The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, with the assistance of the University’s Division of International Studies & Programs, is pleased to introduce its Pacific Studies Program - a pioneering collaborative initiative between A&M-Kingsville and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The Pacific Studies Program (PSP) is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, A&M-Kingsville and Dr. Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School and Continuing Education, University of Otago. The PSP will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in New Zealand from July 5th, 2012, through July 22nd, 2012, attending classes at the University of Otago, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater Otago region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, sustainability and environmental policies, etc., with reference to both the greater Pacific region and New Zealand.

Dr. Christine Reiser-Robbins, Anthropology Program, Texas A&M-Kingsville, is directing a Service Learning Project, a special component of the PSP. The PSP will facilitate interaction between middle and high school students from Bishop School District, Texas, and Logan Park High School, Dunedin, Otago, through the application of Internet-enabled technologies.

You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of New Zealand and the surrounding region. This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

War Memorial Museum, Auckland
     On July 5, 2012, we embarked on our journey to Dunedin, New Zealand.  On July 7, 2012, following fourteen hours of flying over the Pacific, we experienced our first hitch in the plan: we were approximately ten minutes late for our flight from Auckland to Dunedin.  Oddly enough, though, the majority of us were excited about the impending layover.  Over the next 24 hours, this joy (most likely formed from the fact that we were now able to shower and eat) was certainly justified.  For one day, we experienced life in Auckland; we ate street food and saw some amazing sights.  Best of all, though, we were able to get our first look into New Zealand history and culture at the War Memorial Museum, a leading national museum.  We saw artifacts from both Maori and European societies. The preservation of and pride in New Zealand’s Maori heritage is exquisitely celebrated by the Museum.  The Museum displayed not only the Maori history, such as ancient temples and carved Gods and Goddesses, but also recent attempts to instill pride in the Maori culture.  For example, they featured a T-shirt exhibition, in which Maori artists have created shirts that display Maori traditions and history.  Cassandra, Caleb, and I (Kelsey) were even able to catch the second act of a Maori musician’s music session.  Her music, sung in both Maori and English, could easily be factored into my research, so I will hopefully be interviewing her within the next couple of weeks!  Needless to say, our experiences in Auckland just go to show that any situation can be made into a cultural learning session.  Kia ora!!
Kelsey D.               

No comments:

Post a Comment