It’s finally over!!!
Well kind of… The four months of almost unbearable torture is over at least.
James graduated on Wednesday the 30th of October and it was one of the proudest days of my life so far.
James’ family and I travelled down to Taupo the day before as we have with the other visitor days to make the trip not so strenuous. We were greeted with an incredible sunset and shimmer of hope that we would get the same weather for the big day. Waiouru is notorious for it’s wicked weather, a lot like Auckland it’s really luck of the draw and often every season in one day. We arrived bright and early to secure our prime photo/video taking front row seats and were so relieved to see nothing but blue skies above us.
The March out started at promptly 10.30 am and there he was, his platoon was the first to march out onto the Parade Grounds. I am a crier. I cry, always.. over everything. Needless to say I spent the entire day wiping tears away from my eyes, tears of happiness of course. One of these days I need to learn how to control my tears as it makes taking pictures a little harder when your vision through the viewfinder is forever blurred.
The day was made up of a bunch of demonstrations they put on of what they’d been up to during their basic training. Every part of the day was awesome, it was really cool to be able to see exactly what they had been taught over the past four months but there were three stand out parts of the day for myself.
James was a part of a group of guys and girls who won both Top Platoon and their Drill Competition so lucky for us they were the ones who got to show off their drill skills on the day. Marching doesn’t seem like it could be something fun but what they did was SO well done, a marching mash up of sorts. I’m so glad I was the girlfriend who took both a video camera set up on a tripod and also her massive camera as the footage and pictures I got are priceless. No word of a lie I have watched this video probably 50 times now.
The second most stand out part of the day that made me ball like a baby was when James was presented his award. James isin’t one to crave attention and went down there planning on doing well but being invisible in the process. Unfortunately due to his incredibly competitive nature and being the only ginger in his company this was almost impossible. Not only did he do well he was a respected leader and was awarded Top Shot which simply means he scored highest in his shooting assessment out of around 130 recruits.
The Haka was the best way to finish the day with a bang. This was also the most powerful part of the day that sent pride rushing through every vein in my body. I have never seen a live haka as passionate as the one I saw today. I don’t know if it was due to the fact that I was up so close or because I knew someone involved but man oh man, words can’t explain how it felt standing in front of them in those few minutes.
After around 2 hours we were finally allowed to see him for a little while. Again, tears… so many tears.
It felt so good to be able to hug him and tell him how proud we all were of him. Seeing him up close in his dress uniform was also a highlight of my day ;) I’m one luuuuucky lady!
Unfortunately we had to leave. Without him. It was a long drive back from Waiouru to Auckland, around 6 hours with stops along the way and I was incredibly shattered when I finally arrived home but am so happy I was able to be a part of all of this. I know nothing more about what happens now than the last time I wrote but am now in contact with him and it feels so good to be able to say good night and know i’ll be able to talk to him when I wake up and, i’ll say it again, this is all that matters!
I am excited to see what happens next. He still has a bit of training to go before anything move related happens but I have booked my first visit down and am so excited to check out our new, slightly broken but i’m sure just as awesome, home.