NZからのメッセージ ニュージーランドへ留学中の仁高生から届いたメッセージをご紹介いたします。メッセージは英語と日本語で掲載しております。


Are you enjoying middle of autumn in Japan?
Hi, guys! It’s Nana. I go to Waiuku Collage with my great partner, Yo-yo(Yu). I gave her this nick name. It’s cool, isn’t it? I can’t believe that I’ve been here for 9 months. Looking back on the past, I’ve spent many kinds of times- happy enjoyable, struggling….  To be honest, I wanted to go back to Japan during rough times when relationships with my friends and family weren’t going well. However, now, I realized they are good memories because everything turned out well in the end.
Well, let me talk about what I found and experienced through my study abroad.
You know that NZ is a multi-cultural country, right? Not surprisingly then, my host family is multi-cultural as well. My host family consists of my father, mother, little brother and grandmother. In order from the left, they are South African, Thai and Indian except my little brother. Did you realize? Yes, my little brother is quarter. His name is Atom. I think you are imagining Astro Boy, Atom, right now. At first, I did the same thing as you. haha. Anyway, it may seem hard to live together due to different cultures, but it is not. They respect each other’s culture and try to know about each other. Before not being close to them, I didn’t know what to talk about with them, so spending time with them was uncomfortable for me. At the same time, I had been struggling about my friends as well, so I couldn’t afford to think about both matters. But I really wanted to make the situation better, so I tried to solve the problem about my host family first. 
Although I didn’t care about their multi-cultural background, I used to make an invisible wall between them and me somehow. I think I didn’t want to show them my true self. I got advice from my teachers and friends, also I tried to find a solution by myself. And then, I found I was just thinking too much about the topics for talking with them. At that time, every time I talked with them, I was saying to myself, “I must talk. I must talk” in my mind. I put a lot of pressure on myself and that made me feel bad. I should have relaxed and talked with them even when the story was trivial. After that, I tried to relax when talking. For a while, I was clumsy, but I was getting used to it little by little. Now I enjoy talking with them about nonsense things, such as about fortune-telling. My host father never believes it, but I believe it. I don’t want to agree with it, so we start having an argument. And then he requires me to prove it, but I can’t do and I lose. 
Experiencing this hardship was good opportunity to know an important thing. I even regretted not having talked much with my family in Japan. I will treasure conversations with my family from now on. 
By the way, sadly, my host family except my grandmother is going to Thailand this week, and I can’t see them anymore before leaving NZ.  I’m really happy to have been their child. They told me, some day they will come to Japan. I’ll improve my English more before then because I want to talk more deeply with them. It was nice being with them and I hope they will come to Japan as soon as they can.
As I said before, I didn’t use to get along with my friends, either. I was scared to talk with them because I didn’t have confidence in my English. Because of that, my feelings got negative. But one day, I started to think that even though they are my friends, they are my teachers as well. Moreover, I thought they are the best tools to improve my English. It sounds vicious, but the thought was helpful for what I was then. Getting close was good, but first, I had to remove my scared emotion. I kept trying to talk to them and we became closer not as teacher-students, but as friends. On my birthday, they organized a secret party for me. It made me feel I want to be much closer to them. Thanks to them, my school life is awesome. 
 (my host brother and cousins)
After having things go well with my family and friends, I wanted to try some new things. So, I started to take clarinet lessons at school. Every time the teacher gives me a new harder music sheet, so it’s quite difficult. However, I wasn’t satisfied with the lessons because there is only one lesson every Monday and it’s for only 20 minutes. Then, I started to join an orchestra in the next town, too. It’s really amazing. I think sharing something without words is wonderful, and this time, it is music for me.  I used to belong to a brass band club and perform with all Japanese people, so this was new to me because everyone is a foreigner to me.  Normally in Japan, brass band clubs practice for a  contest, and when I was a member of that type of group, sometimes I felt stress and didn’t feel like playing. On the other hand, in NZ, the orchestra doesn’t play in order to win a contest, so I can enjoy music purely. I didn’t expect that I could spend such a great time with music in NZ.
Lastly, I have only one month before going back to Japan. I tell you now, I got fat, so don’t be surprised at me when you see me in Japan, haha. Anyway, but for the support from my family, teachers and friends…everyone, I couldn’t have been spending such a wonderful time in NZ. Thank you so much, all of you guys. I’ll bring back many stories of my study abroad, so please wait for me with your ears open. :-) See you soon guys.
