Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 9

Day 4

What did we do today?

Today we had brekkie in our hotel. The hotel was serving vegemite… we smelled it, but it was a no go. It smells revolting. Just sayin’. We woke up early today, so we went outside and watched the sunrise. It was incredible. The colors were indescribable and breathtaking. We took many many many pictures. We then went on a duck tour! We got to see Lake Rotorua but couldn’t go in it because there is an invasive weed living in the water. In order to protect the other lakes from the invader, the boats cannot travel from Lake Rotorua to any of the other lakes. We went to the Blue Lake next. It was really pretty but it was so foggy we could hardly see! Afterwards we went to another lake that was less foggy… there were so many different species of birds! The ducks dropped us off at the Whaka Village. We got a tour of the hot springs, saw the giant geyser, and watched our tour guide sing us a welcome song. After that we stopped in town for some lunch and free time in Rotorua. I had a very good steak sandwich at the Art Caf√©. We also went to a fruit market and got some amazing apples. We got back on the bus and watched more sheep and cows go by… we even saw an emu! We went to the Agrodome and saw the show. Then we went OGOING!! The first time I went down the hill with Maddie and the second time Maddie, Alex, and I raced Steven and Nishant (we beat them!). So much fun!!! We dried off at the hotel and went to our traditional hungi dinner an hour later. We saw the Maori challenge (places down token), greeting (hongi- the touching of noses), and haka (war dance). Tonight we packed our bags for Auckland.

Prompt: Talk about the Maori culture we saw in the morning and at night.


We went outside to watch the sunrise over Lake Rotorua. It was unreal… Incredibly beautiful! This was the perfect beginning to our day. It got us excited for the duck tour and the Whaka Village. We were greeted and invited into the village by a wonderful tour guide. He gave us a tour of the area, the hot springs, and the mud pools. I loved Whakawerawera because we got to see the two contrasting cultures working together under one meeting house. The traditional culture is in perfect harmony with the modern era. I loved how everyone was so in tune with the Maori culture. Everyone was involved. I think the fact that this pride for an ancient culture can be so prevalent in modern times is truly an amazing thing.

In the afternoon we went to the Agrodome and saw how the culture is applied to the modern day. We saw how a cultural aspect of the country has turned into an attraction for tourists. For dinner we had a traditional hungi dinner. We saw a traditional Maori greeting, challenge, and haka. The food was incredible and I loved the performances. It really gave us an insight to the Maori culture and how the people are today.

Me and Amanda's haka faces... How'd we do?

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