I would have blogged more this week, but the first few days were pretty standard. Tuesday’s classes were fun; I took a quiz on Dracula and literary theories in my English class and I feel pretty good about it. During my three hour break, my friend Meg and I found a shady place to sit and watch a movie on her laptop. We might have to make a habit out of that, as it was a really good way to kill the time.
On Wednesday I was at Nudgee Beach and we did a program with year fives. It was similar to other programs we’ve done, but since these kids are older they do more of it on their own. I will say that they were a bit of a handful; there was lots of screaming and running around. During one part where we were using the bait net to catch toad fish (see below) I had to yell for their attention because Amy was too sick for them to actually hear her and Kerry is a bit too mild mannered for yelling. Later in the day we went on a walk through an area called the Mangrove Forest to teach the kids about local wildlife and plants. Its a very pretty area and we saw several different kinds of birds (most of which were too fast for my to get a good picture of). We also learned about a plant called the pig face (see below), which starts as a flower and blooms into a fruit. They have very distinct, pyramid shaped leaves and are succulents (kind of like aloe vera). For dinner, Claudia and Jess made pasta and meatballs to go with our weekly viewing of The Bachelor. They were very yummy, although nothing like mom’s (hint, hint).
On Thursday, I got to go canoeing (first time ever) for my internship. We had a group of year sixes who were learning to sail and canoe at a creek just north of the Nudgee Beach area. We split them in half so that one group got to sail first while the other group was canoeing, then they switched after lunch. This set up meant that I would be doing two 2 hour jaunts on the creek. Additionally, since I’m an adult, I always had two small sixth graders in my canoe, so I would end up doing a majority of the work. I was kind of relieved that the students wanted to sit up front or in the middle, so I could sit in the back as the “captain” and controll the steering (which turned out to be just a little difficult).
Overall, the experience was very fun. In the first group, there were no real problems and the two girls in my canoe were very capable canoers (and good at taking directions). In the second group, I first ended up with a boy who was going to do whatever he wanted (including try to steer the boat from the front seat) no matter what I said and a girl who thought that she knew more than everybody else and was trying to give everyone directions (that were mostly incorrect). Luckily, they switched out of my canoe about halfway through and I got two new girls. The journey after that was much more enjoyable (for me at least). I was happy that the boy had switched canoes because he managed to capsize his new group’s boat not fifteen minutes later; dodged that bullet.
By the end of the afternoon, I was covered in mud, sweat, and sunblock, and my arms felt like jello. However, my boat had not capsized and I had a lot of fun, so it all balanced out. We even got to see some pelicans on the beach when we were loading up the canoes; those birds are much bigger than I thought!
Friday was cloudy and it rained on and off all day. The weather made me feel a little better about being in philosophy because at least I wasn’t missing the sun. On the way home in the afternoon, Wally and I missed our usual shuttle and got on a different one that took us to a different train station to get home. We will not being going back to that station again; it must be in a bad part of town because all of the people waiting for the train seemed a little… off. It was an uncomfortable and stressful 20 minute wait for the train, but once we got on the weekend had begun and we got to relax. Since it was still a yucky evening, we had a girls movie night in (with snacks, of course).
This morning (Saturday) the girls and I walked to the farmers market. I was very proud of myself for only spending $30 and getting all of the things I needed. I was bummed when the avocados I bought weren’t good (I tried to make guacamole when we got home) but those things can be hard to judge. However, I did manage to make applesauce; its currently chilling in the fridge, but it smelled good so I have high expectations.
Other news this week: Nina, my Canadian roommate, moved out because urbanest was apparently too expensive for her. She travels a lots, so we didn’t see her much and she didn’t want to pay a lot of money to basically leave her stuff somewhere. I wasn’t too broken up to see her go, but that was mostly because she always ate my food without asking. We apparently have a new roommate named Erin, but Carla is the only one who’s actually seen here. I wonder how long she’ll last with us.
I booked my “spring break” trip this week as well. The last week in September is a break week here, so I will be spending that week up North in Cairns, the city closest to the Great Barrier Reef. During the week, I will snorkel, tour the rainforest, go zip lining, and do a few other fun activties. I am very excited to see the reef, and get some time to just relax on the beach.
The semester is a third of the way through over here! I found out that I don’t have any real finals, just some essays that I have to turn in by November 2nd. This means that I will get to spend the last few weeks of my study abroad travelling and hanging out. Since I don’t have a lot to do this weekend, I may take a day trip to the Australian Zoo on Monday; we’ll see what the weather’s doing!
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend, America!