half an hour since the bus was supposed to arrive. So there we were, two young American girls stuck in Queenstown with no plans at all... I think both of us were on the verge of tears haha but instead we pulled ourselves together, went to the information center, bought a new bus ticket (for monday now because all the sunday buses were full), and booked another night at a different hostel in town. We decided to make the best of our extra day and the lady helping us at the info center I think could tell we were stressed out by the situation and suggested we go to the hot pools. So after we checked in at our new place, we went up the Onsen Hot Pools and it was amazing! Basically this place is located in the mountains overlooking the Shotover River and you get this room that has this nice wooden hot pool/tub in it. Then there is a retractable wall, like a garage door, that you can raise up and you sit in the hot tub while looking out to a serene view. It was so relaxing and peaceful! Definitely a good way to turn a bad day into a good one! (The picture above is Sarah relaxing in our hot pool!)

Photo of the day JULY 2

The Summit of Te Tapu-Nui, Queenstown Hill Track
Saturday, after a good refreshing nights sleep, Sarah and I went to an arts and craft market and went out to breakfast. After that we set out on a hike up the Queenstown Hill Track which is a track that climbs up above the town for a 360 panorama view of the Remarkables mountain range, the lake and Queenstown Bay. We felt pretty ambitious considering the hike had the word "hill" in the name, but it was an awesome time! We just about died getting to the trail though because we had to walk up several really steep streets and tons of stairs just to get to the trail head! But we made it and were rewarded by a seriously awesome view! This is me jumping at the summit with the mountains in the background! Sarah is also photo happy, so we had some good times! This place is amazingly beautiful and it was nice to spend the day outside of the tourist filled city!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Photo of the day JULY 1

Lake Wakatipu from Boat Docks, Queenstown, NZ
This weekend Sarah and I hopped on a bus and headed off to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Although there is still not enough snow to really go snowboarding, I thought I have waited long enough to see this place. We got in Friday late afternoon around 3 pm and checked into our hostel which was located on the waterfront. We had to room with two guys who were kind of weird and basically never left the room, so we tried to spend very little time in there! Friday night we walked around Queenstown and did a little shopping, there is a different snowboard/ski shop on every corner which equals my dream come true! We also ate dinner at a very fancy restaurant which was nice. We didn't even know it was fancy, we were just hungry and it was expensive to eat everywhere. This picture was taken as the sun was setting friday evening from the boat docks just outside our hostel. Queenstown is a fun little place, but it is definitely touristy! Also, Sarah and I got lost every five minutes... for some reason this place was very confusing for us to get around!

Photo of the day JUNE 30

Road Block!
This legitimately happens in New Zealand... farmers herd their sheep down the middle of the road and drivers have to wait for them to get out of the road. We were probably stuck behind these sheep for like 10 minutes, it was awesome! I didn't think it actually happened like this, but here is proof!

Latest story


Here is my story from last week. I did all the interviewing and reporting for the story as well as the voice over. Best one yet I think!