Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My thoughts on Australia thus far...

It kind of reminds me of the US, the Dominican, and Italy all combined into one..

although I realize those are the only countries I've ever been to, so maybe everyone who visits Australia thinks it reminds them of everywhere else they've been..if that makes sense..

For example, the humidity, the fact that almost no one and no where has air conditioning, and the architecture of many homes and the trees and plants that surround them ALL remind me greatly of the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, the cafes and restaurants that are on every curb and street with people chilling outside drinking espresso and gelato along with the relaxed feel of many places here reminds me of my visit to Italy.

Then, of course, the fact that people speak English and the center of the city is so busy and full of rushing people and buses and taxis, etc., reminds me of good ol' USA.

Another observation:
The land down under AKA 'straya AKA OZ is very diverse! Like... more than the US almost. Their three most common languages are what they call "cultivated" australian, "bogan" australian (think steve irwin...also their word for "hick" or western) and chinese australian.

The Asian population is probably just as high as the white population here, most restaurants I see are not seafood but rather Thai food---yum! As a result, most of the fashion, architecture, ads, etc., are Asian-culture inspired. It's very interesting and fun to see the mixture of it all together! Meanwhile, I've met people who are Greek, Indian, British, Mexican, Japanese, Fillipino, and more...very cool.


Those are my thoughts on Australia for now, meanwhile here are some fun facts of what has happened to me while I'm here :p

1) I got lost on the first day of class, but here's the thing...I was literally one block from my house and had no idea.
2) I suck at hanging clothes on a clothes line, maybe it's because I could barely reach it...that's my excuse.
3) I saw a conch shell the size of my head and a snail shell almost as big...and despite the warnings that many shelled creatures here can hurt you, I tried to touch them and pick them up BUT it was with a stick so it's all good.
4) I watched Australian tv with my host family--- some of it is like recreations of American shows like cooking shows and singing shows, but other shows are low-budget shows that are quite terrible but awesome. One of the shows is shot in my homestay town (Concord). My host family got asked if the camera crew could use their house for some scenes but they declined because they had "American girls there and didn't want them to feel uncomfortable". :p oh well.. There goes my shot at fame. haha
5) I rode a bus by myself from Circular Quay to my homestay, which is like 1hr and 40 mins but during rush hour yesterday from the city it took 2 hrs. But I didn't get lost, and I felt oh-so-grown up. Woot. 

I'll add more fun facts later I'm sure, now I'm off to start my 3rd day of class!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hey guys! Thanks for all the prayers! This is my first official post in Australia and it's gonna be a short one because right now it's 8am and I'm at my university "uni" just so i can have internet.  I start class at noon! eek! One thing to let you know is that I love it here for sure! I'm still feeling the effects of jetlag but the biggest thing to pray for is the fact that I'm really sick... ever since my flight out of D.C. my ear hasn't popped? Super weird, and I also have a really bad cold for over a week now. Not too fun, but it's not awful, I'm still loving it and having a great time with my two roommates and the other students here at Wesley Institute and in ASC. My host family is Greek and really nice, I have a cute room to myself with a great view of the Sydney skyline! And it's pretty far from Wesley -- it's about 45 mins and 3 buses away--hopefully I don't get lost when i start going to class on my own! lol Oh also, the biggest dilemma of the first week is: spring break--do I do great barrier reef or new zealand? First world problems :)


-Gabi

Saturday, February 16, 2013

So I wanted to post a quick paragraph about how I'm feeling pre-Aussie Adventure...just so later on while I'm in Australia I can look back and see how silly I was for being so nervous. :) But I am so nervous! And excited, of course, and so anxious! I guess as I mentally prepare myself right now, my main goal is to focus on enjoying the moment while I'm there: to be thankful every day to God for the opportunities and experiences...and to take in all the sights and sounds and smells and tastes that Australia has to offer me and just appreciate them all!  I always over-think so much and worry a lot, but I want to just go into this with a clean slate and an open mind.

Meanwhile, I can't wait to begin my Aussie Adventure and to post pictures and write about  experiences and emotions and who knows what else. I'm so excited/nervous I can't even really sleep...I mean, it is 1:30 AM right now...haha oops. But I assume I'll be blogging really late at night over these next few months quite a lot anyway. :)

So tomorrow is going to be a day of panic-mode packing and spending time with my awesome family.  Then Monday (18th) morning I leave bright and early to fly out of D.C. around noon, and then a layover in LAX until the group flight that night with all the other Australia Studies Centre (ASC) students. We will lose an entire day flying into the future over the international date line :p, so I will arrive in Australia on the 20th and the adventures will begin!

Well.. there is the first official blog post of my life! :)
More to come once I'm safe and settled in Australia!

-Gabs