"It's been a long time since i've talked about my experience in France and what i've learnt and seen.
So my advice to you, well there's a lot so bear with me. I'll start with people! The people you will be travelling with will be your brothers and sisters for the entire trip. You'll get so close and maybe a bit too close. Even though at the start when you meet them, you don't think you'll ever get along with them. But no, you'll share this trip with them, you'll share something no one else will. So cherish that, because one day when you decide to travel and something bad happens at least there's someone close around NZ that will help you (speaking from experience).
Also cherish your host parents and the people you meet, you might find yourself in France again needing help and they will be there.
Travelling around! oh my gosh!! I had a love-hate relationship with the amount of traveling we did. I loved going to the places, but i hated traveling there.
Make sure when you do go to the places you visit, just to listen and observe. You might think you get sick of it, trust me. But make sure to take a step back and watch. Sometimes you pick things up that may help you with your project, or sometimes you find things that are mind changing, or even life changing.
Also find a sense of appreciation for the people that were in the war. It might not bother you now, because it was so long ago and even I had thoughts like that. You cant blame anyone for what happened, you can't change what happened, but you can learn from the past. Last thing!!! Live, live I tell you!! Go brake a few rules with plenty of caution. When will you ever be in France again? Bon voyage à tous!"
Yours sincerely, Materia Hutana
PS: Could you do a massive favor? If you see the New Zealand Chief of defense force say " Materia Hutana the girl that read the ode in Te reo maori in the Passchendaele ceremony 2016. says G'day"