Big love,


Hello, guys. I'm Hanna. I go to Otamatea High School with my classmate, Ruka. I've been here for over eight months and have experienced so many things. I'll tell you guys about what I’ve experienced and learned here, in New Zealand.
One of my purposes of this overseas study was to improve my English, but what I really wanted to change was myself. I am not a flexible person and when I was at Jin-ai last year, I was often pointed it out by some people around me. I'd realized my flaw at that time, but I didn't understand in what ways this trait was manifesting itself. As I spent some time at school here, I found many things that I couldn’t be satisfied with and didn't really understand. For example, I couldn't deal with how some kiwi students spent their time in classes at school because it was totally different from the way I was used to. I even got upset about it sometimes. At that time, I hadn't realized that “this” was the answer I'd wanted to know. However, now I know that I was just judging others only in my way. Those students, whom I mentioned above, did what they had to do in whatever style they could. Some even finished their work at their home, so they looked more relaxed in classes. That only meant their styles were just different from mine. That is how I really understood my inflexibility and it became an important moment for me.
Kiwis think communication way more important than we, Japanese. Sadly, I was a person who wasn't interested in communication that much at first, and didn't really care about it. I even thought that people could live without communicating with others. That's why I didn't tell much about myself to anyone, even though I was an international student and had many things I could tell. As you would expect, this idea and attitude caused a problem. Especially, my host family wasn't really happy about it. Since I wasn't paying attention to the situation, I didn't realize how people around me had thought about my behaviors. I remember that when I realized “that” had made my life in New Zealand smaller and closed, I became extremely disappointed in myself.  Then, I started to take action and it bettered my life. I forced myself to communicate more with those around me and it made my life in New Zealand easier and more enjoyable. Currently I think communication is indispensable if we want to grow and better ourselves because there are heaps of things we can learn through communication with other people.
I had difficulties as you have read above. However, I can say that because I had difficulties, I have experienced more valuable and important things. One of the most memorable experiences I've had on this exchange has been taking part in Duke of Edinburgh, normally called DOE. For DOE, we needed to complete all of the following: tramp, service, physical recreation, and skills sections. For the tramp which was the main thing to do for DOE, I went tramping with my group members three times. For the skills section, I did Kapa Haka and for the service section, I did volunteer work at the school café. I think what I did at the café was interesting, so I'm going to write a bit about it.  For the service section, we had to do whatever volunteer work we chose for an hour once a week and keep it up for three months. I chose to help at the school café. Firstly, it's rare that a school has its own café, don't you think? The café provides nice and delicious meals and drinks, and students can even take barista classes there. I helped in the café by making sushi. Before I actually started doing it, I was worried that there would be heaps of leftovers because I didn't know just how popular sushi actually was. However, I remember being so surprised on the first day of sushi-making as students lined up to buy it. Even teachers came to buy some. I had a strong sense of achievement. Overall, through DOE, I learned the importance of attempting to do new things.  
On reflection, I'm really pleased to have been given this opportunity. So many people have supported me in so many different ways. Actually, we'll never know how many people are always involved in making things happen. For example, for DOE, it was my dean who encouraged me to take the opportunity to participate in DOE and the café's owner who offered me a place to complete my work. Moreover, the opportunity was given to me because I could come to New Zealand as an overseas student. Without my family, classmates and teachers, I couldn’t have come here. So I cannot thank them enough.
Shortly after I finish term 4, I'll go back to Japan. I want to stay here longer. Similarly, I want to go back to Japan to know how much I've improved through this study abroad opportunity. I greatly appreciate all the people who have supported me and wish to thank them all very much.
I'll see you guys very soon.
Thank you for taking the time to read my essay. I hope you enjoyed it.


Hey guys! How have you been? For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Miyu  and I go to Central Hawks Bay College with my great partner, Hitomi   It’s getting very hot here during the daytime but still cold in the morning and the night. Spring has finally arrived! I’m so excited since I’ve been sick of those freezing days. I never expected that I would be snuggling up with a hot water bottle every single night. Without further ado, let’s get onto the subject. 
