And now for Alex's words, which were actually published in the Wanganui Chronicle last week. He wrote this in response to a request from his teacher who had been approached by the local newspaper for a "good news" story at the school.
My name is Alex and my family and I moved to Wanganui from Vermont, U.S.A. in January to live for seven months. For the past two months I have been going to Wanganui Intermediate School. Although it was hard to leave my friends at home, I was excited to try going to school in a different country, and it has been great so far, better than I thought school could ever be. At WIS, I have been able to try many new things such as robotics and ukulele. I really love doing robotics and Mr. Szabo is an awesome teacher. Also, in Vermont we didn’t have swimming at school because we were not on an island surrounded with water, so it wasn’t as important. I must admit that I am not so good when it comes to swimming but it turned out that it wasn’t all that bad. My teacher, Mrs. Zander, is extremely nice and she encouraged me to actually try. Also, the kids in my class are very welcoming and I’ve already made some friends that I know I’ll have forever. I’ve been thinking that I might like to come back and do an exchange year when I’m in high school. – Alex Pasanen, age 11