Bonjour tout le monde et bienvenue à mon blog! I am very excited to be one of the ten Young Ambassadors for the commemoration tour in France this year. After years of poring over countless photos of the Eiffel Towerʼs every angle, and imagining myself walking along the Seine on a dreamy Parisian day, it is finally reality that I will actually be there in July. Admittedly, I still canʼt quite fathom the possibility that this dream trip is actually going to happen to me. It really is one of those ʻpinch meʼ occurrences which only come once in a lifetime. Nevertheless, I am sure that in the months and weeks leading up to our departure it will all become oh-so real.
As a history and anthropological fanatic, I have always been interested in WWI and the influence it has had on our present and future generations. Therefore, my personal inquiry project for the Young Ambassadorsʼ Tour was always going to be about the people of the time. It took a bit of thinking and consulting other people to really narrow down my inquiry topic, but I was finally able to pull in my focus and form a vision of where I am going to go with it. I come from a small community in the lower South Island called West Otago, and it is from here that I have found inspiration to set my inquiry in motion. I am going to base my investigation around the lifestyle of West Otago and Otago people during the time of the First World War in order to breathe life back into our communityʼs past.
To begin my inquiry, I will talk to my Granddad (also a history fanatic) about what he knows of West Otago and WWI, and read local history books (some of which my Granddad contributed to). This will give me a starting point, offering me prompts into which I can then delve deeper. My intention is to use the content I discover about my districtʼs history to recreate a couple of pages of a newspaper from the war period. My regional newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, was established in 1861, so I aim to create these pages as if they were to be published in this newspaper. If all goes well with my inquiry, my goal is to actually get these pages published in the paper so people in the Otago-wide region will also be able to extend their knowledge surrounding my point of investigation. To connect my project with our trip France, I aim to include articles in my newspaper pages about the ANZACsʼ effort on the Western Front, perhaps in the form of a soldierʼs letter home or a report on the successes or challenges being faced at the time of publication. I am very interested to find out whether or not there were any West Otago soldiers who fought in France. While my inquiry project is likely to take a lot of time and extended research, I am excited to learn more about WWI and my communityʼs role in it. I am determined to follow through with the vision I have established and to complete it to my best ability!
Through this inquiry and Young Ambassadorsʼ Project, I wish to infuse wealth into my current (limited) knowledge of my home community. I would like to come out of the yearʼs experience and adventure with a more reaching scope of understanding into Otago's story, and in particular West Otagoʼs story. In doing this, I hope to also educate my community members of our regionʼs past, as well as enlightening the wider New Zealand community of what life was like during the First World War.
Merci bien et à bientôt!
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Last modified on Saturday, 15 March 2014 10:58