Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Post Nine: South Coast

So! It has been awhile since I last posted and let me say that so much has happened! I departed for the South Coast (Booderee National Park on Jervis Bay) with 28 other Study Abroad students on Saturday morning? Saturday? Yes, Saturday…it is easy to lose track of the days, every day seems to be so long and yet so short at the same time.

Lauren, Lindsey, Brooke, with meatpies
Anyway, the bus ride took all day since we made several stops to see the little towns along the way. I had in Berry (a cute little shop town similar to Cedarburg mixed with an English village) my first authentic Australian meat pie. Similar to a Michigan pastie, the meat pie is like a personal pot pie, very filling and very delicious. Though I cannot eat them too often as they are somewhat expensive (like all the food here) and probably not the best for one’s health…
The ride down south was an odd experience in that the countryside looked more like that of Wales than anything I had pictured Australia to be, except for the trees, the trees were mostly stripped of their bark and looked like they belonged in some sort of jungle.

On the ride we stopped at a park for a bushwalk guided by some local aborigine people who told us about some of their customs including some bushfood and useful plants, the dijereedoo (my apologies if I spelled that wrong…probably did) and of course the boomerang.

One of the guides, we asked her permission for the photo
 We then arrived at out cabins 15 miles inside Booderee national park. Visited the beach (though it was cloudy and cold) nearby, ate dinner, then all crashed as many of those who went on the trip were still jetlagged.
We were visited in the morning and evenings by the locals

Really cold dolphin watching.
So, this was the grey cold trip. One cannot tell, but we are freezing at this point.
The next day it was also rainy and cold. Not the Aussie sun and sand we expected. None of us had dressed or packed for the weather. Even so, we had fun on a cruise around the bay looking for (and finally spotting) some dolphins. We then went to the beach despite the rain and clouds and swam for a bit in the blue water before heading back to our cabins for a barbeque. It was very interesting, before we headed back we stopped to buy buns and all the American people went to the liquor store to by “goons” (boxed wine). They were all really excited about it because most of them were still underage in the states, but here, they could buy as much as they wanted and it was allowed!
I got up early on day three to visit the beach outside our cabin before we had to leave. The water was really blue here too, and the sand white.
BEACH! White sand and blue water. Laura, Kerry, and I
Finally, day three was sunny and warm..er so a group of us went the beach again for about two hours before we headed back to Sydney by way of Berry again and a quick stop at a clifftown. Our driver and guide named Ben was perhaps the most Australian Australian I have met so far (in terms of stereotype anyway), he lived in an apartment on Bondi beach, but he liked the country very much. He surfed a lot and wore “boardies” or surf shorts the whole trip, happy, laid back, and friendly, picture an Aussie and you would basically be picturing Ben. It was an awesome trip, and as a plus, some of the people I met on the trip live just a couple of doors down on my hall!
some of the group on the rocks outside the cliff town of Kiama
On the more frustrating side, apparently DLC has been having their freshman orientation going on while we have been gone, and Macquarie has other orientation events planned for during these DLC events so it is difficult for us to become part of the community and we are beginning to be seen as ‘those Americans’ I think. So that is a little disappointing, but hopefully it will not last and we can get to know some of our floormates and become friends once they and we get a bit more settled in.
Now that I am back on campus, orientation is tomorrow. I really hope that that will clear up all the questions I still have and then once it is over I can really be settled in and ready to start the semester. Everything will be squared away and I can relax. Wish me luck!

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