First-Timer Speech Contestant
Getting here was, in the end quite smooth. After a total of about 13.5 hours flying time, and another few hours waiting around in airports, I left New Zealand at Friday 4pm and arrived in Hawaii Friday 9.30am the same day. Either the pilot flew incredibly quickly, or date lines are just plain crazy!
The first notable difference on entering America is that your fingerprints are taken, the only country I know of to have this requirement. Then came tipping, once again something I am not used to, but a little more well-known globally. However, I managed to get to the hotel via 6-8 lane highways (taxis are wonderful) and without any drama. From there, I found my room and immediately rang my friend Mary Wong, all-round nice Australian person. The next couple of hours are an absolute blur but involved getting lost and found several times within the village complex. I can now put faces to names that I have been emailing constantly since my win in NZ region a couple of months ago. I finally got to the point where I couldn't make coherent sentences and made my way to my room (I really do need a GPS!) and managed a snooze.
Highlights on the first day: Meeting fellow POWERtalkers, the views, the sunshine.
Margaret Craigie, POWERtalk Speakwell, New Zealand Region