We were lucky enough to spend a lot of time with local Maori children on our first Marae (a fenced in area of different carved houses that all belong to the same tribe); we were also able to meet up several times with Meg’s kiwi grandchildren. Coming off of a long bus ride nobody was feeling very energetic when we arrived. The mood of the group changed quickly as we talked to the children more. Within an hour we were all with the children dancing, singing, playing soccer, making friendship bracelets, doing cartwheels, etc. At the end of the night Tomate, the leader on the Marae, taught us a song and dance and told us an interactive story about his ancestors through the poupou (a panel of wood carved by a Maori man that tells the story of ancestors). It was fun to see the children laughing and dancing with our class mates and enjoying watching them act out the Poupou. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to most of the children after that night but it was definitely an experience I will never forget.
|A group of NMH students making bracelets with Meg Donnelly's granddaughter at the Huria Marae in Taupo (Photo taken by Daniella Weldon '20)|
Below are a few photos from the Waitomo region, courtesy of trip leader Jolene Schuster:
|Black magnetic sand at Marokopa Beach|
|Looking up at the limestone biokarst formations at Mangapohue Natural Landbridge|
|Finding fossils at Kiritehere Beach on the Tasmna Sea|