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Saturday 19 November 2011 | Published in Regional


Students at Papaaroa College have welcomed their adoptive paddling pals from Canada with a feast and cultural show this week.

The Canadian paddling team Jericho adopted Papaaroa College during their Vaka Eiva stay as part of the festivals adopt-a-school programme.

On Thursday the school and the paddlers exchanged gifts and goodwill during their first meeting.

The paddlers brought a range of gifts with a Canadian flavour to them none more literally than the maple syrup candy included in the present and the school put on a feast of fruit with some song and dance following.

The groups then mingled in an activities session in the schools grounds.

Papaaroa principal Gregory Taikakara said it was all done to welcome the visitors to the Cook Islands and make them feel at home, saying modestly thats who we are.

The goodwill was well received by the Canadian visitors, who, after a 10,000 kilometre journey to the Cook Islands, were glad they made the effort to get here.

This is a lot of fun, team coordinator Jan Chavarie said.

Weve been to competitions in Hawaii and California and they are just about the races and then its over.

To do something like this in the community is just wonderful, it gives us a whole different perspective on the Cook Islands.