Farewell lunch June 2016

We are very grateful for the warm farewell we had this Thursday. The children were so excited at having you all here and sharing yummy kai, and then singing, dancing and saying our goodbyes. We thank you all for your involvement over the past months and years. We will miss you all, but would love to keep in touch. God bless! The team at Little Ark and Wholegrain Organics.

Comfrey ointment May 2016

We have been busy making comfrey ointment to give to our families as a goodbye present. We harvested the leaves together then let them wilt for a while.
We cut them carefully into little pieces and put them into olive oil to soak for a few days. The oil was yellow when we started. When I asked, what colour will the oil be after soaking, you all shouted, “Green!”
As we cut the leaves up, you were talking about how we were going to give these ointments as a present. Some of you remembered how we gave it to the old people at the retirement home last year.
When it had soaked enough, we strained and heated the oil and mixed it with the melted beeswax. We added some thyme essential oil so that it would disinfect as well as heal.
Now the tricky part – putting it into the small jars. Everyone was so focussed as we tried to pour the oil carefully off the spoon… How nice to be able to help people with a cream for cuts and bites and rashes.

Special visitor! April 2016

This month we had a very special guest coming out to see us and give a presentation of traditional Maori instruments.
Papa Anaru is one of the few young Māori men who is not only fluent in te reo Māori but in many of the old traditional ways, including the gift of knowing how to play some traditional instruments that are rarely used today.

It was great to see how immersed all the children were with Papa Anaru’s traditional musical instruments. Everyone was fascinated not only with the instruments Papa Anaru had to show but also the different sounds the instruments made. Thank you so much for coming and sharing your knowledge with us!

Hangi Time! March 2016

The long-awaited hangi had finally arrived. We had planned for this weeks ago as part of our Waitangi Day celebration. So when the children had arrived, we all walked down to the Woodlands to watch the preparations.
First we saw Tipene, Leana-Lee’s daddy, preparing to set up the hangi by digging a wide hole, then filling it up with firewood and iron slabs to heat. Once it was lit, the fire was extremely hot!
After the irons had been heated up enough, the baskets were quickly lined with cabbage leaves, then the food was layered into the basket, with the slower-cooking vegetables on the bottom and the faster-cooking food on top.
The hot coals were then removed from the fire, so the heated irons could be placed symmetrically in the hole and the baskets put on top. The hangi needed to be completely covered, so Tipene asked the children to look carefully for any rising smoke and to point out where this smoke was coming from. He would need to cover any leaking spot in order to keep any steam from escaping, so the food could be cooked thoroughly.
After the hangi was covered with the sheets and sacks, a layer of dirt was then added on top and the food was left to cook for one and a half hours. We all went back to play in the Woodlands until the kitchen team arrived with our lunch plates and cutlery, signalling it was lunch time. After you had all washed your hands and were sitting patiently waiting for the hangi to come out, it was loading into the Gator and brought to be served onto our plates. The hangi food was absolutely delicious and all of you enjoyed it thoroughly.
We not only got to see a hangi being made, but we also saw our parents and teachers teaming up to give lunch to the tamariki. Ka pai whānau (Excellent family).  

Pikopiko Hunt! February 2016

We all loved our special hunting trip to the Kimbolton Reserve this month. When we arrived at the reserve, whaea Christine led us to an area where she knew there would be some pikopiko for us to pick. It was great to see all the smiling faces as each discovered the pikopiko- a hidden treasure in the Kimbolton Reserve. “Ko te wheako whakamataku tenei!” (What an awesome experience!) A big thank you to whaea Christine and her family for their contribution!