This past Friday, I was able to join Room 8 along with four other classes from the school to go on a fieldtrip to a local redwood grove. They are located in Te Mata Park, at the base and more in the valley than Te Mata Peak- which is obviously a peak and on higher ground. The students were given strict instructions to wear their every day clothes and pack lunches and good walking shoes. They were also given a clipboard of activities to do once we arrived down in the redwoods, but first they would have to hike for about 25 to 30 minutes. For some this was a challenge, but overall they did amazingly well.
We took the bus there, but they don’t have yellow school buses in New Zealand. The buses that we took are the exact same that ones that I was later going to take from Hastings to Wellington, just like a Greyhound. I sat next to an adorable boy from my class named Willie. We tried to play “I spy” for a little while, but it didn’t last long once I was reminded that he doesn’t know his letter sounds yet. (Him: I spy something that starts with D. Me: Dirt? Him: No. Me: um… driver? Him: No. Me: K, I give up. What? Him: Blake!)
We gave up and just took pictures instead.
One parent who was supposed to meet us there ended up going to the wrong “car park”- parking lot and never ended up meeting us- so I was able to take her group, which really only consisted of two boys- Caleb and Kavahn.
We went off walking and Caleb was the most inquisitive about things that we saw and/or heard. Everytime he wanted to ask a question or show me something he would call me name. But of course, the way he says my name is adorabe– it’s like it’s two syllables “Miss Ay-ch! I hear a bird!” With four classes of 25 or so children, and about 6-10 parents per class we were quite I sight to be seen walking through the trails.
It was a beautiful walk, and I was taking tons of pictures, of course for my own memories as well as to share with the teacher. Here is an example of my scenery.
I should have known that me snapping away would only intice the children, so when they asked if they could take my picture I felt like I couldn’t say no. I felt like how my mom must have when she would relate stories of me taking pictures when I was young. “Can you see me? Are you sure you can see me now??”
Not a bad shot of Miss H.
Once we arrived in a little grove, the children ate lunch, ran around collecting “treasures,” and completing the activity on thier clipboards before we had to head back to make the bus. I tried to take a video of Caleb telling stories- first about some dangerous fishing grounds and then about his treasures. I turned the camera while recording and haven’t figured out how to edit the movie let alone really format it for my blog. But since I’d had request for a clip of their accents, this is the best I can do for now. I’m sure I’ll get much more advanced by the time this trip is over. You’ll just have to turn your head… I like at the end how he’s so excited about the fossils he found, yet no one is listening to him… so I’m nodding to him over the camera.
The fossils he found are in fact real. A parent from another class told me about how eons ago this whole place was underwater and it’s not uncommon to find fossils of shells through out the grove.
We walked outof the grove and returned to school hot and exhausted. It had been drilled into the students (and me) that there was no toilet at Te Mata so I had been very skimpy on my water intake and came back with a horrible headache. I figured it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal since I would just sleep on the bus I was getting on directly after school to head to Wellington for a weekend outing…. of course, that didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. Read on… 🙂