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Stokes Valley pupils on the road to Japan

Aug 30th, 2013 | By | Category: News, Top Picture


JAPAN-BOUND: From left, teacher Graeme Penty, Cahn Ahpene, Eloise Old, Kimiora Tana, Mathew Hill, Ariki Hohepa, Selena Taula and Rachel Korewha.

EIGHT children will take a bit of Stokes Valley to Minoh in Japan next month.

The 11 and 12-year olds from Tui Glen Primary School will join two teachers for the trip.

Minoh, part of Osaka, is the Japanese twin city of Lower Hutt.

The children say they are looking forward to good memories of the trip, meeting new people and seeing different ways of doing things, among other things.

“I’m going for the experience,” said Eloise Old.

“To see some great landmarks,” said Cahn Ahpene.

They will be staying with host families, which they are looking forward to.

Trip organiser Graeme Penty teaches the year seven and eight students and has been to Japan on trips and exchanges several times before.

Mr Penty organised the first exchange of Tui Glen students in 2010, which included four students.

“In 2009 we took a large group of the staff to Minoh city, and that really gave a lot of us a real taste of wanting to send students, so that happened the year after, in 2010 and so we’ve decided that we would actually like to continue.

“We plan to do this hopefully every two years.”

The children have been having lessons on Japan every Friday to prepare for their trip.

The lessons include learning Japanese, as well as the cultural differences between New Zealand and Japan, such as taking off their shoes and wearing slippers inside houses and having different slippers for the bathroom.

“You’ve got to take your shoes off outside and use slippers,” said Rachel Korewha.

The students will be attending a school in Minoh, where they will go through a day of school, singing some songs in Maori, learning about baseball and volleyball, as well as teaching the students at the school about touch rugby.

Mr Penty said the trip cost about $2500 per student.

“When we start this, I put out an expression of interest and see how many people are going to have a go, because it is a big commitment by the parents.

“They [the parents] are told right at the start that they must be willing to come up with $2500 each. That does often go down dependent on funding and fundraising activities” Mr Penty said.

Fundraising for the trip has included four hangis, a hypnotist show and some other small activities such as guessing how many pebbles are in a jar.

The school has received grants from Asia New Zealand Foundation and Hutt Minoh Friendship Trust.



OSAKA CITY: Inset: Minoh City, a suburb of Osaka, and where the children are staying.



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