New Zealand Adventures

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Auckland Museum and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World

Auckland Museum from the front-it was such a huge building with 3 layers and it was incredible! I love how all these artifacts from many generations ago are able to be preserved and kept to one day be displayed in a museum. I think my favorite part of the museum was looking at the Maori cultural exhibits where we learned how Maori survived, made weapons, jewelry, homes, and what their life was like in general.

A Maori boat

A starfish at the Underwater world-okay I went out of order on my pictures, but that just keeps you intrigued right :)

probably the most disgusting fish in existence- this poisonous Weaver fish uses it's nasty brown color to camouflage itself with the sandy bottom so when it sees its prey it can poison it and eat it. It looks peaceful and old, but that is just part of its disguise.

Christine, Allie, Rebecca inside a snow-trac on our way to investigate the Antarctic and the penguins

Allie with a sting ray!!

So small and FLUFFY!!!

Some of the fish swimming in the Underwater world aquarium-they look cool when the camera captures them moving like that

So I wasn't thinking about keeping this picture because it is so blurry, but then when I looked at it again I thought the effect of how the sting ray's mouth is open and the body is still moving makes it look like a ghost, so I kept it for your enjoyment :)

Kara, traditional Maori man (beastly muscles), and Allie-some of our friends said we looked scared when we were posing for the picture. This was taken right after the Maori Cultural Experience performance, in which we got to listen to Maori songs, dances, the Haka, and watch the stick game (which isn't as easy as when we practiced it the first day of Literacy class). In that class we just passed the stick across us to a partner, but in the performance, the 4 performers twirled and passed it to each other-all with rhythm and synchronization.

Performers doing a traditional Maori dance

At the museum there was a Maori large hut on display and if you took your shoes off you could go in and explore the vastness of the building, and here is one of the pictures I took while I was exploring inside. In Maori culture there are many wood workings with inventive designs and facial expressions, where the eyes are usually big and the tongue is sticking out-this is supposed to symbolize defiance and courage.

Another wood work statue

Me in front of the entrance to the Auckland Museum!

There I am with the Auckland Museum behind me :)

It was a very fun experience to go to the Auckland Museum, spend a few hours there just looking around, and then head off to the underwater world. The museum was much more interesting because of the vastness of the building, and there were more interactive things to do there. For example, I got to go into a volcano house-you actually got to watch a volcano erupt and then feel the earth quake as it erupted. I wasn't scared, but this one child started crying and it was so sad! Earthquakes are scary though. The rest of the time Kara and I just walked around and browsed the different exhibits as we walked through the Asian artifacts, the war memorial, and the natural world exhibits. It was a very spiritual experience too because of the history behind all the artifacts, and just knowing that real people used these weapons, pots, tools, jewelry, and buildings. Their stories are real, and they have been passed down to us. It makes me wonder what I will pass on to the generations after me, as my legacy. Some may say that museums are boring, but I am a history nerd and I just love the power of the past.

Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World was okay-it would have been more fun if I came as a child. There were some fun activities, like walking through the shark aquarium, and then going on a snow trac car to visit the penguins, but mostly, all of us were tired from the museum and not eating much, so we were ready to go home after half an hour in the underwater world. Of course, we had to stay for another hour after that, but actually, with the gift shop, the kids station, and looking at some of the exhibits kept the time rolling at a steady rate. My favorite part of this stop was watching the sting ray in the water and seeing all the fish. It was too bad I didn't get to swim with any of the sea life but being near them was cool too. I also got to walk through an exhibit of what a ship's cabins would look like, which was pretty awesome. Overall, that part of the adventure was focusing on two explorers to the Antarctic, Scott, and Shackleton. I knew about Shackleton from my reading in children's literature "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World," by Jennifer Armstrong. Shackleton and his crew's story is amazing because amongst all odds, they were able to make it back safely to civilization without sub coming to the icy frost of the Antarctic. Scott and his fellow expedition weren't so lucky, and some of them died while they were exploring the penguins over there. I didn't really learn that much about Scott's discoveries actually. Most of the time I was just wandering around and taking pictures of the fish and shark models, and let me tell you, those shark models have sharp teeth! Those teeth weren't even as sharp as they are in real life because they most likely have been trimmed, like Hannah said. Oh my goodness, I would never want to be inside one of those chompers!

