I didn't know if I would stay for a year, or just a few months. I thought that my apartment might simply be a holiday home, while I returned to a "normal" Kiwi life.
I couldn't possibly have foreseen all the excitement, speed bumps, highs and lows ahead of me. It was probably just as well.
I renew my permesso to stay every two years. I will try again next year, hoping to be allowed another two years. After all the ups and downs I feel as though I belong.
Today I am grateful for tenacity and honesty.