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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Photohunt/save the world: Education







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http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com/

Last Sunday, I was privileged to be invited by Ngarimu of the Maori NGATI WHATUA O ORAKEI tribe to be an educator of Recycling and saving the World. We slept inside this beautiful Marae on Saturday night, and listened to speakers on the need for recycling and having a hands on education of the Maori culture.

I used this experience to educate my students when I went back to school. I showed my photos to my students and talking about Maori culture become alive when they know I had been there. We did the Hongi, the traditional greeting with rubbing of the nose instead of kissing. My kids were happy to do it.

These two ladies sat in the sun the whole day, educating the younger generation and foreigners the art of using our New Zealand flax in weaving beautiful art decor and baskets. It is important that such skills are not lost with the influx of cheap imported plastic stuff. Flax is bio-degradable and will not choke the landfill. Ka Pai to these ladies.

In the Marae, they placed mattresses on the floor next to the other to accommodate 70 people. This is Graeme who slept beside me in the Marae. He told me to choose a space near the door because the Marae can be quite stuffy with so many people sleeping where there was no windows. He too manned his station the whole day. I give him respect because he is much much older than the rest of the volunteers. Many people came up to ask us if we got paid, and we explained we were volunteers. We were there to educate festival goers what to do with their rubbish at the festival and what to do when they were at home.

8 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a great education you had, Ann... Besides learning about the Maori customs, you can take what you learned back to your school to teach your children. Isn't that fantastic?

George and I do our best to recycle. We take a load of our stuff (plastics, cardboard, papers, alum. cans, etc.) to our recycling center every week.

Great post --and I'm so glad you had that wonderful experience.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ginny said...

Very good pictures! The weaving reminds me of purses they are selling in museums now, very expensive, made like this, made from old candy and snack wrappers! I have a few pictures of them.

Fruitbearers said...

Very interesting post! I enjoyed reading about your experience. Beautiful handicrafts, too!

My photo hunt this week is at http://fivesavedbygrace.blogspot.com/2011/02/photo-hunt-education.html.

YTSL said...

Great post! Like the photos but your commentary is the icing on the substantive cake. :)

Gattina said...

That's very interesting and a very good idea !

George said...

This must have been a truly fascinating experience. Thank you for sharing it with us and for doing your part to help educate others about the need to recycle.

Jama said...

I'm sure seeing these women with the weaving, reminded you more of your origin, the Malaysia?
And yes, the sunset is shot right in front of my apartment.

Small Footprints said...

What a great opportunity!! Not only did you share recycling information with them and learned something of their culture, you took everything back to your students and further passed the education along. Brilliant!

Thanks for also sharing it all with us! :-)