Do you know what I love? A good quality peanut butter. And sunsets. Sweet dogs. Polite children. The ocean.

All of these lovely things have collided in Dunedin, on the Otago Peninsula, with my current host family. I’m staying right on the water with a family of five. Two girls, ages thirteen and six and a ten-month-old boy with eyes as luminous as a paua shell. The six-year-old sings Taylor Swift songs, is reading Narnia, and loves making bracelets out of soap. The older girl is an athletic bombshell who can hold a conversation like she’s at least twenty-five. The parents were engaged nine days after they met each other. Nine days. They’re extremely likable. My view is of the ocean and the city lights. My comforter is down. My en suite is new and clean. My way up to the house is via ladder through an opening that looks like a cupboard on the other end. It was open when I went up the first time, and I couldn’t find where I was supposed to go down when I came back in the room. It’s bizarre. The dad is a builder and he is creative.

This is their view for the swing:

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