Thursday, October 31, 2013


Kia Ora Koutou
Greetings to you all

Kua Haere mai nei
Who have come here

Ki tenei wahi
To this place

Ki te mau mai
To bring

I nga whakaaro pai
The good thoughts

Ka nui te koa
Great is the happiness

Mo to koutou kaha
For your support

Ki te aro mai
In attending

Ki te hapai
To uplift

I nga take
The matters/subjects

E pa ana ki tenei hui
Concerning this gathering

No reira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra tatou katoa
Therefore greetings once, greetings twice, greetings again to us all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

EXT Halloween Research

The things that I thought halloween was about:
Dressing up
The day of the dead
Celebrating the dead
Going around the neighbourhood
Getting lollies
Eating lollies
Different Costumes
Scaring things

I don't really think much of halloween. Our family never really celebrates it but if I think back I reckon that halloween is about celebrating the dead and dressing up weird and wonderful costumes. I also think that its about gathering lollies to eat.
We have found out more about the origins of halloween. The celtic calendar had both a dark side and a light side. Samhain or the Harvesting festival, was at the beginning of the dark times where the nights were longer than the days. Celtic tribes would light bonfire to welcome the new year. When the calendar changed from light to dark, it was said to be permeable for both worlds to collide.

All saints day was called Lemuria but the christians tried to make the day sound more christian-friendly. On Lemuria ghostly figures called larvae, would rise from the dead and haunt people. To keep this from happening, Romans would pour milk would onto each grave to keep them larvae in.

So All saints or all hallows day was moved from the 13th of May to the 1st of November to drain the life out of pagan Samhain. November the 31st was later changed as peopled started to call it All hallows evening which later formed into all hallows even and then halloween. All souls day held on the 2nd of November was to celebrate basically all souls.

People would go around to houses begging for soul cakes on all souls day. While eating the cakes they would pray for the souls stuck in the purgatory.  Purgatory is in the middle of hell and heaven and hold the souls of non-mortals. By having faith in heaven and god, it is said you could be taken up to heaven. This was how the our modern ‘Trick or Treating’ had originated.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life in Syria vs Auckland Narrative

Heavy footsteps stomped around the house. My siblings were getting ready for another day of school. Mum was downstairs making our lunch. I staggered out of my room, into the dimly lit bathroom to have a shower.  “ Argh... just another normal day.”  

A huge booming sound woke me from my slumber. It was hard doing this alone. This had to be the 3rd anniversary of the day my parents were killed in the treacherous war. I was taken in by this family who found me under all of the rubble and wreckage of our once standing house. Food was scarce. We shared a piece of bread and a little water each. Staring out of the window, an unfortunate girl was gunned down. “ These people are terrible!” I whispered.

“ I HATE SCHOOL!” My class was buzzing, working on the math problems that were on the board. The only thing that I actually like about school is the fact that my friends were there. Playing in the hot summer sun was easily the focal point of my school days. I just wish that hanging with my mates was the only thing I could do at school.

I couldn't go outside and I don't know when I can back out. I remember the sun on my skin. I remember the laughter of my other friends while we played soccer. Then I remember the gunshots and the screaming.  My school was abandoned ever since the war started. No one went back, and the last I can recall, we were solving math problems. I really wish I could go back to school.

Once again, night fell and felt like collapsing onto my very cozy bed. Dinner was really really nice. Roast beef with gravy and broccoli was slowly digesting in my stomach. I burrowed myself into my snuggly blankets, ready to have a really sweet dream about the weekend ahead. “ Ahhhhh... this is the life” I said as my eyes drew to a close.

I slept in the coldest corner, next to the window. Our house didn’t have a really great insulation which caused every night to be a cold one. Is it bad that I want all of this to end? All the gunshots and the sound of terror is horrifying. There is nothing I can do to stop this either! Or is there...  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Top 3 Willow Park Highlights

For the first week of the holidays, a bunch of riversiders got the chance to go on camp for a week. The campsite was at Willow Park. There, we participated in many exciting activities and in this story, I am going to tell you about 3 things that I enjoyed the most about the camp.

Number 1: Duck Duck Goose 

It was not any ordinary game of duck duck goose but it was quite the opposite. If you were the person tagging another person, you had to crack an egg on the persons head when you say goose. The first time I got hit felt weird. I didn't manage to catch anyone who egged me so I didn't get the pleasure of pouring tomato sauce on their heads. Not many other girls did either. Duck Duck Goose had to be my most favourite game of the whole camp!

Number 2: The Disco 

Wednesday night had to be my most favourite. Mr and Mrs Samuels put on the most funky disco for us and I humbly say thanks to both of them and their helpers. But in that disco there was also a fun game where there were 3 teams involved. Mrs Hamilton had either put a black, green or red mark on your hand which later lead to which team you were going to be in. The Smugglers (Green), Dealers (Red) and The Cops(Black). The instructions were that the greens had to sell the diamonds or the bottle caps to the reds. If a cop caught you though, you would have to go to jail for a minute. The whole night was really fun and I sold a lot of diamonds.

Number 3: The Food :) 

The willow park chefs cooked a lot of killer dishes. We also had heaps of really nice food for lunch and breakfast as well. My favourite lunchtime meal would have to be the time we had pork and a few side dishes. It was delicious! Its hard to pick just one favourite dinner dish but the roast lamb we had on the last night we stayed at the camp was the best!

The week I had was amazing and my team was awesome as well. We ended up in 4th place overall but that was okay. At least I got to enjoy the camp and I had a ton of fun as well.