Day 2 - Golden Gate Bridge, Fishermen’s Wharf and California Science Academy

As everyone starts to feel more comfortable with each other we are finding ourselves laughing and joking more. As chaperones, we are enjoying getting to know the girls on a deeper level, hearing a bit about their families and what excites the students and challenges them and a few of the things that frustrate them.

Their excitement and enthusiasm are contagious. The bus ride to San Francisco was strangely quiet, that is, until someone spotted Alcatraz and then the Golden Gate Bridge. Immediately the tiredness was cast aside, and the girls literally flew off the bus grinning from ear to ear, racing to the bridge, phones at the ready to capture a moment in time.


One lucky Japanese tourist asked Imogen to take her photo with the bridge as a backdrop. Imogen kindly obliged but with the camera on selfie mode, tourist lady will go home with a beautiful photo of a smiling Imogen nestled amongst all her selfies. Imogen did take the requested photo, but decided not to delete the one of her, since she thought it was a picture worth keeping!

The famous Fishermen’s Wharf and Pier 39 was our next stop. Here we let the girls wander at their leisure. The Sea Lions that congregate by the wharf provided free entertainment with their posturing and bellowing. Most of the girls came back to the bus with at least one bag filled with souvenirs and gifts for their families.

The drive to the California Academy of Sciences gave us a feel for the city with its steep streets and terraced housing. There are so many similarities to Wellington, including the crisp wind and warm sun. Malaya said it made her feel at home!

The Academy of Sciences was humming. It was the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. With an aquarium, rain forest, planetarium, and numerous static displays, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Some of the students are growing in confidence and striking up conversations with people around them. They asked questions like, what do the Americans call Paua (Abalone) and Kina (Sea Urchin), only to discover the person they were speaking to had previously lived in New Zealand for three years.

The jetlag finally caught up on the trip home…just in time to give them a second wind and find the energy to shop at Target after dinner.

Tomorrow we visit Stanford, Microsoft and NVIDA (AI Intelligence and autonomous driving) and experience a little league Giants baseball game. Bryana, one of our students, has been given the honour of throwing the first ball in. We are so excited for her, though I’m not sure she feels the same!