Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Room 3 Camp March 2012 - Day Two

The day dawned grey but not raining!!  Whew!!!

We got the kids packed up, fed them breakfast, got lunch made and distributed.... meanwhile I popped down to the District Nurse's office and had my final IV antibiotic and the lure removed.  Freedom!!!

And off we went for the day.

First stop was the awesome Goldfields Railways.  We went to the station in Waihi town, paid and hopped on.  I love going on this train as it shows its history and goes through some great landscape out to Waikino in the Karangahake Gorge.

The lady conductor gave us a history of the train and the kids we able to either sit inside or go out onto the open truck (carriage).

After morning tea and toilet stops at the Waikino Station (and coffee for the teacher and grown ups), we trekked across the carpark, under the road and over the river to the derelict site of the Victoria Battery.

It is amazing to think that this battery was responsible for processing most of the rock from Waihi and parts of the Gorge to get to the gold, silver and other salvagable minerals.... and was also responsible for a fair amount of pollution.  The battery was huge in its day, probably very noisy and functioned until the early 1950s.  We wandered around the battery and had set a time to meet up by the Victoria Battery museum... which we were fortunate to find open. 

After a quick trip up to the pits, we came back down to the museum to have a guided tour.  It was a real eye opener, and after our guessing at explaining to the kids how the battery worked, this old gem of a museum volunteer rounded out our best guesses, demonstrating how it works.

As we marched back over to the Waikino Station to catch the Goldfields Train back to Waihi, it began to rain lightly.  So lucky it wasn't earlier!!  This rain got a bit heavier while we were on the train, and by the time we got back to Waihi to hop in our cars it was very steady.

Luckily our next visit was (mostly) an indoor one.  We were off to Martha Mine to their Education Classroom to learn from their educator Phil Salmon (former University classmate!).  Phil did take us out in the rain to the Martha Mine pit rim to talk about what they do.... but then we went back into the classroom to learn more before Phil set the children to activities. 

The kids loved the variety of activities.

There were creative activities.....

.... making a movie on the computer....

and using I-Pods to find out more information to solve a puzzle and unlock a secret treasure!

At the end of the time, the rain was pelting down!!  We then set off to Whitianga (via Whangamata).  It was not a fun drive in the driving rain, and I was a little worried about the fact that high tide was at 7pm and that brings a risk of flooding either side of it over roads leading to Whitianga.  I was also a teeny bit stressed about the fact that all but one of our activities the next day were out of doors!

When we arrived in Whiti City (as those of us who have lived there call it), the rain was raining like it rains in Whitianga - hard out!!  The area outside of the cabins we were staying in at Mercury Bay Holiday Park was flooded to our ankles, meaning it was bare feet or jandals to get everything in and out of the cars and cabins.

Once we had got as much out of the cars as we could, got the kids and ourselves reasonably presented, we scrambled through the rain to the cars to drive into town to go to Dinos Pizza and Pasta Restaurant for dinner.  This was a god send as it would have been a nightmare to cook and feed kids in that rain!!

Luke, the proprietor, is a karaoke mate, and he did a great deal for us.

My main ambition for taking the kids out to a restaurant was for them to use their manners, use good table manners and order from a menu.  I really got a tickle out of watching the kids read the menus intently and discuss their options.  And then I had to laugh as each one of them told the waitress their order:  MVP (Most Vital Pizza), essentially a meatlovers pizza.  It cracked me up how they practically all ordered the same thing!!

At this point, if you asked the kids what their favourite part of camp was so far.... they said Dinos!  The tummies rule!!!

Then we bundled back into the car and went back to the camp ground - the rain meant that my plan of going to play at the park was drowned.  The dads took the kids down to the tv room to watch a bit of tv while the ladies sorted some kids and food out.  I went to the supermarket and got us some fresh buns and ham and stuff for the next day.

And it was early to bed for the kids that night.  All settled in before 9:00pm to listen to the rhythm of the pouring rain.... and hear the fire station horn go off to tell us that someone had lost control of their car in the flooding on the way into town!!!

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