The past two weekends have been very busy, and they will just be busier from now until mid-April. Last weekend started with a visit to Fiona's house. Fiona is a Fulbrighter from here that spent the fall in Indiana. We got to know her at the orientation last August in DC. We had a delightful time catching up and she made a delicious dinner with pavlova, and two tarts for dessert.
Last Sunday was a gorgeous day and we finally had the opportunity to enjoy the Sunday market at the waterfront in downtown Wellington. Zelda got her picture painted by a marionette puppeteer.
All of my school visits last week were repeat schools, but I am really enjoying starting to get to know people in the community and learning more about the programs in the schools. Last Friday I enjoyed a very interesting cultural experience with Island Bay school. Zelda's class went to the local Marae to prepare a hangi, which is a traditional Maori way of cooking. Unfortunately, little Z had the croup and couldn't attend, but I still volunteered. I was super sad to leave her in the morning, but I am glad I got to be part of the experience and see the Tapu Te Ranga Marae. To learn more about this experience, visit the Programs and Projects page, and scroll down a bit.
The past weekend was full of more fun with friends. We saw Seth play his first big gig here in NZ and we celebrated Kate's birthday. Our friends, the Stewarts, have arrived safely from Austin, and we got to spend the weekend with them touring around Wellington and Island Bay. They have gone to the South Island, but we will meet them when they return on Thursday to head off to Rotarua.
I'd like to give a shout out to Dr. Craig Rofe here. He has been kind enough to invite me to sit in on Te Ao Maori class he runs at Victoria University. The class is taught to teachers in training and focuses on Maori pedagogy. They are learning how to build their cultural competence and finding resources that they can use to integrate Maori cultural elements into their class culture. I am learning a lot, and he makes the class very interactive and a lot of fun!