28 July, 2010

Kaiti kids live a dream to see Samoan sights

A KAITI School contingent has returned home from Samoa, sunned and “buzzing” over the Pacific Island cultural experience.

Teacher Viki Lee said “dreams do come true” if you want something badly enough and the Kaiti School Samoa group proved this by raising $30,000 in 12 months for their trip.

“Seeing the faces of the children light up when taking off in the plane was just priceless. For some children this was the first time any of the children had ever been on a plane.

“I am hopeful this will be the first of many wonderful overseas adventures for them all.”

While the group basked in the sun, swam with turtles and slid down amazing rockslides during the holiday, loved ones left at home in Gisborne sat huddled near their heaters keeping a wary eye on the wet weather and flood warnings.

“Oh to be back in the sun. It was a glorious 29 degrees all week. We couldn’t have picked a better time to get away from the pouring rain in Gisborne,” said Ms Lee.

A highlight for the children involved a friendly soccer game in the warm tropical rain with Lalomanu School.

Kaiti School gathered together and sent over hundreds of canned food items to these Samoan children who almost a year ago were coming to grips with tsunami devastation.

“It was a great way to show how our little bit of aid helped support the children they met and played with.”

Other good times included visiting the markets, sleeping in open fale (a thatched hut), taking part in Siva (a traditional dance) and a ride on the old-fashioned wood-interior buses with no windows.

“Many of the tourists commented on just how well our children were behaved. Our tamariki made us very proud. Our parent helpers said they would take them anywhere, as they were just perfect.”

Ms Lee said the children’s eyes were opened to a new world and they were appreciative of everything they saw, smelt and touched.

“The trip gave our children an opportunity to put key competencies into action in real-life situations, including self-management and relating to others in a new environment.

Ms Lee said the trip would have only been a pipe-dream if it were not for the support of the school’s whanau and the wider community.

SOURCE - Gisborne Herald Online