Sorry it has taken me so long
to write you all about Australia but it has been so hectic so far.
Let me just say that
Australia is very far away. I
thought I would be nervous on the flight over here but I wasn't really.
19 of us met up in LA to fly over to Australia.
So there were all these other students who were in the same predicament
as me. We all bonded so quickly.
I hardly slept at all on the flight and I ended up eating three
breakfasts. It seemed that we just
kept going through morning over and over again because of all the time
changes:-) Oh by the way we are 16
hours ahead of you. At least until
day light savings in March and then I am not sure what the time difference will
be but it will change again when you guys have your daylight savings in April or
whenever it is.
When we arrived in Cairns we
had a two hour class and then we had a break between five and seven.
Sara, Roberta and I went up to our room to take a nap and then we woke up
around 11:30. We couldn't believe
we had slept through dinner. It was
pouring when we arrived. And it was
suppose to continue all week but the sun came out on the water when we went
scuba diving and it was absolutely beautiful. (Michelle: here's my first piece
of advice, when you plan your honeymoon don't plan it for the wet season over
here cause it pours like you've never seen it pour before and I know how much
you hate rain!)
The water was so blue and
clear. We went snorkeling first.
I thought I would be afraid but you put your face in the water and there
is this amazing world below you. The
fish just swim right along beside you, and they are beautiful amazing colors.
There are huge bright blue starfish which just look amazing.
And hugiant clams bigger than you could ever imagine. It's so colorful and beautiful.
When we were on the boat we could see the land with its green mountains rising
up against a bright blue sky. I
also went scuba diving. They take
three to four people down at a time. We
went down about 12 meters. I got to
kneel on the ocean floor. We
touched all these neat creatures and plant life that lived down there. We were down for half an hour but it flew by so fast I could
hardly believe that we were ready to resurface.
The next day we went to the
rainforest. I was kinda disappointed
at the rainforest. It was pouring
and I was so worried about watching out for leeches that it was hard to enjoy
the scenery. But when I was looking
around it was beautiful mystical and greener than you can imagine.
Since it was pouring we really didn't get to see any wide life while we
were hiking. The sun came out in
the afternoon though and were able to go to a habitat and walk among all the
animals. I saw all sorts of
beautiful birds, kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles, and emus.
We flew to Hobart the
following day which was Monday Valentine's day.
I arrived at my house that night. Hobart
is situated in the mountains and the place is so hilly.
I am going to be in great shape from all the walking I do.
Situated at the bottom and center of Hobart is the bay.
At night the view is absolutely spectacular.
I will try and get some pictures of it for everyone to see.
I've spent the last couple of
days exploring Hobart and meeting people. There
has been a barbeque at someone's house almost every night.
Australians are so friendly. Everyone
is welcoming and wants to talk. I spent one evening talking for hours to Clifton, an
Australian that I met.
The only thing that has kept
me from having an absolute blast has been my ear infection.
I am finally on meds for it, but it was really bad.
My flat mates were going to take me to the ER but I was too upset to go.
The infection gave me a really really bad fever and my skin felt like it
was on fire. SO the last few days I
have been trying to take things kinda easy.
Classes start on Monday.
They do things really different here and I am having a lot of difficulty
scheduling my classes. You don't
have to actually register for classes until about the third week of classes.
You just go to which ever classes you want and try to work out your time
table. You have lectures and
tutorials for the classes. I am
trying to at least have a three day weekend but I am not sure it is going to
I would describe my house to
you but as soon as I get batteries I will take pictures so that you can see it.
The one thing I learned since
I have arrived is that Australia has nine out of the ten most poisonous spiders
and the top ten most poisonous snakes. I
have already had an encounter with a spider but it was a harmless one. It was big black and very ugly.
But I have seen pictures of the other spiders in the area and I pray to
God that I never see them.
The air here is very clean
and clear but the sun is much brighter and stronger than back home.
My flat mates are very nice. Actually
Kelly one of them goes to William and Mary and recognizes your name and picture.
Her name is Shawna Mitchell. The
two guys, Dave and Ian, are very nice. I
felt like I was in Towson the other day when I walked in and one of them was
playing the guitar while the other one played half life on the computer:-)
It made me laugh to think that I could be halfway around the world and
still feel like I am at home.
I haven't experienced too
much of a culture shock yet. The
two things that have been the hardest to get used to are looking right then left
when crossing the road. And that most stores close at five or six.
Not even the grocery stores stay open later than that.
Besides that they show American TV shows, play American music on the
radio, etc. I am sure that I will
notice more difference once I start classes and meet more Australians.
The one thing that is taking
a while to get accustomed to is the food. It
all tastes different than food at home. Even
the Kraft Mac and cheese!
I look forward to hearing
from all of you!