Overall, it was a fun Saturday and now I am getting ready for church, and then after that and choir practice, I am going to start packing for the trip to the South Island! I hope I'll be brave enough to at least do the arc swing and horseback riding...but I really want to bungee jump. *Mom and Dad I promise to be extra careful with my eyes and to jump right so nothing bad happens*

I'm not bringing my laptop while on this trip, so my next post will be a long one with lots of pictures of Queenstown and Christchurch.

Til then!

Auckland Museum and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater Sea Adventure

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Last day of classes for the semester!!!!

Side-ways view of our volcano explosion

volcano materials

Oh love, I miss you :)

Loving life!

Yummy goodness

Well, here it is-the very last day of classes for me for the winter semester! I can't believe that I only have a spring term left (3 classes) and then I'll either be student teaching, or hopefully* interning! It seems like just yesterday I was entering the ElED program in the winter-and now I am almost to the point of being THE LEAD TEACHER!! AHHHH! I can't help but freak out a little, but a part of me is super excited to get to learn and grow from 25 or more young lives. They have so much to offer to the world.

As the last day, it was a fun experience, but I must say that I was getting a little antsy by the end. Social studies was good, but not as great as yesterday when we were just left to our own to read children's literature and other resources about teaching social studies. However, we did watch an informing video about the Spring Bok Tour in 1981 that happened in New Zealand, and it really opened my eyes to how there are still many violent situations just right in front of us. This particular violent happening occurred over rugby, between the Pro-Tour (those who didn't want to mesh politics with sport) and the Anti-Tour (those who felt that South Africans shouldn't be allowed in to play rugby because the South African government still practiced apartheid then). It was demoralizing to see how the protest against the tour started out peaceful, but as time went on and the government or sporting association wouldn't listen to the protesters, police and protesters alike got ugly and violent. I realized how important it is to keep my students informed of the times-which means I better stay on top of my news too!

Science was not as heavy-we learned about the living world and how to classify objects into living and non-living things. We investigated (and ate) fruit and vegetables, learned about the process of how potatoes are grown, played with flowers, and made volcanoes and watched them explode! It was so cool! Science is fun and worth the time to teach to kids. It was a good last day and I am grateful for the teachers that took time out of their summer to teach us about how to be better teachers. It was worth it! Enjoy the pictures!


A cute tugboat we saw when we stopped for ice cream near Mission Bay

I love trees and the scenery was so beautiful

Auckland City at sunset!

A cannon!

I noticed these cave markings while we were exploring inside one of the barracks-so I had to take a picture! I don't think they are from the time of WWII when these caves were built, but it was still cool to see the markings.

Part of our group that went to Devonport-Kara, Nancy, Hannah, Me, Nick, and Jess and Christine in the back

We were the typical American tourists-anytime we saw a cave opening we had to take a picture :)

Nick, Kara, and Nancy inside one of the caves/barracks

Me and Kara climbing up one of the New Zealand Christmas trees-a pohutukawa

Beautiful sea!

Yesterday several of us were very lucky to be taken to see Devonport-a city that hosts the barracks/caves of the military that hid during WWII from the Americans that they feared were going to bomb them (of course we didn't, but as Nick, one of the locals told me, New Zealanders didn't know what was flying overhead, so caves were made for the militia to hide in and set up a surprise attack). There were so many cannons, some even secretly made from the ground up, and lots of caves that we were able to walk around in. It was so cool! All of us loved it. I think the main reason why I enjoyed it so much is because I was in my history heaven and among nature, so life couldn't have been better. The sunset was gorgeous, the path we walked was hilly and somewhat treacherous, and the caves were amazing! I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, people actually hid here and made weapons for a defense!" It was an incredible feeling, and I can't really describe it.

