On Wednesday 30th May we went to Opunake, representing our school in a sport exchange. On that day we had to meet in the hall at school at 7am. We put our bags in the bus and started our ride to Opunake. We arrived there at approximately 12 o’clock and had a powhiri. Afterwards we had to go straight to the van because we had another 40 minutes to drive to our hockey field. Our game started at 1.30pm at Stradford Turf. While we were playing there were also games of netball (at 1.00pm), boys rugby (at 1.15pm) and girls basketball (at 2.15pm). Later on there was a debate at 3.45pm and then the programme for the day was over.
At around 5.00pm we headed to the local marae and had again a powhiri. Then we could shower and get our sleeping area ready. After we ate dinner. We had spaghetti bolognese and pumpkin soup. For desert we had apple crumble with creme and it was delicious. At 7.30pm we went back to the Opunake High School and had a sports quiz with the other students from Opunake. After the quiz we went back to the marae and went to bed.
view in the morning from the marae
The next day we had breakfast at the marae before we went to the High School again. At 9.00am our volleyball started and in the meantime there was also the girls rugby game, the Senior A boys basketball and the boys soccer.
Senior A Girls Basketball
Senior A Boys Basketball
Senior A Girls Netball
Boys 1st XV Rugby
Then the sports exchange was finished. At the end we did our school haka, had a little lunch together and thanked all the teachers and students who helped and participated. We ended up losing overall but we had won more games than in years before. Three wins was not achieved in a long time so we were all still really proud and most important we had a lot of fun!
It is a small school but I actually really like that. You do not see new people everyday and you know a lot of people by their names which is really cool. So is it the other way around, a lot of people know you and that you are an exchange student. I enjoy going to Manawatu College because the teachers are friendly, the classmates are being helpful and there is a nice atmosphere at school. Last but not least I really appreciate the support and the team spirit at the school!
1. the night sky: I love watching the stars at night! You get to see so many stars and an awesome view on milky way. It is just amazing and it blows me away everytime I see it. I wish we had that in Switzerland as well but perhaps I would take it for granted then.
2. friendly and open-minded people: The people here are so nice and friendly. I remember on my first day of school the students were really friendly, interested and so helpful.
3. houses: The houses here are amazing and so unique. They are constructed so nicely and I am always amazed when I enter a house I have not seen so far.
4. music: I really enjoy the radio, probably because I know most of the songs they are playing and it always makes me sing along. I also really like maori songs! They are so relaxing and are making me feel good and happy.
5. hiking: I am actually not that type of person who likes going on long hikes but here in New Zealand I kind of do not mind it. I actually enjoy it very much and I think the beautiful views play a big role!
6. the culture: I just like to discover the maori culture here and see new things. I feel like I learn so much about life and see things in a different way. It shows me how different the people can be although we live on the same planet. It is just the amazing thing about traveling and that is why I love it so much.
7. morning conditioning: Since the beginning of my exchange I go to the conditioning program at my school. We meet at 7:20 everyday from Monday-Friday. Then we go for a run, do a gym circuit or try to improve our skills at a sport. After an hour of sports we go in the canteen and eat breakfast together. It is just so much fun and I really like doing sports with my friends. I also got to know many new people from our school!
8. student – teacher relationship: It is totally different than in Switzerland. At the beginning I found it really weird that you hug your teacher and that the teacher seems more like a friend to you. After a time I started to like it and now I appreciate how much the teachers care about the students.
9. kiwi accent: I cannot say much about that point. I just love how they speak.
10. the nature: That was one of the main reasons why I even wanted to go to New Zealand. I could not wait to finally see the nature and I can say IT IS AMAZING! Car rides are always fun and you do not want to sleep. You just want to enjoy and appreciate every single bit.
What an amazing country… I am grateful that I have the opportunity to explore the other side of the world!
1. the wind: I don‘t like to feel cold and the winds here are always making the temperature even colder.
2. unorganized situations: It can be really confusing for exchange students if you do not know what is going on, especially if you have difficulties understanding the language.
3. meat every day: I like meat but eating it everyday is just too much for me.
4. public transport: I live in Foxton, which is a quite small town. We do not really have public transport here and you need a car if you want to go somewhere. Therefore I always need someone who can drive me if I want to go shopping, go to the cinema or even if I just want to hang out in another city. Those are things I could do on my own in Switzerland (without having a driver‘s license).
