Cuba has dominated the past 12 months for former St Kevin’s College pupil Anna Craig (18).
Last year she travelled to Cuba, met the Cuban ambassador to New Zealand, Mario Alzugaray Rodriguez, and took part in the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution at The Boatshed in Wellington.
She was invited to attend the celebration by the ambassador himself, when he opened a photography exhibition that was held at the Oamaru school.
The exhibition consisted of pictures taken by a group of photography pupils who also travelled to Cuba with Anna.
While at the event, she spoke in front of a crowd of about 200 guests about her travels to the island nation.
She met several New Zealand politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and National MP Gerry Brownlee.
Anna said the night was a “great success” and an “amazing opportunity”.
The same panels of photos that were at the exhibition at St Kevin’s were put on display on the night of the anniversary celebration.
“We got really good feedback about that – they were really interested.”
One picture that caught the attention of many was a photo of Cuba’s national bird, the Cuban trogon, that was taken by Anna.
“Everyone was saying to me how rare it is to get such a picture,” she said.
“It’s sort of like getting a picture of a kiwi in the wild – you don’t ever see them.”
Anna said she was pleased overall with how the year had played out.
“It was an amazing trip to Cuba and the opportunities that have come out of it have been really good,” she said.
Following her trip to Wellington, Anna had been approached by people who were keen to invite her to similar events in the future.