Participant Diary 2014 - Monty Jones

Voices - 1 December 2014

A couple of diary entries by Monty Jones on the Summer Initial Intensive (SII).  

Day 1 – Dear diary… I arrived at the Epsom campus on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to attend a pōwhiri that signalled the beginning of our Summer Initial Intensive. I’ve just met the 19 other participants that I’ll be spending the next 8 weeks with. I think I remember a few of their names. They seem nice. The University Hall is pretty cool; if I stand with my head against the window I can see Rangitoto – it's pretty much a penthouse suite. Time for bed now. Summer Initial Intensive - can't be that intense... right?

Day 7 – Dear diary… Apologies, I’ve been meaning to visit you sooner but it's been a busy week. 

We have had the privilege of being taught by scholars at the top of their fields... On a daily basis.

We have been warmly welcomed at our school visits across Auckland - even getting to play rugby at lunchtime with the students of Mangere College. Valuable lesson: do not knock it on.

A few days ago I entered the noho marae with a bunch of strangers… I came out 43 hours later with a whānau of like-minded individuals that want to make a difference. I never thought that I could have such an emotional and intellectual journey without leaving the walls of the whare.

Through the tears, laughter, snoring and kai, I have a developed a strong sense of whanaunatanga, a deep connection with these people. Although this is only the start of our journey, I know that I am on the right path.