NATION

Kadavu Students Back From First Overseas Trip To New Zealand

Principal Solomone Seruitamana Ratuloaloa, said the tour group was made up of students from Year 9 to Year 13.
10 Dec 2019 11:18
Kadavu Students Back From First Overseas Trip To New Zealand
Students of the Richmond Methodist High School in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Thirty seven students from Richmond Methodist High School, Kadavu, have returned from their education tour in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Principal Solomone Seruitamana Ratuloaloa, said the tour group was made up of students from Year 9 to Year 13.

It was organised by a former Peace Corps teacher, Shane Aporosa, who has paternal links to Naduri, Macuata.

The trip was the first overseas trip for the students.

Year 12 student Epeli Ratini Matini, said he enjoyed the tour.

Mr Matini, said he had hoped they could have stayed another week, but he had seen enough during the 10-day trip.

“I was lucky to be part of the school tour group but not so for some of my colleagues who could not make it,” he said.

“I would like to return to Hamilton in the near future, and this time I intend to take more money with me so that I can do a lot of shopping.”

The tour was agreed to initially by the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) in 2018, but did not eventuate because of poor management. However, this year it was a success.

The members of the tour group being welcomed by members of the local Maori community in the traditional ceremony of Hongi.

The members of the tour group being welcomed by members of the local Maori community in the traditional ceremony of Hongi.

“Five teachers and three parents accompanied the students.

“For the 37 students, parents and teachers they had to pay $1500 each.

“This amount was for the visa, passport and airfare together. And all the families paid what was required through the sale of their yaqona (grog),” he said.

To help finance the tour, Mr Ratuloaloa, said all the 37 students in the tour group were tasked to prepare five kilograms of pounded yaqona (grog).

“So we had with us on this tour 185 kg of pure Kadavu pounded waka,” he said.

“Fijians in Hamilton bought the waka for NZ$143, which was equivalent to F$203 and this helped in our transportation and food expenses.”

In Hamilton, the group stayed in a Maori marae, where they experienced first-hand Maori culture. The arranged tours involved visiting a dairy farm, hot springs in Rotorua and a surfing area.

During their stay in New Zealand, the Fijian Christian denominations catered for them daily.

The denominations included the Methodist Church, Assemblies of God (AOG), Seventh-day-Adventists (SDA), and the Christian Mission Fellowship (CMF).

The marae was full every day and night and the Fijians enjoyed pure Kadavu waka, Mr Ratuloaloa said.

They returned last Friday afternoon on board a Fiji Airways flight from Auckland to Nadi.

From Nadi, they boarded a bus and headed straight for Port Mua-i-Walu in Suva, where the Lomaiviti Princess 3 vessel was waiting to take them back to Kadavu.

Students of the Richmond Methodist High School from Kadavu in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Students of the Richmond Methodist High School from Kadavu in Hamilton, New Zealand.

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