Hello Kangaroo!

Hello Kangaroo!
Feb. 9, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend at Katy's (To the Gold Coast and more)

This weekend started out with meeting Katy at UQ library on Friday. Little did we know what a full weekend was ahead of us!

We took the train (several times during the weekend, it would turn out)

To go to Mater Hill and meet up with Jasmin to head to Friday night church... Gotta say, we love Hillsong!

Then, after Church, we headed to Garden City to hang out with the rest of the College-Age...

I've been meeting almost weekly with a Connect Group (a small group from Hillsong) and we have formed some close friendships. It consists of people from Asia, Africa, Canada, Papa New Guinea, North America, and more... including some Aussies.

David, Jasmin, Jessica, Irene, Kirk, Katy, Cliff...

On the return home, as we were sitting and waiting for the ferry (a.k.a. the City Cat), not only were we impressed with the city lights reflecting off of the river, we were also entertained by the three young men beside us who were each playing a guitar and singing the Beatles, "Hold Your Hand," for no other reason than to bring joy to those around them.

Turns out, they're Christians, proclaiming the love of Jesus. They're named R8- representing Romans 8. I hope they make it to America, like they hope to!

After coming home, Katy surprised me with a taste of home--chocolate chip cookie dough!

The next morning, after only about 5 or 6 hours of sleep, Katy and I headed out on the public transportation yet again, this time to go to the beach! (The Gold Coast)

We were meeting David and Matt Tinker for a day at Beerleigh!

There were surfers everywhere!
I was in awe of the ocean... it's a very powerful thing! The waves tossed us back and forth all day and the sun baked me! The sunburn only serves as a reminder of a wonderful weekend!

While at the beach we built a sand castle, collecting shells to adorn our sand-turtle which rested in the center of the castle. After determining that it would take far too much time and effort to collect that many shells, we gave up. The castle also had a princess tower, on which I was supposed to sit, however, I could not be convinced by Dave to sit on the sand.

The whole time I was thinking how the sand would crumble under my weight... that was not a tempting thought, a princess who smashes her guard tower by the weight of her behind... so anyways, the princess tower remained princessless.

After a day in the sun we were all exhausted and ready for $0.50 ice cream cones from Macky's (a.k.a. McDonald's). Katy and I stood in line for awhile, only to discover that Matt had already bought us ice cream. As we walked up to the car the two boys stood there shaking in the breeze holding a tray of melted ice cream cones... saying, "We bought you some ice cream." It was the sweetest looking sight I had seen since working with the kids at the Boys and Girls Club.

That night Katy and I headed to the city to find some cheap pizza (the name of the store still slips my mind) and spent about 45 minutes searching for the joint. We walked back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth, through the downtown, outdoor shopping center. Running across street break-dancers, Irish celebrating, kilt-wearing, men playing bagpipes, and chocolate cake...

After finally finding some pizza we headed home on the City Cat.

The next day we tried to find the St. Patty's day celebration, but ended up in China Town in Fortitude Valley instead. After a while of looking around, we headed home.

That night we went to Sunday night, College-aged Worship (named Powerhouse) at Hillsong with Jasmin, heard a great message about Love (1 Cor. 13 is the summer theme), and headed home.

I have to say, this is a great place. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. It can be summarized in the following conversation.

Me: "Katy, you've studied the steps of culture shock, right?"
Katy: "Yep"
Me: "I think I'm in the honey-moon stage. What's after the honeymoon stage?"
Katy: *laughing* "Oh, you don't want to know."
Me: "What is it?"
Katy: "Just trust me, you'll know when the honey-moon stage ends..."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Now that class has started and I've been here a month...

In the outdoor arena at the Dance Studio I teach at:

I have to say, this trip to Australia is definitely unique in the sense that I've never been to a country where everyone speaks my native tongue and is so friendly. Making friends has not been difficult.

My time here can be summarized in one sentence:

I have no reason to wake up in the morning.

As grim as that sounds, it's the truth!
My classes are all in the evenings (Mondays and Wednesdays) and so is my job (Tuesdays).
Even my social life is focused around Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings... What that means is I can sleep in every day, which is good for vacation, maybe not so good for daily routine. Catch my drift?

I started my job as a CONTEMPORARY JAZZ DANCE TEACHER last Tuesday and it went really well! I teach grade one and grade three. We'll have a concert at the end of the year. It's two hours a week.

I found a group of girls who are interested in camping/traveling with me, so hopefully I'll have some exciting adventures in the near future.

I had Rotary Orientation on Sunday which went well. There are some very inspirational people who are Rotary scholars. True world leaders!

My first day of classes (last Wednesday) was canceled due to a strike (which my professors were participating in--perhaps slightly ironic since my degree is Peace and Conflict Resolution--we're a bunch of activists). Other than that, my reading lists are longer that the Great Wall of China and it's all about International Theory at this point! This, however, is a love of mine, so not too bad...

It's been raining day and night for almost two weeks, which is good news for a country that's been in drought the past decade... I'm itching for the sunshine without all the heat. Supposedly "perfect" weather is just around the bin...