I’m living with my host father, mother, and little brother. They are from Chile but they have lived here in New Zealand for over 20 years. There is also a kiwi girl living with us. She doesn’t go to my college but she still helps me a lot. To be honest, I used to have complains about my host family because they are non-native English speakers. I found my situation very complicated at that time. My host parents need to speak Spanish to get their son immersed in a Spanish environment so that he’ll be able to speak both English and Spanish. What’s more, my host sister studies Spanish very hard and tries to talk in Spanish as well. I’d thought I was the only one who wanted to speak English in this family and felt as though I was excluded from them when they talked in Spanish. However, as time went by, I got used to living with them, which made me think over my situation.  Nothing had changed in our relationship those few weeks, and I realized, ‘What am I waiting for?’ I had no idea how to answer to this question. I’d been waiting for ‘something’ that can change my life but the ‘something’ did not even exist, so what was the point to wait for nothing? This was when I literally admitted that I was wrong. It was always “my own action” that could change my life. Then I started to think positively about my environment and tried to look for their good points. In fact, once I disregarded thinking negatively, loads of interesting experiences came up constantly. 
We are, what is called, a multi-cultural family and each of us has different language, culture, and even common sense. We often ask each other how we say some words in our own language and we also make each other our traditional foods for dinner. We can expand one topic into three different views from Chile, Japan, and New Zealand. Although there are heaps more that I could talk about, I’ll stop here as it’s countless. All I can say is that I’m really enjoying staying with them now and I think they are the “best” host family for me. I’m so blessed that I could have this precious opportunity. I could never experience such a global life without them.
Next, I’ll be talking about my school life. We’re allowed to take 6 classes and I do ESOL, Geography, Math, Drama, PE, and FNT(Food Nutrition Technology).  Most of my friends say Drama is a fun class but it is absolutely difficult for exchange students like me. This class is basically different from the ‘class’ we have in Japan. There’s no desk nor chair to sit at because what we do in this class is ‘performing’ which includes speaking and listening. I used to hate Drama. You know how you feel when you have no idea what’s going on in the class and then you’re suddenly put in front of everyone. Yes, I was humiliated by this situation so many times. Some activities don’t even let us have any scripts and instead we have to quickly create a short story, practice how we move, what we say and then act it out to the class straight after. Surprisingly we have to do this within 20 minutes. At first, I didn’t understand what the story my friends made was like and what to say during the acting.  I was such a troublemaker in the activity... Despite this hard work, however, I still recommend you to take Drama because it brings you a number of opportunities to grow up markedly. You can learn the skills of listening, negotiating, communicating, and you would get your self-esteem and confidence.
There’s only a short time left for me to stay in New Zealand. I wish I didn’t have to leave but sadly I’m going to.   This past 9 months have gone incredibly fast and I’m not even ready to go back!  I’ve been involved in as many school events as possible and I have travelled to so many places with my college friends. I’ve spent such memorable days with great people. I want to tell my mother BIG thanks for letting me have this great experience in New Zealand.  I’m pretty sure this year will be a milestone in my life, well it’s already is though 
See you guys very soon xx
Miyu Nishimoto


Yui Sano01.jpg
Have you heard this phrase before? It means a place where you can feel as comfortable, happy, or relaxed as your own home. It is also called the second home. NEW ZEALAND, is the place for me. Isn’t it great to have such a place overseas? 
Kia Ora everyone! It’s Yui. How have you been? I hope you all have been doing well. Over 8 months have already passed since I came to New Zealand. I feel that time certainly flies fast. Most of our Eiryu students say exactly the same thing, don’t we? Anyway, I have a heap of things that I’d like to tell you, but unfortunately, I think I’d better pick out a few of them. So basically, I’ll be telling you about what I have ever struggled with. I hope it will be enjoyable to read and serve someone in some way.
As I mentioned above, New Zealand is my home away from home in Japan. But honestly, I just started to feel like that a few months ago. What do you think is the reason for this change? It is because I have taken concrete actions courageously after I found my real weaknesses and faced myself including those at the root of it. To me, these were definitely not easy things.
