New Zealand Trip Adventures

In  March 2015, Ho`āla School students joined the Hōkūle`a and the Hikianalia in Auckland, New Zealand as part of the Mālama Honua class curriculum.  Ho`āla School was adopted by the crews of Hōkūle`a and Hikianalia through the World Wide Voyage Education Outreach Program. As part of our ongoing relationship with the voyage, students met up with the canoes while in Auckland, where they had an opportunity to visit with the crews and students from schools in New Zealand.  Ho`āla students served as ambassadors and engaged in diplomatic discussions about sustainability, learning and sharing.Students in New Zealand


Update from Ho`ala teacher Maggie Pulver during the trip:


At Opua School, students, teachers and parents, welcomed us with open arms and open hearts.  Check out this YouTube video to learn more about the best little school in New Zealand )   Our kids split up into groups and joined the Opua students to work on service projects, helping them to revamp the different recycling exhibits you can see in the videos, build pushcarts Opua School serviceGroup in New Zealandout of recycled materials, and weed/replant their gardens.   To close out the day, the teachers and students had a ceremony in our honor, where years 1-8 did a haka for us that the school has composed for their place.  We returned with our Ho'āla Oli, a chant gifted from the crews of Hokule'a, and Oli Mahalo.  Many bonds were made, and Miss Young, the lead teacher of the day, has even expressed an interest in coming to check out how we do things at Ho'āla.. can we say teacher exchange??? ;)
Students with HikianaliaKids have been cooking meals, making lunch for one another, and sharing acknowledgements for one another at our nightly family meetings, where we review the day's events, the upcoming itinerary for tomorrow.  They have been model Ho'ala people and are showing the people of Aotearoa the best of Ho'ala. 
We spent our second day in Paihia hiking the Haruru Falls Trek and visiting the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.  Everyone handled on the 5 hour hike like a champ, and really enjoyed seeing the rushing, awesome waterfall.  The Treaty Grounds were a great choice also, because it gave us an opportunity to learn about the history of the country from the perspective of the Maori people. 
 In Wellington, we will be working with Places for Penguins, a local non-profit dedicated to helping maintain the habitat of the little blue penguins, endemic to the North Island of New Zealand.  We will also be visiting the Te Papa Museum, a neat interactive museum, and Zealandia, a nature reserve where the kids will get to do some service and hopefully get to see a real live Kiwi bird... unfortunately we have seen our fair share of dead ones as road kill =(
Then it's off to Rotorua for white water rafting and more hot springs.

All my love to the families at home.  Children are safe, happy, and having a blast.


Upon arrival: 

We are doing great.  =)  After a really easy overnight flight, landing in Auckland at dawn was amazing!  The colors in the sky from the window of the plane made a beautiful rainbow across the horizon.  Customs was a breeze, and the rental car company was great. 
After the triple minivan caravan loaded up, we headed to the local mall which was home to currency exchange, lunch and the Pak 'N Save... the local super saver grocery store.  Once we were fully stoked, we hit the motorway and headed north!
The country is beautiful and FULL OF SHEEP...and cows, bulls, horses, rabbits, mice, birds, and kiwi!!!  We have even had the luck of seeing PINK SHEEP.. yes PINK. 
In Northland, we spent the first two days in Waipoua Forest, fully off the grid... no internet, no phone, no people.  The campground was awesome though, and our host family (also caretakers of the forest) were very reminiscent of Koke'e and Uncle Brad's family.  Needless to say we always have a place with the Te Roroa Tribe in Waipoua... and don't be surprised if they show up on our doorstep.
Today we headed east, and drove through the rain and wind that has come with the cyclone that is NORTH of us, and heading EAST.  Everyone I have asked and talked to has said the storm will likely bypass Aotearoa completely.  So no worries!  But say a prayer or two for the people of Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga who are not so lucky.
We made it to Paihia in pretty good time, after being forced in to taking the scenic route by our trusty GPS... We did get to see mountain climbing cows, jumping jack rabbits, funny farm dogs, little field mice, grazing llamas, and wild turkeys on our solid detour.
Paihia is a neat little coastal town, but the rain is preventing us from exploring this afternoon.  So we are hanging out in the hostel like seasoned travelers =)  The students are hanging together, playing music, cards and games, talking story, and meeting new people.
We will have wifi and phone service from here on out, so feel free to email, text or call if there is a need.  However, be weary that calls do have a per minute charge =)
Hope you are all doing well at home.  Will send another update in a day or two =)
Aloha and mālama pono~ Maggie




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