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Post written by trip leader, Glenn Minshall:

NZ Study Abroad is in full flight! Today the students embarked on a boat journey to Whaakari (White Island) an active volcanic island about 50 kilometres offshore, with Dr. Reeder. Meg and Glenn stayed ashore to do the chores (bad deal for us, but oh well). We will hear their stories on their return later this afternoon. 
White Island (photo by James Thayer '17)

Previously, we landed in Auckland and spent our first full day walking the city from the Port of Auckland to the Auckland City Museum. We then 
traveled to Tauranga to stay at Huria Marae, our first marae experience. The wharenui, or big house, is magnificently carved and adorned in the traditional fashion with exquisite tukutuku woven panels. We were told the story of the house by the marae kaumatua or elder.  Our third evening at the marae was spent making a presentation to the tangata whenua (local people) about the New England native American tribes we had been researching prior to departure. The students did a wonderful job with their presentation which led to significant conversation about the shared history of the indigenous peoples of New Zealand and America. 

From the marae we visited Mount Maunganui for geology and history classes (outside), and obtained wonderful exercise and views of the Pacific Ocean by hiking the mountain. We also visited Gate Pa, a significant battleground between British forces and indigenous Maori in 1864. Last night English class consisted of a reading and analysis of Katherine Mansfield's short story, How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped. Thus far the weather has been wonderful: mid 70's to low 80's with refreshing day breezes. Kia ora.

New Zealand students grab lunch at the Auckland Youth Hostel!