Here is when I started to go to Pompallier Catholic College in term 1. While I just felt nervous to do anything at school, I had quite much courage to do them. I think to begin something new often excites people and encourages them to try harder. So, even on the first day at school, I started to talk to some students to know them at lunchtime or in class. From that day, I usually spent break time with several different people in February. It seemed incredible to me, but I actually did it because I knew no one except Saki at first and really wanted to make kiwi friends to enjoy my school life. Gradually, I found some good friends and got along with them. I tried to talk as much as I could in those days because I understood that if I do not say anything or just wait for them to ask me something, our relationships would not go well at all. I also tried to be bright and social so that people might at least get a bit of a good first impression of me (I hope!). Term 1 passed so quickly. I did my best almost every day. The best events in term 1 were going surfing for the first time and joining the Swimming Competition, by the way :-)
Then, in term 2, I got used to going to school. I was able to understand what to do in class. I’ve got nice friends. Here is where you may guess what was going on then though. Well, to tell the truth to you, I stopped trying something new or even things which I used to be able to do in the previous term such as talking a lot without being afraid of making mistakes in English, making more friends, trying some activities, and so on. Somehow, I started to lose confidence. That’s why, needless to say, I did not feel happy at school and enjoy my limited New Zealand life much. I got afraid of changing something that I got used to around that time, even though I knew what I should have done. I finally realized my real weaknesses, so I needed to come to terms with the fact that I had ignored to face myself. That was the toughest struggle I have ever had here. During the July holidays, I reflected on the matter properly. I strongly decided to change myself and restart to try something new with courage. Of course, I talked about my worries with people around me. They responded with care to my concerns. All their kindnesses and advice have meant a lot to me.
I did totally change my mind from term 3. Since then, a lot of things have been going far better. I’ve been doing what I actually want to try. For example, I have joined the Badminton Competition, been a member of textile club, hung out with my friends many times, made many more new kiwi friends, talked a lot with people, and many other things. I’ve been having so much fun at school especially since term 3. Best of all, hanging out with my friends for 4 weekends in a row has been one of by far my best memories in friendship. Moreover, they asked me out each time. I was so pleased with it. I’m on the October holidays now and am really enjoying catching up with my friends. Some of them say to me, “I really want to hang out with you” or “I really enjoyed spending time with you today”. Don’t you think it is a great step forward as compared with my past self?
Yui Sano02.jpg
Through these experiences, I can say that plucking up your courage and starting to try even each single small thing will strengthen yourself and change your life. You will realize how important people around you are, too. I cannot do or enjoy heaps of things without the people who have helped me. I have met absolutely amazing people such as my host family, friends, and teachers in New Zealand. My host family gives me huge love every day, so I think we might be a real family. My friends and teachers help me have so much fun at school. I am pretty sure I will miss them a lot. All the people who have been supporting me from Japan such as my family, teachers, and besties are my rock as always. I am thankful to have such inspiring people and lots of fabulous memories in my life so that they always help me take it up a notch. I cannot thank them enough. I will enjoy my New Zealand life to the fullest till the very end.
Arohanui (Lots of love)
Yui Sano


Study abroad….. away from your family, friends and home… definitely hard for everyone. But definitely worth it for everyone, too.
Kia ora! (Hello in Maori) What have you been up to? It’s me, Kokoro Yamanouchi. The picture is MY baby lamb, named Kokoro after me!!! I spend time with Kokoro every morning, evening, and sometimes in the afternoon. That’s why he’s named Kokoro. He is adorable, isn’t he!?
I live in a lovely city, Hastings. Winter has just about finished, and here it’s all warm and spring now. I can’t believe that I’ve been here for 9 months already! Days go so fast unfortunately….Anyway, I am absolutely enjoying my life in NZ with my fabulous friends, fabulous host family and a lot of animals! Actually, my host family has got 3 dogs, 2 cats, 5 cows, and 16 sheep!!!!! It would never be believed in Japan, don’t you think? I love to pet them! I have also experienced not only pleasant events but also some struggles. I will introduce some of my experiences in NZ to you guys. I hope this means something to you.
First of all, I’ll write about my school life. I go to Hastings Girls High School with my partner, Miki. I take 6 subjects; ESOL, English, Math, Biology, Maori, and Textile. I enjoy all of the subjects. Especially, Textile is really fun for me because I can make anything I want. I’m making a handy bag at moment. I can learn not only how to make things but new English words because I have to make in accordance with the instructions. I also enjoy Maori. It’s the traditional language of NZ. At the beginning of class, the grammar and words were completely new to me, so it was really complicated. However, pronunciation of Maori is quite similar to that of Japanese. I think it is a very good chance to learn about NZ culture through Maori. Moreover, I started learning the guitar and joined the choir. Starting new things is stimulating for me, so I have been enthusiastic to find things I haven’t done before.
 Another challenge I enjoyed is volunteer works, which are helping abandoned animals at SPCA and going to kindergartens. At all the places where I went to, I enjoyed talking with other people who work there and who came to do volunteer work there. Particularly, when I went to a culture festival at a primary school, I had a wonderful time with kids who were 5-year-old. At kindergartens, I made many Origami to give the kids and taught them several easy ones to make together. The hardest part was to instruct them to fold papers attracting their interests. I tried to talk slowly for them to understand and praise them a lot. Fortunately, they loved Origami, especially making a shuriken and plane. Unlike Japan, there are many children from different countries in schools there. So they naturally learn various cultures from their friends from their childhood, which is really good. I was so happy to have an experience to teach some Japanese culture to the children and know this difference between Japan and NZ.
