This year we have initiated a Marae trip for international students, to promote New Zealand's Maori culture and to give them an overnight experience on a Marae. Mingyu Jeong (Yr 10) from South Korea reports.......
Our international students went to the Marae with Mr. Mountain and Mr. Ferguson. The main purpose of this trip was to experience traditional Maori culture and history. I already knew Maori peoples are partnership with New Zealand and other Europeans. Also we could not experience these trips in any other countries because Maori only exist in New Zealand . Before we went to that trip I was extremely excited.
In the van I was really restless because I really hate that beach road at Andersons Bay. It makes me feel sick. Also Charles kept opening my side windows, so those strong winds hit my face continually and I fell asleep.
When I woke up, we had already arrived to Marae and we became formally welcomed. Our international manuhiri group walked inside solemnly for ceremony with Maori. We had to sit and listened to our host, Edward's waiata for us in Maori language. Afterwards, we sang Te Aroha, the harmony was out of tempo and tone. After Hui with Edward, he showed us the dining hall and we had some refreshments.
Next Edward talked about Maori culture and history during an hour and half. Afterward we visited old temple. Inside of temple, there were quite a lot of interesting ancient things. Most stuff was made before 2000 years in primitive ages. Honestly I usually do not prefer to learn about history, however that temple was satisfied to interest.
After that we went to dining hall for dinner. We got some traditional Maori food called Hangi. I heard a boy say “Oh, there’s no meat left so I can’t eat any”. I was laughing about that a lot. Therefore that boy ate only bread with butter. When we had dinner, John, Josh, Daniel, Jeehuhn, Minsu and I were came back to the Whare nui and had chatting. Then we went to bed on the floor of the Marae.
Finally on the last day, or leaving day, I woke up as last person, and Terrence said you slept like a worm. I already knew that my sleeping habit is rubbish. So I didn’t mind it. After we cleaned everything, then we did Hui again with Edward. It was the first time I had experienced it I enjoyed it. I like going to these one night trips and enjoyed being with other International students, Mr. Mountain and Mr. Ferguson. I am thankful to Mr. Mountain, Mr. Ferguson and our sponsor Mr. Price (house master at JMC), Edward and all at Otakou Marae for holding this great trip for us.