Tourists get taste of New Zealand life
There were a few excited wows from Cargill Open Plan School students when a group of Malaysian tourists stopped in recently.
The group of eight tourists had been staying with school receptionist Nancy Flavall as part of the online motorhome OK To Stay initiative.
‘‘OK To Stay is for people either arriving in the country or planning their holidays with motorhomes who need a safe place to park overnight,’’ Flavall said.
‘‘They park up outside your house and usually we welcome them inside for an evening for a coffee and chat.’’
‘‘I’ve been involved for close to 11 years now. There is no cost involved, it’s just a service we provide free of charge,’’ she said.
She said the Malaysian tourists were keen to learn about New Zealand’s Maori culture during their three-week tour of the North Island.
And with the school’s students also learning about celebrations in other countries she decided it would be ideal to invite them into the school with a special waiata and haka.
‘‘We talked last night about Maori culture, hence the reason we have welcomed them into the school today and the middle school are also learning about the Chinese Lantern Festival and have lovely handmade lanterns on display in the school foyer,’’ she said.
The group’s spokesman Mak
‘‘They park up outside your house and usually we welcome them inside.’’ Nancy Flavall
Kah Kein firstly thanked the students in his native language Cantonese and then in English before sharing a bit about his home country.
‘‘We are from Kuala Lumpur which is the capital city of Malaysia, 12 hours away from New Zealand,’’ he told the awe inspired students.
‘‘Malaysia, being in Southeast Asia, is a very different country compared to New Zealand and we are hot all year around. We don’t have the four seasons, we do get quite a lot of rain but the whole year we are in shorts and t-shirts.’’
The tourists also sung their national anthem, experienced a hongi, and conversed with the school’s Chinese speaking students.
Flavall said there was always someone interesting coming to stay thanks to the initiative.
‘‘It is a great idea,’’ she said.
A group of Malaysian tourists visit Tokoroa’s Cargill Open Plan School.