Tempe students Carmela Guiglianone, Mariah Porritt, and David Ewen have just returned home after spending five weeks in New Zealand on the first part of the student exchange between Lower Hutt and Tempe students.
They were welcomed at the airport on 29 May by the Lower Hutt host families and Paul and Suzi Duffin from the HSCF Board. A waiata (song) greeted them in the airport foyer and then everyone gathered for a brunch before going to their own homes.
A comprehensive itinerary had been planned for them while they were staying in Lower Hutt as they did not attend school during this time. Some of the highlights were visiting Te Papa, Zealandia, Adrenaline Forest in Porirua, a day trip to Picton on the Interislander, Weta Workshop, horse-riding, and a visit to Matiau/Somes Island.
There was also a visit with Lower Hutt Mayoress Linda Goss-Wallace to the US Embassy, and with James Lamb from the Hutt City Council who took them on an adrenaline filled day mountain-biking, doing the Butt Buster course, and kayaking in Wainuiomata.
Among other things they also attended the Mayoral Reception for a powhiri (welcome), and the girls attended the Wainuiomata School Ball.
There was also lots of family time and a highlight of this was a trip to Rotorua, Taupo, and Ohakune where they did jetboating, sky swinging, and bungee jumping.
The students and families formed close friendships whilst they were here. The Lower Hutt students, Taylor Snow, Krishna McQueen, and Ariana Randall have now left New Zealand to continue the next part of the exchange where they will spend five weeks in Tempe, Arizona.