After our time on the marae, we got on a bus to head to Hobbiton to see the set of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, something I have always wanted to go. We went onto the 1250 acre sheep farm, with about 13,000 sheep on it, that houses the movie set. Learning different facts about the making of the movie, like which plants are real and which are props, was very interesting. I got to go in a hobbit hole, have a drink at the Green Dragon, and take in some of the beautiful New Zealand scenery.
Our next stop on the BCP was in Rotorua where we had free time the rest of the night after checking into our hotel. The next morning, we went to meet with a Māori man named Tiki to learn a traditional haka, one that is often performed by the All Blacks rugby team before their games. This experience can really be what someone makes of it. Tiki explained that everyone has their own beliefs and he would be telling us about the beliefs of his people. He said that we can take what resonates with us and not take what doesn't fit us. The experience, for me, was about finding strength and courage to fill the role I need to in my life and my aspirations. To really perform a haka, you have to throw yourself completely into it. You have to believe that you are strong, you are powerful, and you have the strength of all those that have gone before you, those that are with you now, and those that will go after you. This was an absolutely incredibly experience, and one that not many people are so privileged to get. Pictured below is the interns in my BCP after performing our haka.
The final portion of our BCP was to go to Wai-O-Tapu, which means "sacred waters." Wai-O-Tapu is a geothermal area near Rotorua. We got a guided tour of different craters created by the formation of sulfuric acid and geothermal pools. Our guide taught us about the Māori history of the area, from their beliefs about the origin of the area to the tribe that originally lived on the land and how they utilized the pools.
The next morning, we started back towards Auckland, dropping off interns on the way to catch planes and busses to their respective internship sites. When we arrived back at our apartment in Auckland, most of the interns joined together to make our first trip to a grocery store before finding a bar to watch the All Blacks vs. France rugby game. Watching New Zealand's national team perform their haka before crushing the French to win the pre-season tournament was a lot of fun, and we got to take in some of the local culture. It was a great way to end the week.
I've had a great time learning more about New Zealand's culture, but I'm excited to get started on what I came here to do. Tomorrow is my first day working at Recreate NZ, and I can't wait. Until next week, Kia Ora (best wishes)!