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New Zealand Diary – Day 7

April 7, 2010

By Gloria Cheung

Today is memorial because it is the last day we spent in Whitianga. There was a mini farewell ceremony at Aotearoa Lodge, the place which students used to take English lessons. Each student was presented with a certificate for honoring the achievement they’ve made during their time in the language school. It did move me, when each of the students standing in front of all the others and gave a thank-you speech. They expressed their gratitude to every single teacher for their patience and care, and also shared their feeling about the language school and Whitianga. All of them agreed that they’ve gain valuable life experience in the trip and they treasured their time spent here.

What I saw today was a group of students speaking with confidence and gratitude. Their speech was absolutely heart moving. I was more impressed especially when I saw some rather passive or mischievous students come out and give a sincere speech. It made me realize that learning English is only one part of the trip, but most importantly, they learned to communicate with people of different cultures and gained confidence from it. For me, I am reluctant to leave the peaceful life style in Whitianga. No matter it you walk down to the town or to the beach, nearly everybody I met was nice and friendly. The environment here makes me feel like I was living in marvelous painting. What a shame that we are going to leave soon.

After the ceremony, we spent our last afternoon in the Combat Zone Adventure Park. We had superb fun playing paintball target shooting game. The average score students got was 90-something, but I am so proud that I could score up to 220! Then we took the Argo ride up hill and down dale, through river crossings, up some slippery hills and down again. It passed through native and forestry blocks with some quick 90 degree turns here and there. Although it made us scream with the thrill, it was definitely a unforgettable ride!

Gloria Cheung is a Young Post junior reporter. Her trip to New Zealand was sponsored by Proactive Study Abroad.

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