Tramp into the Tararua Ranges, March 2014
“I climbed up the mountain with one of the matrons Mrs Keats with her two dogs called Chloe and Jessica and five other international girls who live in Main House. I walked up the hill with Heejoo and Eliza because Reika and Reina were excited to come here for a run, and Nanami was taking pictures of the New Zealand bush with Mrs Keats and her dogs.
We were enjoying our moment walking and singing, but it was disturbed by the stairs which were ahead of us. We walked and walked and walked until I realised that I was at Rocky Lookout which was the top. I rested for a while looking out to the beautiful view while eating some cookies. I climbed the rock and enjoyed the view and took lots of photos. I talked with visitors from other places of New Zealand. We took a group photo and started walking down. It was easier than walking up!
We went into the river with our shoes on, it was surprisingly cold in the river, and there we took many photos. We threw some rocks into the river to see who could throw the rock most strongly.
When we arrived at the carpark, Heejoo and I were very hungry because we walked more than 6km. It was very tiring for all of us but I had a great experience.
I had fun with the other girls and Mrs Keats which I think made our relationship deeper. The best part of the our trip was to connect with nature of New Zealand which I had never experienced before. I would love to go there again or other places to learn a bit more about New Zealand.
Thank you Mrs Keats for taking us.”
By Year 11 International Student Mami
Trip to Pukaha Mount Bruce, June 2013
“St Matthew’s junior international students were able to experience first-hand the thrill of interacting with some of New Zealand’s unique wildlife on a visit to Pukaha Mt Bruce last week. The afternoon began well with a delicious lunch while we enjoyed a view of the resident takahe.
Suitably fortified by warm food, we ventured outdoors. Despite the chill in the air, Violet and Reina, donned thigh-waders and plunged into the icy stream to feed the eels. Under the watchful eye of a voluntary helper, they dished up the rather unappetising-looking leftovers from the kiwi house to some large and very appreciative eels. Meanwhile ranger Jessica explained the complicated life cycle of these creatures and how they have become endangered.Then it was off to the kiwi house to see Manukura. The group enjoyed watching two informative videos in the adjoining theatre, and we were able to learn a lot about how the kiwi population was established at Pukaha Mt Bruce.
By 3.30 it was time to feed the kaka. The girls relished the opportunity to get close to these beautiful and intelligent native parrots. Once again, Jessica was able to give them interesting insights, this time into the habits and foibles of the birds, which are surely the wildlife centre’s noisiest and most comic inhabitants.
There was just time to say hello to Kahurangi the kokako before setting off for home. We were interested to learn that because she was hand-raised, she has never learned how to communicate with other kokako. The idea of birds learning a language is of particular interest to our group of language learners and is something we will explore further.
A big thank you to all at Mt Bruce, and especially Jessica, for making our visit so informative and memorable.”
By ESOL teacher Jenny Hannon