In early May the Year 11, 12, and 13 Reo Māori classes went up north to Waitangi for four days. The experience was amazing, beautiful, totally beautiful. The Ngāpuhi students felt very at home. We checked out ancient sites and heard stories handed down to the local people. The moss was like organic carpet in the bush. There was a wild bull roaming around the marae where we stayed, and we got to see the beloved Aunty Gail. A strong connection was forged between us and Aunty Gail’s whānau at the marae.
We also learnt about Waitangi, with a guided tour at the Treaty Grounds, and the tikanga of Te Tai Tokerau (the northern tribal areas). We heard about the kaupapa of preserving the nature and the trees and all about the harmful sprays that are changing the environment there. The hotpools at Ngāwhā were super refreshing, but the teachers thought they were hot enough already. The hot pools actually made us stink of sulphur and Ezra’s shirt still bears the odour of the occasion. We got through a bundle of assessments, but all we could hear during the listening test was Matua Joel’s stomach growling.
There was good food, lots of food, which we prepared ourselves.