Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shanty Town

On Tuesday of last week we had a wonderful opportunity to join our school class to a small theme park just outside Greymouth. It is a private museum of west coast history with many original buildings of the early mining days of the area. After entering the park the children were led to the one-room school house. Here they were told some rules and then they were all dressed in period costume, including teachers, parents and us. The first thing we noticed was that this was going to be a Christmas theme activity. The park instructor immediately asked the children why we celebrated Christmas. When told it was to celebrate the birth of Jesus, she asked them why that was important. It got pretty specific, He was God's son, etc.

Most people in New Zealand do not attend church, many do not marry but have "Partners", and there are also Atheists a plenty. They do not have a constitution which they can missuse to eliminate all religion in the public domain. Their celebration of Christmas in the schools is not unlike what it was like when I was a child. I know that many of the Christmas carols I know today were learned first in school.

After they were dressed they returned to the class room and made some Christmas crafts. Paper chains, peace doves, greeting cards, etc. This was a little above these youngster's skill levels and we were very busy helping them.
These pictures are out of order. The last thing we did before changing back into our own clothes was to take their little train ride. It was a ride straight into the bush, past a gold panning, and saw mill exhibits and straight back on the same track. about 8 minutes round trip.

The bush from the train.
One of the photo ops in the park.
Elder and Sister Hoagland ready for the experience.

One of the games they taught the children.

This is our class. They are holding their Khristingles (sic) they made earlier.

Before lunch the teacher had the children march into the church on site for singing of carols and then they were taught the story of the nativity. Our little Osika Langi was Joseph.

Here are Mary and Joseph with the donkey looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The children were on the right and the mothers with cameras were on the left.
The children are being taught to make their Kristingles. The photographer on the right is from the local paper.
Teacher, Mrs. Kitchin getting things in order. We so much enjoy working with Mavis and her students.
Here is Osika and Veronica playing with the school ground toys.
Elder Hoagland watching the children eat their lunch.
Here are the girls after dressing in their costumes. There were two classes, rms. 1 & 2 here. Class one only as 3 girls out of 15.
Here the students have just arrived and are waiting to enter Shanty Town. One of the students is asking the S T teacher a question and everyone seems to be very interested in what is being asked except Osika, who has that problem more that Mrs. Kitchin would like.

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