Christian Cumpian of Poteet High School/La Parita 4-H had the extraordinary opportunity to travel with other Texas 4-H members and faculty on an international study tour to New Zealand and Australia. 4-H global experiences are organized by faculty so that members can be exposed to other cultures and languages, and be willing to accept all people with different customs and values. Interaction with people from other countries allows them to explore various cultural norms and learn about their customs.
Highlights of the tour included the Mt. Ngongotaha Gondola, Glowworm Grotto, New Zealand’s Agrodome, the Sydney Opera House tour, and a day at Bondi Beach; all fascinating adventures! The group was also lead on a full day excursion at the Tobruk Sheep Ranch, emphasizing the importance of the sheep industry in the region and the Featherdale Wildlife sanctuary where they interacted with many native animals like kangaroos and koalas.
But the pinnacle of Christian’s trip was his experience with the Maori, the indigenous Polynesians of New Zealand. “We visited a Maori history center,” said Christian. “There, we saw amazing mud lakes and geysers and the native bird the kiwi who is very protected. I also visited a wood carving and weaving school. Later that night we had a Maori style dinner where we were treated to a great show and the best part was I got to do the haka, which is an ancient war dance. My favorite rugby team, the All Blacks, do it at every game.”
Christian would like to express his most sincere gratitude to his family and friends who supported him in this unforgettable experience. He would also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the faculty at Texas 4-H who made the trip possible including Dr. Melinda Garcia, Extension Program Specialist in Bexar County, who volunteered her time to serve as chaperone of Christian’s group. #4HFamily #4HGrowsHere #Texas4H #4HGrown #TrueLeaders.