I don’t think I could be worse at this whole blogging thing if i tried. I have been in Australia for almost two months now and this will be my first post but oh well! Better late than never, right? This post is going to be long and completely random because I have so much to catch up on so if you actually read it all I am very proud of you.
So first off, I absolutely love it here. I decided pretty much as soon as I stepped off the plane that I am going to need to be forced back on the plane when we fly home. The people are amazing, school is amazing, basically everything is amazing. The only thing that is not amazing is the humidity and the bugs but you can’t win it all right? I have gotten lots of bugs bites and a lot of them have swollen up a lot but nothing has killed me yet here so that is a good thing!!
Even though I am horrible at the blog thing, I have been posting a lot of facebook pictures! So if you really want to catch up on everything that I have been doing I would look at all of my beautiful pictures.
Major events thus far:
-Class trips: For my Aboriginal class I am taking while here, we have gotten to go on class trips! One trip was to a place called North Stradbroke Island where we learned all about Aboriginal history and got to speak to the elders that were there and they shared their life stories with us and it was awesome. I am not a big history person at all so this class has been a little bit of a struggle for me, but the island trip was awesome because it put everything we have been learning into perspective. Also, it was really beautiful so that was a plus.
^it was so beautiful!^learning how to make fire
-Friends: There are 20 americans who are also in the program with me and they are all amazing. We have all become so close during our random adventures around Brisbane and I am so thankful for them. We all are starting to realize how hard it is going to be for us to say goodbye to each other when we get back to America so that’s sad. But for now, we are enjoying all of the time we have together and taking in every moment!^our very first day here!
-School: School is so different here it is really weird. For example, in one of my class we have one paper that is worth 40% of our grade and then another paper that is worth 60% of our grade…and that is it. No homework, no tests, no quizzes..just the papers. This is quite an adjustment for me because I am used to the American schooling system where you have homework and 50 different categories of things that factor into your grades. I am in four classes here: one aboriginal class, one about the history of Australia, one business class, and one class about the Bible. It has been really awesome to interact with the other Australian students and learn from them as well!
-Service placement: While in Australia, we have to complete 35 of service at a site that was picked for us. My site that I am at is called Regis Bulimba and it is an elderly care facility! I go every Monday morning with Laina (another American) for 4 hours and we love it. I don’t really have much experience working with the elderly so I was kind of scared at first. But since we have been going for a little bit now, we are starting to get to know the residents more and more and we are gaining relationships with them which is awesome! I love hearing all of their stories of how they ended up in Australia and what they were doing before they went to Regis Bulimba. I have bonded with one resident named Les and him and I talk about golf every week lol.
-Cairns (pronounced cans aka the Great Barrier Reef): We had a week-long break for Easter and during that time I adventured to Cairns with a couple of other American students (shoutout to Bree and Shannon). While there, we adventured around the city and to the beach, slept a lot, went snorkeling, and went skydiving! Skydiving was literally the greatest thing I have ever done and I am planning on going again very very soon. It was kind of concerning to me how not afraid I was by it. I absolutely loved every single second of it. We also got to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef! It was the struggle during the boat ride out because Bree and I got sea-sick and were throwing up but we survived and both got to go in the water! It was absolutely beautiful and we saw so many fish and other sea animals and coral and lots of sand and water and it was great. Sadly, my GoPro that I took a bunch of photos and videos on freaked out on me and now I have no pictures or videos from my experience 😦 But that is okay because that just means that I will have to go again sometime soon!
^best experience of my life^snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef!
-Food: If you know me, you know that I am a very very very very picky eater. However, while being here I have tried more new foods than I ever have in America! I am so obsessed with food now that I am on my way to weighing 500 pounds because it is like a whole new world! Also, i have eaten so much chocolate while being here so that’s fun. I am also beyond obsessed with these things called shapes which are basically just like little cracker things but I swear they are amazing and I will be custom ordering a lot of them in America.
^going to weigh 500 pounds
-Weather: When we first got here at the end of February, I thought I may die from the humidity. Since California has no humidity, I am not used to the slightest percentage of humidity at all. Also it was the end of summer when we got here so it was like high 90s everyday. I was basically melted puddle in the beginning but then I started to get used to it. It is now starting to cool down as they approach winter here so it is about 80 everyday which is perfect. It sporadically rains a lot here too which is great because I love the rain! Also, I have only been sunburned like 3 times since I have gotten here and I consider that a major victory.
^this was my first sunburn here lol the sun here is no joke
-Beach: I swear Australia is like a whole different world when it comes to their beaches. Living in California, I have experienced my fair share of beaches. But the beaches here are unreal. I have only been to 2 so far but they were both so beautiful and just all around amazing.
^we’re mermaids obviously
^took three hours each way to get to this beach..no regrets
-Tea: I have a newfound obsession with tea. I don’t know why I never drank it in America but it is the greatest. If you don’t drink tea you should start.
-Random things: I saw my first Australian koala the other night. I was driving with my host mom to go buy me cough medicine (because I currently have the plague), and something ran across the road that we thought was a cat. But when we got closer, we realized it was a koala! I was pretty excited even though I saw it for 2 seconds and was in a car that was nowhere near it..but it was still cool. My host family is the best. They are so beyond welcoming and nice to me and they have made the transition so much easier. I also have mastered public transportation as we take the bus everywhere.
Alright if you read all of that you are a star. I have about a month and a half left in this beautiful country! Hopefully I post again before I go back to America but at this rate we will see if that actually happens lol
peace and blessings