Next, I’ll introduce about my life with my host families. I had to change my host family twice because of the school rules. I was supposed to change only once but unexpected things happen any time. I loved all my host families. I still keep in touch with my previous host families sometime, too. However, at first, I found it difficult to get used to the new HFs and every time I moved, I missed the previous HF. I wanted to build a strong relationship with HF, so I couldn’t help thinking it’s not fair for me to move so many times. Gradually, I started to see the negative sides of this matter, which was no way to solve. However, when I talked about this problem to my teacher, I realized that seeing its positive sides might make me feel better. And I decided to think that this would be a good chance for me to improve my communication skill because each family has different characters or hobbies. Now I am enjoying NZ life with my present HF; my funniest host father, and my loveliest host mother. There is full with smiles every day with many animals. 
I am sure you will also find difficulties when you start to stay at a new place or even try something new. While some of them could be what you expected, others could be what you couldn’t expect. But you don’t have to be panicked or feel really sad, because there is always a bright part behind everything. If you know this, all the difficulties will make you stronger surely. So please don’t be afraid, and try many things not to regret. Of course, I will, too, for the rest of days in NZ.
Thank you for reading my essay. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in November.
With Big Love,
Kokoro Yamanouchi


Hi there. It’s Aika from Bream Bay College. It’s started getting warm. I’m hoping that summer comes back soon. It’s already been more than 7 months since I started staying in New Zealand. Time has gone so quickly. Today I’m going to write about what I experienced in this country.
I will write about the thing I struggled with this time as nobody’s written about it deeply yet. I struggled to make friends. I’m pretty sure that almost all my classmates and seniors of Eiryu course struggled with the same thing. When I started going to school, I didn’t understa0nd what people said to me at all. I found a group to hang out with, but I was just sitting there quietly because they talked so fast. I tried to talk to them and ask them some questions, but I didn’t even understand their answers, so I stopped talking to them once. And they also stopped talking to me because I was a boring quiet person.
When I was looking for a good way to make friends, my host mother told me about the Stage Challenge. As Hitomi has written about it in her essay, it is a kind of dance competition for students. To be honest, at first, I didn’t want to join it because everyone on the team could dance so well and I had never done dancing at all before. However, I decided to try it because everyone around me said it would be so much fun to join it and perform on the stage. Finally, we came in 1st place in Northland for the first time in the past 10 years. It has turned into one of my best memories. And it helped me a lot to make friends. 
I used to have no confidence in my English. I was afraid of speaking English. So, it took a long time to be close to my teammates, but I didn’t give up that time. Now I have many good friends through the Stage Challenge. I believe it was good for me to make a hard decision. I also used to think that nobody wanted to be my friend, but I found that I was just thinking too much. Everyone is very nice to me. Then I started trying to be more friendly so that I could many more friends than I did before. It made my school life much more fun. Now I’ve got lots of friends not only in my year but also in younger/older years. And now some friends tell me that they love me every day, so I say to them that I love them, too. That is the best moment, isn’t it? ;)
I went to the school ball in the beginning of August. It definitely was super exciting. I had a pre-ball party at one of my friends’ house as well and then we headed off to school. The auditorium of my school decorated by year 13 students looked amazing. It didn’t look like our boring On that night, everyone looked so stunning. I enjoyed dancing with my lovely friends until midnight. We should have one in Jin-ai, too! It would be so much fun. Haha
I’ve got only two and a half months to go. I can’t believe it and I don’t want to believe it either. I never want to go back to Japan because I’ve been having so much fun with my friends and my host family. I’ve wished I had been born in New Zealand so many times.haha. Many people already say to me that they don’t want me to go back to Japan. This is incredible for me to have such nice friends in New Zealand, using a second language. I am the luckiest person ever to have such great overseas experiences. I’m thanking everyone who has been supporting me since I decided to study abroad. I’ll keep trying hard to enjoy every single moment until I go back to Japan. 
Thanks for reading. See you guys soon xx
Aika Nishioka


How is the photo? I took it on the day of the SCHOOL BALL. It is a big event among teenagers here. We dressed up, and enjoyed dancing with friends. 
