Scholarship win scored on pitch
Tokoroa’s Toni Taplin,15, was playing hockey when she heard she had won the NZ Post Scholarship to fund her AFS intercultural exchange.
So excited in fact she found it hard to concentrate on the game at hand.
It is the first time a Tokoroa student has been awarded the scholarship, for children of NZ Post Group employees.
When the organisation heard of Toni’s plans to head to Argentina for a year they responded by fully funding the $13,500 trip.
From February 23 next year until January 16, 2013, Toni will be living in Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires with the Woodward family who are very excited to meet their New Zealand guest.
‘‘This is their first time (hosting an AFS student) and we have been talking on Facebook, they are so excited to meet me,’’ Toni said.
In terms of getting a handle on the language, Toni knows the need-toknow basics and has been using library books and CDS to get her head around the different pronounciation of words and vowels - the ‘‘tongue-rolling.’’
The second daughter of a family of five, Toni wants to become a dairy farmer.
A desire to learn more about the beef industry and an interest in the Spanish language helped her set her sights on Argentina.
Living in town herself, Toni says frequent time spent at her best friend’s rural home sparked a passion to go farming.
Her host parents in Argentina are not farm- oriented. However, contacts of Forest View High School teacher Laticia Kelly and Forest View’s current exchange student, who is from Argentina, will point her in the right direction.
‘‘I really wanted to learn Spanish and Miss Kelly told me Argentina had a big beef industry and put my name forward.
‘‘My sister’s over there, her partner has a poultry farm and said I could stay there and learn about what they do out there.
‘‘Miss Kelly has got a friend over there involved with the beef industry and our AFS student in Tokoroa has an uncle who does beef (farming).’’
Toni is currenlty fundraising for extra money for the next year, including hosting a baking stall at Mangakino’s Christmas Parade. Libby Kissick is a WINTEC journalism student