There are a few things that can expand your horizons like no episode of “Friends” will. Playing board games with your family and friends. Reading. Building stuff from Lego blocks. Falling on your butt when jumping over a bench. Traveling.
Ever since I started traveling, I’ve become more aware of the vast differences that make us unique. I would never say they separate us. Quite the contrary, actually – what makes us different, makes us beautiful! And there is still so much to learn and see!
It makes me indescribably happy to be able to share my culture, my ideas, and my difference with others. We can use our differences to power tolerance, understanding, creativity, and sensitivity – we can make the world a better place!
What makes me even happier is learning about other cultures and different ways other people live, love, laugh! Because the key is empathy and listening. Sharing is caring, but looking at the world through each other’s eyes – that’s how we understand.
My sharing journey brought me to a small (but award-worthy beautiful) town of Feilding, New Zealand, speaking to a school full of the cutest Kiwi kids.
Turns out, that because New Zealand is so far away from Europe (or basically everywhere except for Australia), they don’t know much about it, they have their own everyday life, politics, problems. And it’s not a dig at Kiwis, not at all. I know for sure Europeans know very little about New Zealand as well, so the playing field is very even here. The only difference here is that Europe has a bunch of smaller countries around, so we’re maybe a bit more aware of the fact that things can be different. (Side note: did you know that the world doesn’t really look like the one on the standard Mercator map? I for sure didn’t but I do now!)
I feel blessed that I can interact with people all over the world. And kids are the best – they’re innocent and inquisitive and they’re not afraid to ask questions. I must say, kids make me feel like I can have fun again. That’s exactly how I felt showing them pictures of my hometown and comparing their school with my old primary school. But the best part came with the Q&A, when their imagination and interest towards something new sparked the greatest conversation ever, including describing what snow is. In exchange, they taught me how to smile without knowing all the answers, how to spell Santa Claus in Maori (Hana Kōkō), and how to be better by trying to understand the world around me.
NORTH STREET SCHOOL, FEILDING
Watch how the kids start their school assembly – singing together! And below, take a look at how some classrooms look!