Students working their way to Japan

Flora Ingoe, Tommy Blackett and Dillon Baker can’t wait to see Japan’s cherry blossoms in April 2020 – but first they have to finish fundraising for the trip.

A group of Cambridge High School students have been working their way towards a trip of a lifetime, fundraising for a school trip to Japan.

Twenty two students, who all study Japanese at school, will visit sites around Japan and experience life at a Japanese school during the April 2020 visit – but they each have to raise at least $5000 in the process.

“Fundraising for it and working for it makes you really appreciate the trip a bit more, especially when you work together,” said Flora Ingoe, a Year 11 Cambridge High School student who will go on the Year 12 trip next year.

It’s all the more special for Flora, being half Kiwi, half Japanese.

“I lived there up until I was 6 years old. I can’t quite remember what it’s like but going back will be like a complete refresher. I’m quite excited.”

Like her classmates Dillon Baker and Tommy Blackett, the trip would be the chance to see the culture first-hand and apply their language skills in a real-life context.

“We’ll have to use the language, and things like using directions and that, as part of our assessment,” said Dillon. “I’m really looking forward to the fact that it’s going to be quite different to New Zealand, seeing how different they are to us, and involving ourselves in their culture.”

“I’d really like to immerse myself in the culture,” added Tommy. “And I can’t wait to see the buildings and their architecture, particularly the temples.”

Already the students have sold raffle tickets, pies, chocolate and Entertainment books, made over a thousand lunches for a Targa rally event, held a quiz night, and have plans for a car wash and a charity cycling event. A few have picked up after school jobs too. Their big event coming up next is a high tea fundraiser on October 19, which they’re encouraging Cambridge locals to attend.

Held at The Olde Creamery on Kaipaki Rd from 1pm to 4pm, the event will include raffles, entertainment from the students and even a Japanese drumming band. Tickets are $45 ($5 extra for gluten free) or $55 with a glass of champagne.

Tickets can be purchased through Calleigh Baker from the fundraising committee on 021 2528 622.

“I think it’s awesome for the students to be involved in the fundraising,” said Calleigh. “They are learning that there is work involved to be part of this experience.”

“I think it will be quite a beautiful trip, and it will be really cool to experience life in a Japanese school, especially at this age,” said Flora.

“It’s going to be really fun, even when we don’t have activities planned we’ll be out exploring Toyko or wherever we are, seeing how different they are to us,” said Dillon. “I can’t wait.”

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