Farm and Roto’poo’a

Sunday was a day off for us students so many of us spent it catching up on homework and preparing for the upcoming New Zealand botany exam.

On Monday we all headed back to our classes at Tupoho. Our daily routine commenced with learning about “wicked problems,” complex problems with no single solution, in Peter Frost’s Environmental Issues class. After morning tea, we enjoyed another mentally stimulating debate about boundaries between human and nature and human perceptions of the wilderness and nature. We continued our brown bag lunches and had two presentations, one from Woody and another from Rachel and Gabe. Woody discussed her time at Castlecliff and Rachel and Gabe gave us insight into their time at Bushy Park.

Tuesday, we split off and were able to get further involved in the internships. The bird rescue saved a falcon, artifacts were rehoused at the museum, and many more projects took place.

Wednesday was another day of classes. In the morning we had Peter’s class where we talked about carrots, sticks, and sermons in regards to government policy. Carrots being incentives from the government to behave in a certain way. While sticks are regulations in which the government forces you to behave a certain way. While sermons is education in which the government educates you to behave a certain way. In Jay’s class we continue to struggle with the idea of wild and wilderness. We discussed a piece that talked about rewilding of humans. We struggled to come to terms with the idea of what it means to rewild. We have been having brown bag presentations for each of the internship sites during lunch. Kelsey and Akul presented on their work on the regional museum. While Regan and Brianna presented on their rescuing endeavors at the bird rescue. In the afternoon we had class with Āwhina down at the regional museum where we learned about Māori techniques to grow the number of native and fluent speakers. We also learned about a trip Awhina took to the states to work and collaborate with Native American groups on full immersion teaching techniques.

Thursday was another day of internships with people going all over the city to Bushy park, Putiki Kindergarten and the Maori radio station.

On Friday we had another of our weekly field trips. This time we went to Dougal and Di McIntosh’s farm. They have a sheep and cattle farm consisting of about 6,000 sheep for meat and wool and about 200 angus beef cattle. They have also started a forestry venture on the land that is not productive for stock grazing.This has given them a more consistent income while also stabilizing a lot of land and stopping erosion. After our field trip some of the students left for a weekend trip up to Rotorua to go black water rafting and see the hot springs and geysers. While the rest of us stayed in Whanganui to catch up on school work or relax with our homestays.

Saturday was a day off for the students. Some of us went and explored the Whanganui Market before we were run off by rain. It was a good day to stay in and relax after another of our very packed and fast paced weeks as we draw closer to the end of our time with our homestays and at our internships. Soon we will be off on another leg of our adventure.

Some photos from some students’ rafting trip at Waitomo caves during their Rotorua adventure:

Until next time,
Regan and Kelsey

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