Hello from New Zealand! I’m Saki. I am a student of Pompallier Catholic College, and go to the school with my partner, Yui. I’ve been staying here for nearly 7 months! Days pass by so fast….. Anyway, it’s winter now in New Zealand. In my house, one of my family members, Hoover(cat) is always stretching out and keeps a heater to himself. He doesn’t like share it with anyone. haha So, when I feel cold, I touch him to get warmed. He is so warm.
Now, I am going to tell a few things of my life in NZ. At first, please let me tell you about my host family. I live with Nick (host father), Frankie (host mother), and naughty cat, Hoover, in Whangarei. Nick loves to play golf and games, and I like to compete at Wii dancing with him. I won it last time. Frankie is good at knitting, and she is making a blanket just now. Also, her mother, Moira works at my school, Pompallier, so I can ask her for some help when I need. I’m very lucky. And Hoover loves to eat food, obviously, meats!!! When I have ham for making a sandwich, he often gets closer to my feet, and stares at me. Oh, my gosh… Recently, I took some funny video of him, so I wish I could show them to you. :)
Next, I’ll write about my school life. I have Math, Religious Studies, English, Social Studies, Science, Health, PE, Maori, Textiles, Art, Drama, and ESOL. Too much, isn’t it? But, I’m really enjoying each subject because it’s quite a different way to learn. We would often watch movies in the classes, and also we can use devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and so on. My favorite subject is Drama. In this class, we’re making a performance through acting Disney characters. I haven’t decided my character yet, but I have the role to dance in part of this performance. I’d say many Japanese would care about people around them. I mean like during a reading situation or dancing, you know, can’t freely express because of embarrassment. This is one of my weak points. I used to love dancing when I was a child, but I’m less likely to do it before someone I know. But to my surprise in New Zealand, everyone who is the same age as me, they can express themselves through dancing with music without being embarrassed. When I saw it, it made a big impact on me. Everyone was willingly enjoying their individual dancing, and it inspired me to dance with freedom. I found how fun it is. 
Finally, in my weekends here, I often catch up with my friends. It is one of my changes since I came to New Zealand. In Japan, I would rarely ever spend time with my Japanese friends because I used to be an indoor type of person. However, since I’ve been staying here, I started to spend more of my free time with my friends. Through that, I’ve built better relationships with friends, and even learned one amazing thing. That’s “to hug”. 
For example, when I see my friends, we hug to comfort each other, say hello and say good bye and so on. It’s not common in Japan, so in the beginning, I felt weird, and against it, but I got used to it naturally. I think it is good way of communicating. One time, when I was sad, it made me shed tears. Also, it gives me courage. Thanks to it, I could open my heart. You might think it’s no big deal, but it’s to me now. I just wondered why it’s not used in Japan. I guess difference of cultures. We often do bow, don’t we? It seems to be strange for foreigners. You know Maori people. They greet each other by putting their noses together. It’s called “hongi”. I’ve had the opportunity to do it, but I still feel awkward to do it, because I’m so close to their face!  I feel there are many kinds of greetings in the world. It’s quite interesting, isn’t it?
In this way, my life in NZ helps me to find new things every day. It’s like a journey which lets me know my personality. Thanks to the people around me, I can find my new good parts of my personality. Of course, bad parts as well. Also, I can start any new challenge here. I am going to keep on learning, and enjoying the rest of the days with precious people. I really appreciate my Jin-ai teachers, family and amazing friends. I’m so excited to see you again!
Thank you for reading my essay. Take care :) 
Big Love, 
Saki Ito  


Hi, guys! I’m Hitomi. I go to Central Hawke’s Bay College with my great partner, Miyu. The temperature in New Zealand is getting lower, but on the contrary my weight is going up…Anyway! The time passes so quickly. I can’t believe this month is June. 
At the end of May, Stage Challenge was held. Through the competition, I had such amazing experiences, so I will write about them.
At first, let me tell you a bit more about Stage Challenge. It is a dance competition battled between schools with acting and performing varieties of dances; hip-hop dances, classic ballet, contemporary dance, mime etc. I joined a group as a contemporary dancer. More than 100 people applied for the competition. Among them, the number of contemporary dancers was only seven people including me. They have really nice expressiveness and skills, so I was stimulated by their performances.   We started practicing in March. We spent the interval, lunch time and even the time after school for the practice. I’ve learned classic ballet for 13 years in Japan, but I had never danced contemporary dance before the Stage Challenge. So, it was a good experience for me.
