Posted Sat, 16 Dec: Looking out the window, on the long drive to the airport gave me time to think back on all the things we did during our stay in San Francisco/Silicon Valley. It was fun thinking back on all these things that we had done, but it was sad knowing that it was coming to an end.
As we pulled up to the airport and slowly got out of the bus we all looked tired and ready to go home, but I know inside we were feeling like we could change the world.
Before we took off to check in and depart, we had a small debrief, well wishes and last words from Andrew. Then I got up on behalf of the boys and quickly said a small mihi to him, thanking him for the opportunity he had afforded us and closed it with the Haka.
I lead the Haka "Ka Mate" standing in front of Andrew with Jason, Saia and Gabriel behind me. It was a way for me personally to express myself in another form, other than word, of how I was feeling. After that we took a few photos, said our individual farewells before heading through to the airport to check in.
This trip to Silicon Valley and all that it exposed me to, was incredible. It was definitely the best week of my life! I am now more focused, more driven, more hungry in wanting to achieve my goals.
Think differently. Don't be ordinary be extraordinary!
To all the boys, your legends.
Luke - Your a good mate, very on to it, very sharp. You know a hell of a lot when it comes to technology, you can do anything man. Keep grinding my bro, your next to hit the valley.
Toby - Mr Entrepreneur, your have guts and a keen mind man. I know you took away a lot and will apply it to your life when you get home. Your a top bloke, keep working hard brother, it will definitely pay off one day.
Carym - You went from Carym to Kareem real quick ea, this trip was the one for you. I know its hard where your from but crack that whip, 'cause your are capable of so much. Keep that creative mind of yours sharp bro, you will go far.
Saia - Your a very kind person man. Very observant and attentive. You have many gifts bro, you will be a very wise leader and an even better man when your older. Remember who you are and stay on track and you will go far.
Gabriel - You never stop, your always flying and funny as. You have insane potential ea. Your very proud of your Kura and your hood, so show them how to dream cuz. Keep learning, keep working and step up bro, I know you can. Ace.
Harrison - Your always full of big ideas and are very passionate about technology. Your a good fulla. Keep trying to implement all that good stuff at your school and take back what you have learnt. Be extraordinary.
Liam - Old Petrol, your crazy smart ea. You think very differently to a regular 16 year old, very mature. Your always keen to take on any challenge, even if you fail at it. Stay determined, be competitive brother.
Jason - Your a rockstar teacher, Khan Academy called it. Top 1%. Your so passionate about teaching and trying your hardest to make a difference. Inspirational. Said, Gabba and Tamaki College are lucky to have you. Go hard man.
Simon - Your a legend Simon, one of the most kind, caring and smart fullas I know. I know I can chat with you about anything, it was a pleasure touring with you. Your the man. Kia kaha, kia ū, kia manawa nui!
Finally to Andrew. You are incredible man. Thank you for everything you've done for us. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, you've made me realise so much. You exposed me to a completely different world than one that I'm used to. You introduced me to people I would never have met and changed me fundamentally. Your kindness and generosity is what makes you who you are. What you did for us is beyond what words can describe. You are a true blessing and hero. I am so very lucky to count you as a friend and mentor. Tenei e whakamiha ai ki a koe e te rangatira.