Hello  or Kia Ora from New Zealand,

the land of the long white cloud...

I'm writing to you, from the other side of the world. Martin Clever, usually a students of the HPS in Germany, but now a student at Taradale High School. I've been here since the 26th January, but it still feels like I'm just arrived.



Outdoor education with other international students


But let me tell my story from the beginning. My flight to Auckland took 3 days. However, it was more like a hotel stay. A TV screen which had movies, free food to choose from and blankets, so wasn't to bad. The Dubai Airport was the biggest and coolest Airport I've ever seen with a pool, Zen garden and sleeping rooms. However we were sitting the whole time in McDonald. I spend my first 3 days in Auckland and I was really impressed by the biggest city of New Zealand. Especially the moment, when you stand on the glass bottom of the 328 meter high sky tower. But that was just the beginning of my year in New Zealand. So after 3 days in Auckland, I fly to Napier where I'm going to stay the rest of the year. The 30 minutes domestic flight was nothing in contrast to my two days flight to Auckland...
... Naturally I experience a complete different life - uniform, individual timetable, home stay, English language, 22° in winter :P, beautiful landscapes, outdoor education... but let's get it point by point.
First of all my school - Taradale High School. Here in New Zealand. I'm in Year 12 so I would finish school in two years (after year 13). It also means that I got most of my classes on level 2 (Year 12) and some classes on level 3 (Year 13). What subjects do I have? English 12, Computer Science 12, Chemistry 12, Biology 12, Sports 13 and Maths 13. We all wear a uniform at school, which look quite blue so it isn't that embarrassing. After the first week of seeing only students which looks just like you, you get used to it. I also got settled into the fact we have 45 minutes breaks for lunch outside. We have a great relaxed student-teacher relationship. It's hard to explain the unique school and living atmosphere unless you live here. But let me finish about school with a little talk about the school system. For passing the year you need credits. You get these only for exams, so there are no speaking mark. The only thing which count is the writing. And that is one of the key reason for the difference in the school and social structure. For example the classes resemble the German lectures. Also, you don't really knew how good the other students are, because you just need to take participate in class when you want to check your answers, that is why often homework is voluntary. Lucky me.



Art Deco Festival, Napier, for five days in the style of the 20's.


However some things haven't change at all. For example food isn't really different, but their kiwis, bananas and pineapples taste way better. Their major sport is rugby, however they also play football, basketball, volleyball and badminton.
Homestay and English language are one of the first topics I got confronted with. Yes it was at the beginning quite hard to find my way through it, but however I managed it to survive. And living with a host family isn't that diffrent as I expected. I still have to clean up my dishes (sometimes), tiding up my room and doing some other small jobs. And of cause there is this annoying siblings. I can still do what I want to do as long I take care of it and yes they give me food sometimes. One of the things I actually notice is that I use shorter sentences. I don't know in which language I dream, cause I can't remember, but I can say that I think most of the time in English. But it mostly depends on the language I speak.
Next, I write about the Outdoor Education. For everybody how doesn't know that the Outdoor Education is: Imagine all activities which are cool (paint ball, card driving, bungee jumping, shout gun shouting, archery, skiing, surfing, rafting...) every week, combined with trips through New Zealand greatest places. The best activity? Paint ball. The best trip? Definitive Tongariro crossing. I will never forget the time when I stood on top of the mountain and in front of me were the beautiful turquoise lakes. And also I have fond memories of surfing in the middle of winter. And this sunday I went to Nixons birthday party, who is the two year old grandson of my host mother (the fun of my life)...
...there is lots of more to tell you but I leaf that for another time ;)



Surf school lessons


And the last point - the weather. Yeah it's quite warm here.

Hope you are all well (and warm) like me


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