My school’s theme was “NO MORE”.  The story was about refugees fleeing from their country, but killed by terrorists in the end. Ultimately, we wanted to tell the audience, “Why don’t we have peace?”  In the scene where some refugees fled with boats from the country, I performed “stormy sea” with other dancers. One of the main characters died in this scene, so we couldn’t dance with smiles. 
On the day of actual performance, I was so excited. In the morning, the contestants gathered in the venue and held an opening ceremony for easing off our tension and deciding program-turns by a draw. After that, we had rehearsals. Each school could do run-through three times with the music on the stage. During the run-through, I terribly failed my solo part twice. Soon, I got nervous and felt impatient. Before the last rehearsal, my friends said to me, “You don’t seem to be yourself. Everyone knows you are a very good dancer, so you should have confidence!” Thanks to the words, I succeeded the solo part at last. After the rehearsal, we changed into our costumes and made up our faces. What we tried to express was “the sea”, so our makeup was blue. Even my hair was painted blue with spray! When we moved to the back stage, I was dying to dance quickly. Then, on the stage, we made the best performance as ever. In addition, we got 2nd prize and many extra prizes!! 
Next I’d like to tell about a hardship. Actually, in term 1, I faced a problem about friends. I had friends who I could spend the interval and lunch time together with but I couldn’t deepen the relationship. I just didn’t know why I couldn’t and what I should do, so to be honest, my life during term1 was very hard. 
I really thought about this issue during the long term-holiday, and thereby I realized why I was in a trouble. The main cause was “my mind.” I was too afraid of making mistakes because I thought I would lose my friends if I make mistakes. But I speak English as the second language, so it is no wonder my English isn’t perfect. I’ve been frequently told from my teachers that, “Making mistake is not bad”, but I didn’t believe that. I know everybody (including myself in the past) wants to keep mistakes to a minimum, but I can say now that we learn heaps of things through the mistakes. Furthermore, I won’t forget what I learned easily if I learned it from the mistakes. If I think in this way, making a mistake is not a scary thing at all. 
From term 2, I changed the way of my thinking and attitude to my friends. Now I’m enjoying chatting with my friends and the relationship has definitely become better. I think it was important for me to suffer from the problem. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried to change myself. If you think making mistake is bad or scary, please remember my story and start challenging without being afraid.
I appreciate that my parents gave me the chance to study abroad and have kept supporting me. I have only 5 months before I go back to Japan. I think I can change myself more than now in even just 5 months because I could change myself in a half year. My growth won’t stop….and my weight as well… 
Thank you for reading my essay.                         
私の学校のテーマは「NO MORE」です。自分たちの国から逃げてきた難民の話で、最後にはテロリストにより殺されてしまいます。私たちが観客に伝えたかったことは、「どうして平和にならないのか?」です。難民が国から避難し船で漂流するシーンで、私は仲間と一緒に「嵐の海」を演じました。主要な登場人物の一人がそのシーンで亡くなるので、踊りの間は笑顔を見せてはいけませんでした。


Hi guys!! I’m Ruka. I go to Otamatea High School with my partner, Hanna. I take a school bus and I can see a lot of animals every day while I’m in the bus. For example, a flock of sheep, so many cows, so many horses, some alpacas, and two black goats! They are very cute and seeing them makes me really happy every day!! Haha! At school, I take English, Math Algebra, Geography, Tourism, Maori, Textile, and ESOL. I’ve never taken tourism class, so I was very excited to take it. Now, tourism is my favorite class! We’re studying about various places in the world such as tourist attractions. Sometimes we take quizzes about famous places in the world. It’s so fun!!
Last month, my school held “TE TAI TOKERAU FESTIVAL 2016”, which was a really big Kapa Haka festival. Then, I had a really amazing experience. Let me introduce about my great Kapa Haka memories and experiences!
By the way, do you know “Kapa Haka”? It’s a traditional Maori dance. When I watched it for the first time, I was impressed with it and I wanted to try it. That’s the reason why I joined the Kapa Haka group. I thought learning Kapa Haka was easy. However, I realized it’s very difficult for me. I’ve stayed at the Marae three times to practice Kapa Haka. Marae is a gathering place where Maori people have their religious rituals. When I first stayed at the Marae, we learned two or three songs and dances. They were too long for me and I couldn’t understand their meanings because the words of the songs are all in Maori. It made me really annoyed and tired… On the other hand, learning Haka (dance) was fun!! At night, we slept in the Marae all together. The bed was not comfortable, to be honest. But, it is one of my really funny memories now. 
