Friday, January 1, 2010

Amanda DePasquale, Blue Latitudes Response

Amanda DePasquale

Ch 4 – Blue Latitudes
I must admit that I am not very surprised by Cook's actions when he first explored New Zealand. All of the murdering and stories of cannibalism, as horrible as they are, are not shocking. It seems common that these things happen when European explorers "discover" new land; they murder and report back stories of situations that they do not understand and will twist the truth (like Christopher Columbus, for example). It makes sense that the explorers need to stand their ground and protect them. It seemed like Cook didn't have intentions of hurting the native people, but when they attacked he had to take drastic measures.
I found it interesting to see the different views of the Maori people and the English people or the Pakeha, because the English supported Cook and the Maori were pretty much against him. It was enlightening to see their reactions and hear the conflicting accounts of the people. Another thing I found interesting was how the different places in New Zealand got their names, like Poverty Bay and Cannibal Cove.

In my journey to New Zealand this winter, I plan to have an open mind and to learn about the Maori culture. I am very interested in their language and in learning all of the different slang. Also, I would like to learn the haka, or the war dance, because I think that would be really neat. I have traveled to many different places, and I am looking forward to adding New Zealand to the list and understand the culture, people, and land of this country.
I am also looking forward to learning more about geology and marine biology. I always wanted to study marine biology, and this trip seems like such a fantastic way to do so. I hope to learn so much more than I would in a classroom because of the field based and hands on features of this study abroad program. I also want to be able to apply what I learn to the coasts at home. That way I can teach my friends and family about what is around them. I had a great experience this year in geology because we took many field trips where we were able to see the actually rock formations in person as opposed to a picture in a book. It has definitely enhanced my learning, and I look forward to doing that on this trip as well.

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