10 November, 1999
Christchurch is lush with green. I'll keep this in mind for my return north. A few months ago, I got an e-mail from Sue Ross- the principal and senior class teacher of Tuahiwi School in Kaipoi. She invited me to come and speak with the students in her senior class (nine - thirteen year olds), who happened to be almost the same ages as my students on Orcas. Tuahiwi is a tiny school that emphasizes bicultural education. I believe sixty percent of the students are of Maori descent.
Today was visiting day. We were lucky to coordinate it, since I arrived yesterday and the school will be closed for local holidays for the next few days. I drove twenty minutes northwest of Christchurch with Polly Penhale, from the National Science Foundation. When we arrived, two of the older boys came out to meet us. I felt like a celebrity! Sue brought the entire student body out (all sixty kids!), and they welcomed me with a number of songs and dances, including a "Haka"- the Maori war dance. I had a wonderful time talking with the seniors after the performance, and wish I could re-visit them after I leave the ice. Unfortunately, they'll be out of school by then.
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