The second time was so fun!! I had memorized almost all of the songs and dances by then, and I didn’t worry about that. So, I think I enjoyed the practicing. At that time, we learned more than six songs and dances. We were separated into about six groups and practiced with our own group members. In the afternoon, we all performed Haka in front of the other groups and teachers. I was strung up and excited before my group’s turn. I made some mistakes actually... But I wasn’t regretful at all! Also, ultimately our group got no prize. But I didn’t care! That’s because I really enjoyed it and we did our best. I had quite a nice experience then. 
In the third time, we wore a Kapa Haka uniform. That was beautiful and awesome. I got more excited for the festival. It was the last practice, so we practiced with a smile while we were performing and practicing pronunciations of Maori words. After the practice, we put on the uniform and performed Haka in front of the teachers and our parents once again. To be honest, I thought it was good. However, our teachers gave us very strict comments. So, we practiced much harder till the last minute.
On the festival day, so many people came to our school. I was very excited while I was making up. Finally, I danced and sang Kapa Haka in front of the audience. I thought it was the best performance ever!! It was amazing and awesome! After our performance, some students and my friends said to me, “Well done!!” and “You looked so amazing!”  I was so glad to hear that. The practice was so tough but I was so glad that I stuck it out to the end.
I had that great experience because many people have been supporting me. I’d like to thank my family, teachers, and my wonderful friends! I don’t want to have any regrets while I’m in New Zealand. So, I will keep doing my best and enjoy everything!!
Thank you for reading my essay.
Big Love
先月、私の学校は「TE TAI TOKERAU FESTIVAL 2016」という大きなカパハカのお祭りを開催しました。そして、その時私はすばらしい経験をすることができました。ぜひみなさんにこのすばらしいカパハカの思い出をお伝えしたいと思います。


Our festival was lovely and…
Hello guys! I’m Narumi. I’m a student of Te-Kuiti High School with my mate, Monami. I’m spending lovely days here in NZ and enjoy knitting and chatting with my kiwi friends for my free time. Actually, I started knitting in NZ. My host mother is my teacher for knitting and now I have been trying to knit socks! Like this, I have had nice experiences these three months since I came to this town. 
My town, Te-Kuiti, is a small and farmy town. This town has just three times as many people as Jin-ai High. Today, I will write about a unique event of Te-Kuiti I experienced during the break. That event was really funny, awesome, and crazy!
The name of that festival is called, “The Great New Zealand Muster Te-Kuiti.” It was held on April 2nd. On that day, the main street of Te-Kuiti was really busy. There were hundreds of people, lots of food shops, Maori works shops.... Yes, a lot of kinds of shops. By the way, my host mother Sue runs her own shop on the main street of Te-Kuiti. So, she opened her handcraft shop for the hundreds of people that day, too. 
That day, I went out with my friends to enjoy the festival. That cool experience was really fresh to me, and became one of my lovely memories. Through reading, I’m sure many of you guys must be feeling, “It’s the same as Japanese festival.” Well, please read below before you decide!
New Zealand is consisted of two sheepy islands, North and South Island. “Sheepy” means the place that you can see sheep everywhere. Te-Kuiti and “The Great New Zealand Muster Te-Kuiti” are sheepy, too.  For example, do you know sheep shearing?  To get wool from sheep, we should shear it. In the sheepy country like NZ, shearing is a really important work and sometimes a kind of sport! So, we saw that big shearing competitions during the day. As I wrote, it’s the normal thing in New Zealand. But, this festival has another crazy event on end of the day. Can you guess what? 
The answer is “The Running of the Sheep!!” 1103 sheep and two goats ran down the main street of Te-Kuiti!  Sheep dogs made the sheep run, and people who were looking at that event on the pavement made “a wall” to keep the sheep on the road (without this people’s fence, the sheep would run away). Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that job. However, I saw and took photos of the road full of sheep. There were sheep, sheep, and sheep! It was a really great and funny view. Actually, I had heard of this sheepy road from Sue the day before this festival, but I was truly surprised to see this strange and unique view with my own eyes. Unfortunately, it was raining at the moment. But, it didn’t matter because it was just a small thing! This festival became a precious experience for me. Because… we can’t hold this types of events in Japan!!
I’m really happy to spend my youth days in this country. I would like to thank my family, teachers, nice friends, and all the people for all the support! Thanks to you all, I can spend lovely and sheepy days in this nice town!
Narumi Igarashi

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