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Orewa College—16 May 2017

May 17, 2017

Orewa College north of Auckland sponsors an international exchange program which gives overseas students the opportunity to experience New Zealand culture and natural heritage.  In addition to regular course work, the international students can participate in a New Zealand Experience class where they do outdoor activities, take trips and learn more about New Zealand.

For the fourth year in a row, Adrienne Croad, International Students Development Manager, brought a group of students in the New Zealand Experience class to CUE Haven for a day of volunteering, exploring and learning a little bit about New Zealand plants and animals. Also joining the group today was teacher, Cecelia Tyne.

The students today were from Argentina, Austria, Chile, Finland, Germany, Italy and Japan.

The group included students Akiho, Anjalee, Bernardo, Carolina, Eetu, Elena, Francisca, Fuyu, Gabriella, Gaspar, Ilaria, Jana, Jose, Lia, Lydia, Maria, Mariano, Marie, Marius, Marlen, Marlene, Mizuki, Nao, Simon, Sophia, Stephan, Wakana, Yurika,  & Yurina.

We got acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh gave the students a short talk about the history of the CUE Haven project.

Thomas then gave a description of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

The plan for the day was to do some important maintenance work before winter.  Because of the unusually wet summer and fall we’ve had, the weed season has stretched out and there were a lot of weeds in the orchard and the landscaped area around the cottage.

Treescape generously donated the mulch and the plan was to clear out as many weeds as possible and lay down a layer of mulch.

The other task was to put down a layer of gravel on a section of walking track that had been worn down.  During the wet winter weather, the tracks can be very slippery if they don’t have gravel to help with traction.

We split the group into two teams.  One group stayed down near the cottage and worked on weeding and the other went up to the top of the property to work on the track.

The weeding was a challenging job, but under Adrienne’s supervision the students quickly learned how to distinguish a weed from a good plant.

Once an area was clear of weeds, we could put down the mulch.  This involved shoveling it into a wheelbarrow and bringing it to the site.

The hard working group even went down to the front gate to clear away some dead weeds and grass by the entrance.

Thanks to the students’ efforts, the area around the cottage and front gate look much nicer!

While one group was weeding, the other team went up to the top of the property to work on the track.   We had earlier put a pile of gravel at one end of the track and the work involved shoveling gravel into 10 litre buckets which were then carried to the track and dumped.

One person was stationed at the end of the track to rake in the gravel and smooth it out as it was laid down.

When we finished up the gravel, the students helped pack up the gear before heading down.

The entire group then went for a walk from the top of the property back to the cottage to give them a chance to see more of the bush and learn a little more about native New Zealand plants and animals.  They then had a quick lunch before heading back to school.

A special thank you to Adrienne for organising the day and bringing the students out.  They accomplished a lot and we really appreciate it and enjoyed having them. Thanks for your continuing support. And thank you also to Cecelia for again coming along and helping out.  We look forward to seeing you both again with another group of students.

And we especially want to say a big thank you to the hard working students for helping us so enthusiastically.  We enjoyed meeting you and working with you.   All your work with the landscaping and the walking track has really spruced up the entrance to CUE Haven and made the tracks safer to walk on and it is much appreciated.

We hope you continue to enjoy your stay in NZ and best of luck with your future endeavours.  And we do hope you will visit us and CUE Haven on your next visit to NZ.

Many Thanks again!

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