Mihi Mihi

Two weeks ago I returned to New Zealand and hit the ground running. I landed about midnight on Sunday and got bombarded with new assignments in class the very next morning. I’ve moved flats and am now house sitting in a real house with two fantastic flatmates from Christian Union, the campus ministry we’re all a part of (more on that awesome situation and the lack of NZ housing insulation in a future blog post). I’ve hosted an amazing couchsurfer (also deserving of its own post), gone tramping, and returned to UCanDance.

I was supposed to go skiing today, but the wind was too strong so the slopes closed. Bummerooski, since I had already rented gear through a bookme deal. It was probably for the best, though, since I have also promptly picked up a cold in this winter weather and probably needed to rest.

Especially since tomorrow I jump right back in to observations for my second placement, this time at Hornby High. My master’s program emphasises how to teach to culturally and linguistically diverse ākonga (students), especially Māori and Pasifika. My last school was in the countryside and most students were pakeha (white) from blue collar families; it felt a little odd to pull out kiwaha (māori phrases of affirmation), especially being an American. Hornby is a lower decile with a more diverse student body, and the cultural pedagogy I have learned will be a little easier to apply.

Tomorrow, that means delivering my mihi mihi. During a powhiri, which I explained when I first visited a marae, the mihi mihi is a round of speeches or introductions in which people share about where they come from and who they are in relation to that place. You can also share parts of your genealogy; you then introduce yourself last, followed by your home and a closing statement. I still haven’t memorised my mihi entirely (though I do play a recording a few times when I go to bed at night; presenting my mihi mihi will eventually be a test in my Māori culture class). However, I did make a powerpoint for the students tomorrow, to introduce myself and show them a few facets of who I am. My mihi is super basic (nor does it compute quite right, since I’m not from NZ), but it parallels my māori, which is also rudimentary. I figured it would be neat to share it along with a rough translation on the blog also, to give you readers a little taste of the NZ culture I am learning to be a part of.

E te whānau
Tēnā koutou katoa
Family members, hello

Ko McAffee te maunga
McAffee’s Knob is my mountain.


Ko Cooper te awa
The Cooper is my river.


Ko Atlantic te moana
The Atlantic is my ocean.


Ko Fiji Airways te Waka rere rangi.
Fiji Airways is my “canoe.”


Nō South Carolina ahau.
I am from South Carolina.

Ko David Compton rāua ko Debbie Coggin ōku mātua.
David and Debbie are my parents.


Ko Georgia Compton rāua ko Rosa Marie Compton ōku teina.
Georgia and Rosa Marie are my sisters.

Ko Cain Compton tōku tungāne.
Cain is my brother.

Ko Compton rāua ko Coggin ōku iwi.
Compton and Coggin are my “tribes.”


Ko Miss/Jessica Compton tōku ingoa.
My name is Miss Compton/Jessica.

Kei Ōtautahi tōku kāinga
Christchurch is my home.

(For now. You can stop holding your breath friends and family)

Nō reira whānau, Tēnā koutou, Tēnā kotou, Tēnā koutou katoa.
Therefore family, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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