5. No „normal“ bread: This might sound a little weird but I miss the variety of bread. In Switzerland you enter the bakery and you have a lot of different types of bread to choose and here in New Zealand you only get different types of toast, which is also pretty cool but not exactly what I want.
To be honest it was really hard to find things that I don’t like here! I am really enjoying my time in New Zealand and there is so much more that I love what makes the other things look silly and not important. I am so happy that I chose to come to New Zealand!
Our second day started with breakfast at 8am at the hostel. An hour later the bus came, picked us up and we drove to Kiwi Valley. When we arrived there we could not go directly in, so Te Arahi taught us how to play rugby. That was really fun.
Afterwards we went inside and there we could see a lot of cute animals like puppies, horses, goats, cows, donkeys, alpacas and there was even an emu. We could pet and feed some of the animals and ride on a horse.
Ellie the Emu
After eating lunch at the Kiwi Valley we drove to Piha at 12 noon. There I had my first surf lesson and it was absolutely amazing! I think that was my favorite part of the whole camp. In the afternoon an ex exchange stundent from Denmark joined our group. She was visiting her hostfamily for the fourth time and told us about her exchange in New Zealand. She was really nice and she even came surfing with us.
Piha Beach is a really nice place but also quite dangerous because the waves are big and rough. Piha Beach has even its own TV show where they show how they rescue people. In general by the west coast the sea is quite rough and by the east coast the sea is rather calm.
So we arrived at Piha Beach and there we met our surf instructors Leo and Emma. They first told us Things about the sea and what Surfers observe before they go into the water. This is really important for your own safety. Before we went to the water we had to get changed and put on the surf suits. I did not know that this was so hard. We all struggled to get into the suits but in the end everyone managed to get their suit on haha :). The first wave that I wanted to catch was a big one and I was really afraid to be honest. The wave was so strong that I got pulled under water. I wanted to come up to breath but then the board hit my head and I could not come up. I panicked for a second but then I came up and I calmed down. I thought (sarcastic): “Wow what a great start.” The next wave I caught was already better and after a few trials I even managed to stand on the board.
Welcome to Piha! – New Zealand’s most famous surf beach
wonderful Piha beach with the Lion Rock, the hot black iron-sand and the nice Tasman Sea
After the lesson we ate fish and chips for dinner. It was delicious. When everybody was finished we started driving back to Auckland. I guess we were all really tired but in a good way. We heard music in the bus and sang songs together.
Arrived at the hostel I can say I had an amazing day. I surfed for the first time! It was really hard but I enjoyed it so much. It also reminded me of something really important. I had a rough start but I kept trying and in the end I managed to do what I wanted to do. So in general if something keeps pulling you down, do not give up! Keep trying and you will succeed.
On Good Friday we drove to Lower Hutt where Karen’s sister Debbie lives. It takes about one and a half hour to get there, depending on the traffic. On our way there we stopped at Paraparaumu Beach. It was such a lovely day and you could even see the South Island that day. Afterwards we bought fish and chips and ate it.
The house is so beautiful and I really enjoyed staying at Debbie’s. We didn’t do much that day after we have arrived in Lower Hutt. The neighbours came over, we talked and when they went home, we ate dinner. Oh and I also ate feijoas for the first time! That was our first day. 🙂
In the morning we got up and ate a nice breakfast. Then my host sister Rebekah and her cousin Emma came and we drove together to Wellington.
There we met my other host sister Abi and Emma‘s sister Madeleine. We ate lunch together and it was really good. Afterwards we split up and the girls went shopping and my host parents and I went to Te Papa (National Museum of New Zealand). Then we walked along the harbour and went again in the city. There we met the girls and Abi showed us her apartment. Afterwards we started driving back to Debbie‘s place.
On sunday we got up quite early in the morning b cause we went fishing. That was my first time! I really enjoyed the trip. I took my camera and I took some nice pictures of the harbour and the landscape. We had such an amazing view.
We even got a shark!
In the evening everyone came to Lower Hutt and we had a lovely dinner together.
We stayed for breakfast and afterwards we drove back to Foxton.