Institute for Study Abroad - Butler University

New Zealand Travel Diary: Entry 1

When Che Guevara looked at the Incan ruins in Peru, he was angered by the brutality of Spanish conquerors who had annihilated a rich Incan civilization. But why am I telling you this? Well, I am going to New Zealand for study abroad in July for Fall semester. And I cannot wait to see Maori culture and meet Maoris in their original land. Maoris are indigenous population of New Zealand who have a very rich culture and tradition that at times may appear very exotic and even strange to outsiders.

Maoris have suffered too due to Britian's colonialism in New Zealand and its legacy still has left its imprint in the form of a historic treaty signed between Maoris and British crown in 1800s. The document is still used today by Maoris to assert their rights from non-Maori population who are in the majority. I am no Che Guevara but I am still very excited to live and learn about indigenous Maori culture and traditions.

There is another thing in common between New Zealand and Nepal (the country I am from). The tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest was first climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal. They shared a special relationship before and after this success. Edmund Hillary came back to remote mountainous village of Nepal called "Namche" and helped it develop by constructing schools and health centers for improving education and health. His contribution is valued not only by local Namche villagers and Sherpas (mountain guides) but also by every Nepalese. He is an inspiration to everyone. Nepal and New Zealand share this relationship of being two moutainous countries with majestic beauties and breathtaking landscapes.
I am ready to begin this almost five month long journey to beautiful land of Maoris that appears like a "paradise" through study abroad program of IFSA-Butler. I want to live like a Kiwi and learn Haka, a traditional dance performed by Maoris. To the land where zeal is at the zenith.

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