All of us girls loved our time there and we made the boys who brought us take our pictures-they were very obliging and fun. We kept laughing about how we were being typical American tourists and making the guys do all the picture taking, but we all agreed it was worth it. Just looking at the history and gazing across the meadow to the rolling sea, striking purple-pink sunset, into the eyes of the glowing Auckland city with a great group of people made everything worth it. It is so beautiful here, and I am so glad that I am able to experience so much of this wonderful land. Enjoy life to the fullest!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I love Auckland!

Me looking at the dye dissolving off the M&M's-hmm fascinating science!

Me and my Yellow Balloon

Funny Face

Mini is funny!

Far left:
Mini and her head-dress (I made the cup and string as part of a science activity)
Bottom Right:
Mini and the long string (it made a fun noise when you ran wet fingers over it)

Kara and Anna

What happens when two M&M's dissolve together and Anna sad that our balloons didn't inflate right :(

Today was a really fun day! In science we did more experiments with balloons and air as we explored the physical world, but really, I learned the most in social studies. Today we talked about promoting social change, and it really got me thinking about how I could be doing so much more to help those who are less fortunate. Our teacher has a very effective way of teaching us too-she had us start out by dividing up M&M's based on different categories, such as how much of the world is literate v. illiterate, who uses up the most oil, etc. and I realized that I really don't appreciate how much I have as an American citizen-the food, shelter, family, books, education, friends, comforts, that so many people do not enjoy. Surprising though, most people are literate, which is really good; however, that doesn't mean they are happy. I am so lucky to be born where I am, to have the gospel in my life, the friends and family that surround me, and the education I can pursue at hardly any cost. That means the way I can give back to my world is by teaching my students about the current events that surround them and may be silenced, such as child labor, poverty, and fair trade.

I learned about one boy Iqbal who at 12 years old was murdered because he fought against the injustice he had at home. When he was younger he was sold into child slavery and made to work on carpets and luckily he escaped the harsh conditions, but after traveling from Pakistan to America and Europe and teaching other children about the injustice against so many, he returned back to Pakistan and was shot. So many have responded to his legacy (he died in 1994) and I was inspired to start to help more. I remember when I was 15 and did a project on the refugee camps in Chad due to the genocide in Sudan, and while I was so angry at what was happening, I never did anything about my anger, didn't even donate money to Sudan. Well, I am going to be better and be the teacher I admire-one who has courage and does something for others. I am also going to research more about the world around me (Mom you remind me to do this, ok!)

Alright, that is the heavy stuff, the fun stuff happened after school. Yes, a little bit of homework, but I liked it because it was preparing to teach a science lesson and then looking up helpful sites for teaching social studies. Then I practiced on the bike (epic fail) but I am going to try again tomorrow and not be so scared when I actually start moving. Afterwards I went with Monique, Mini, and Raven to Sara's house (Monique's sister) for Giselle's 1st birthday. She is the cutest baby. Sara thinks I am hilarious because I say "Giselle" like how the Prince does in Enchanted, but apparently Sara doesn't know that-I should probably tell her my silliness stems from a movie ha ha. Well, we were all laughing, eating pizza and cake, and just having a merry time. Monique made me tell stories and she kept laughing at my laugh and how funny I am; over and over she said, "Allie, you are so funny!" I would laugh and think, "Dang, I didn't know I was this funny, nobody in America ever said anything!" I love New Zealanders, they are so loving and honest and full of laughter. Also, I love how the kids stare at me, but they love to smile and talk to me. Another thing I love is that so many people ask if I am alright and just show a genuine care for me, like Brother Joseph (the Fitzsumano's builder) and Damion (Sara's partner). They all make me feel so loved. I am a very lucky girl to be here.

Enjoy the pictures from science class a few days earlier and today (one is when we did an experiment with M&M's-learning about the material world) and also the pictures of me and Mini as we watched the stars and had a fun time laughing together. Children really are full of wonder and have so much imagination that we just need to embrace.